ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Following forty years of censorship, the 1965 coup (also known as the Thirtieth of September Movement) in Indonesia and the ensuing mass killings have only received international attention in recent years, especially through the widely acclaimed documentaries “The Act of Killing”. There has been a lot of uncertainty around the role of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Indonesian politics immediately before and during the coup.
This seminar will first clarify the role of the Chinese government in Indonesia between 1964 and 1966 by a close reading of PRC archival materials. It will be argued that, although deeply invested in Indonesian politics, Beijing’s actual influence over the Indonesian Communist Party and the turn of events in Indonesia in 1965 was far more limited than what the Suharto regime and some English language works have previously claimed. An investigation on the Indonesian communist exiles who used to live in China will be done by reconstructing some of the exiles’ experiences of participating in the Cultural Revolution in China, tracing some of the long journeys they took from Moscow to Beijing and then to Western Europe, and tapping into their evolving spiritual world that pivoted on the fluctuating tides of the international communist movement. Another focus of this talk is the tension between the state’s efforts to dominate the writing of history and individual attempts to steer the direction of public discourse, as well as individuals’ inner struggles to reconcile life decisions made in the past and the new socio-political environment they are situated in at the present.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Taomo Zhou is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University. Taomo received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she specialised in modern Chinese as well as modern Southeast Asian history. She has long-term interest in the nexus between international relations, migration, and political movements. Before entering Cornell, she studied at Peking University (B.A.), Waseda University (B.A.) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc. with Distinction). Taomo has published two peer-reviewed journal articles on the interactions between China and Indonesia during the Cold War period: “Ambivalent Alliance: Chinese Policy towards Indonesia, 1960-1965” (in The China Quarterly) and “China and the Thirtieth of September Movement” (in Indonesia).
For registration, please fill in this form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 February 2016.
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
On 9 December 2015, Indonesia conducts its first simultaneous elections of regional leaders (Pilkada) in 263 regions across the archipelago. The simultaneous direct elections provide a close look at local politics, particularly at how parties manage the various elections in different regions, how candidates were nominated, and how voters decide. This presentation focuses on the elections in North Sumatera, North Sulawesi, and East Java. Regions in East Java are dynamic politically and economically, and the record of healthy competition between the various parties makes it important to observe. Regions in North Sumatra host a variety of ethnic and religious identities, which are influential during elections. North Sulawesi is a province that displays a high level of political fragmentation, competitiveness and participation. Manado, in particular, is one of the most important economic centers in Eastern Indonesia, and one of the few major cities in the archipelago with a predominantly Christian population in a Muslim-majority Indonesia.
This seminar will bring together findings and trends from these various regions, to build a better understanding of the current shape of local politics in Indonesia.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Deasy Simandjuntak is a political anthropologist and Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. In 2010, she obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam, with a dissertation on “patronage democracy in Indonesia”. She was post-doctoral fellow at Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) Leiden (2009-2011) and guest fellow at Southeast Asian Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany (2010). Some of her most important publications are “Gifts and Promises: Patronage Democracy in a Decentralized Indonesia” in European Journal of East Asian Studies (EJEAS) 2012, and “Milk-Coffee at 10 AM: Encountering the State through Pilkada in North Sumatra” in Van Klinken and Barker (eds) State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia, New York: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publication 2009. Her most recent publication is “Doing Anthropological Fieldwork with Southeast Asian Characteristics? Identity and Adaptation in the Field” (with Michaela Haug), in Huotari, Rüland, Schlehe (eds) Methodology and Research Practice in Southeast Asian Studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2014. She wrote the ISEAS Perspective “Persistent Patronage: Explaining the popularity of former corruption convicts in Indonesia’s Regional Elections (October 2015).”
Ulla Fionna is Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. She studied at Airlangga University, the University of Warwick, and the University of Sydney. After receiving her PhD, she held post-doctoral positions and taught at the University of Sydney. She is the author of The Institutionalisation of Political Parties in Post-authoritarian Indonesia: From the Grass-roots Up (University of Amsterdam Press, 2013) and Watching Indonesia’s Elections 2014 (ISEAS, 2015). Her main research interests are Indonesian politics, political parties, electoral politics, and democratisation. Currently, she is studying the Indonesian Muslims’ political aspirations.
For registration, please fill in this form and email to email@example.com by 15 December 2015.
Seminar: Bringing the (Central) State Back In? Decentralization, Recentralization and Patronage Democracy in Indonesia’s Local Politics
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
As a strategy to appease the pressure from its regions in the end of New-Order, Indonesia initiated a rapid decentralization in 1999, aiming to meet the local needs, stimulate political participation and encourage the accountability of local governments. Decentralization was seen as a prerequisite of democratization. As a consequence, the government began to sponsor local elections (Pilkada) and the creation of new administrative regions (pemekaran).
Fifteen years after its initiation, Indonesia’s decentralization has shown mixed results. On the one hand, it has assuaged secessionism by allowing resource-rich regions to use their income to benefit the local people and allowed poorer regions to function with the help of central government’s funding. On the other hand, the widespread corruption perpetuated by patron-client structures and the persistent dependence of new regions to Jakarta’s funding indicate the lack of improvement on the quality of local governments.
To curb these shortcomings, the government recently re-empowered the provinces and the central state vis-à-vis the districts, imposed stricter regulations on pemekaran while still preserving directelections as the means of leadership succession in the regions. Some observers are wary of a possible “democratic rollback”, however, to what extent is this “recentralization” harmful to democratization?
Using ethnographic and secondary data, the seminar sheds light on the experience of pemekaran and pilkada which have called for the redesigning of decentralization.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr Deasy Simandjuntak is a political anthropologist and Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Studies Programme of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. She wrote her MA thesis in 2003 at the University of Amsterdam on the subject of Chinese-Indonesian ethnicity and nationalism. In 2010, she obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam, with a dissertation on “patronage democracy in Indonesia”. She was post-doctoral fellow at Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) Leiden (2009-2011), guest fellow at Southeast Asian Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany (2010), and guest-speaker on “the elites in Indonesia’s local elections” at the Study of Social Distinction workshop at Oxford University (2010).
Deasy was lecturer at University of Indonesia. Some of her most important publications are “Gifts and Promises: Patronage Democracy in a Decentralized Indonesia” in European Journal of East Asian Studies (EJEAS) 2012, and “Milk-Coffee at 10 AM: Encountering the State through Pilkada in North Sumatra” in Van Klinken and Barker (eds) State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia, New York: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publication 2009. Her most recent publication is “Doing Anthropological Fieldwork with Southeast Asian Characteristics? Identity and Adaptation in the Field” (with Michaela Haug), in Huotari, Rüland, Schlehe (eds) Methodology and Research Practice in Southeast Asian Studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2014.
To register, please complete this reply form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org by 8 October 2015.