19 Apr International conference ‘From Clients to Citizens? Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia’
Organised by Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM).
Keynote Speakers: Engin Isin (Open University, UK) and Surya Tjandra (Universitas Atma Jaya, the Trade Union Rights Centre).
What is the impact of Indonesia’s democratization process on everyday interactions between Indonesian citizens and power holders? Democratic reforms have led to a much livelier public sphere, freer and more active public debate and more intensive political participation. Yet democratization seems to have done little to end the predatory and clientelistic practices of political elites. The persistence of these practices and the ‘stalling’ of Indonesia’s democratization process cannot be attributed solely to institutional shortcomings or selfish behaviour of elites. Instead, there is an urgent need to study politics ‘from below’ by examining the character of citizenship in Indonesia. What kinds of conceptions and practices of rights, reciprocity and representation are observable in Indonesia? How can we describe the impact of Indonesia’s democratic reforms on everyday interactions between citizens and the state? How do particular features of Indonesia’s history and political economy – e.g. its legal pluralism, weakly institutionalized state, relatively large informal economy and clientelistic political arena – shape these emerging forms of citizenship?
With this objective this conference aims to bring together accounts of how citizenship is being practiced and per-ceived in Indonesia. In particular, this conference calls for papers on the everyday practices, values and attitudes that can be observed in the way citizens deal with state institutions and authorities. Papers may discuss the historical evolution of citizen rights as well as a wide range of everyday citizenship struggles involving, for example, the way people engage in land conflicts, arrange access to welfare or public services or claim recognition of ethnic identities or reli-gious values.
This conference is open to academics from all social sciences, as well as representatives from NGO’s and policy makers. Click here to visit the conference website.