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Workshop | Moral politics of nationhood: Constructions of sexual, political and religious others in contemporary Indonesia

01/11/2018 - 02/11/2018

Almost twenty years after the start of Reformasi, the democratic reforms that followed the stepping down of the authoritarian president Suharto, Indonesia faces a rapidly shrinking space for religious diversity, sexual difference, and critical social movements. The morality of nationhood, epitomized by Indonesia’s national slogan of ‘Unity in Diversity’, historically refers to a respect for difference within the principle of inclusion. At the moment, however, diversity is increasingly becoming a scapegoat for political and social evils. The anti-LGBT movement, the criminalization of social movements and the religious fatwa against liberalism, secularism and religious minority groups are recent examples of social and political exclusion for the sake of ‘saving the nation’ or for ‘purifying religion’. In order to understand these dynamics, we will examine the issue of moral politics and the process of exclusion in Indonesia by organizing a 2-day workshop involving academics and activists from both Indonesia and the Netherlands, and beyond. Questions that the workshop will address include: How can we analyze and attempt to understand the current rise of sexual, political and religious Othering? Which groups are involved in these politics of exclusion and boundary-making? How has this changed in time and space? Which groups are targeted, included and excluded in the process? How does the intersectionality of gender, class, religion and ethnicity play a role in such processes of Othering? What are the strategies of the excluded groups to resist or survive these top-down efforts of stigmatizing them? What are the implications of these processes for Indonesia’s democratic future?

To register, please send an email to Annemarie Samuels: [email protected].


Full programme.




Leiden University


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University