Organized Panel Session
How do social forces interact with the state vis-a-vis policy-making in Indonesia? While some studies emphasize the role of oligarchs and other entrenched elites, they can overlook the varied and complex role of civil society in the policy arena. Since democratization, civil society has expanded dramatically characterized by a broad spectrum of ideological differences. Today, these groups jostle and compete with one another while also engaging the state to shape policy. Thematically, this panel explores social forces in the areas of religion (Eunsook Jung), gender (Shaan Amin), environment (Zhe Yu Lee), justice (Ehito Kimura) and territory (Istania).
Jung explores how Islamic organizations influence policy making around the case of sexual violence. Amin explores how women’s activists strategically lobby the Indonesian government through frames. Lee examines the rise of the standardization of data and information systems and their contested role in shaping agrarian land policy. Kimura examines strategies of justice advocates to shape policy around gross human rights violations of the past. And Istania examines how ethnic and religious self-determination groups have shaped territorial policy in an ethnically and religiously diverse country. Taken together, the panel highlights the continued importance of attention to the social in understanding the political.
The panel is highly diverse in ethnicity, gender, institutional affiliation and academic rank. It also seeks to advance new directions in social sciences by highlighting diverse methods and approaches in the study of politics in Indonesia including comparative historical analysis, case studies, survey methods, formal theory, discursive analysis and interpretative methods.