front cover of Eight Prison Camps
Eight Prison Camps
A Dutch Family in Japanese Java
Dieuwke Wendelaar Bonga
Ohio University Press, 1996

Eldest daughter of eight children, the author grew up in Surakarta, Java, in what is now Indonesia. In the months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, however, Dutch nationals were rounded up by Japanese soldiers and put in internment camps. Her father and brother were sent to separate men’s camps, leaving the author, her mother, and the five younger children in the women’s camp. In this and later seven other prison camps in central Java, their lives gradually deteriorated from early days of fear and crowding to near starvation, forced labor, beatings, and seeing others disappear or die. On the family’s return to Holland after the war, they found a nation recovering from German occupation and largely ignorant of the horror of the Far East experience.


front cover of Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia
Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia
Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots
Edited by Edward Aspinall and Mada Sukmajati
National University of Singapore Press, 2016
How do politicians win elected office in Indonesia? To find out, research teams fanned out across the country prior to Indonesia’s 2014 legislative election to record campaign events, interview candidates and canvassers, and observe their interactions with voters. They found that at the grassroots political parties are less important than personal campaign teams and vote brokers who reach out to voters through a wide range of networks associated with religion, ethnicity, kinship, micro enterprises, sports clubs and voluntary groups of all sorts. Above all, candidates distribute patronage—cash, goods and other material benefits—to individual voters and to communities. Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia brings to light the scale and complexity of vote buying and the many uncertainties involved in this style of politics, providing an unusually intimate portrait of politics in a patronage-based system.

front cover of Electoral Reform and the Fate of New Democracies
Electoral Reform and the Fate of New Democracies
Lessons from the Indonesian Case
Sarah Shair-Rosenfield
University of Michigan Press, 2019

When and why do democratic political actors change the electoral rules, particularly regarding who is included in a country’s political representation? The incidences of these major electoral reforms have been on the rise since 1980.

Electoral Reform and the Fate of New Democracies argues that elite inexperience may constrain self-interest and lead elites to undertake incremental approaches to reform, aiding the process of democratic consolidation. Using a multimethods approach, the book examines three consecutive periods of reform in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority country and third largest democracy, between 1999 and 2014. Each case study provides an in-depth process tracing of the negotiations leading to new reforms, including key actors in the legislature, domestic civil society, international experts, and government bureaucrats. A series of counterfactual analyses assess the impact the reforms had on actual election outcomes, versus the possible alternative outcomes of different reform options discussed during negotiations. With a comparative analysis of nine cases of iterated reform processes in other new democracies, the book confirms the lessons from the Indonesian case and highlights key lessons for scholars and electoral engineers.


front cover of Electrifying Indonesia
Electrifying Indonesia
Technology and Social Justice in National Development
Anto Mohsin
University of Wisconsin Press, 2023
Electrifying Indonesia tells the story of the entanglement of politics and technology during Indonesia’s rapid post–World War II development. As a central part of its nation-building project, the Indonesian state sought to supply electricity to the entire country, bringing transformative socioeconomic benefits across its heterogeneous territories and populations. While this project was driven by nationalistic impulses, it was also motivated by a genuine interest in social justice. The entanglement of these two ideologies—nation-building and equity—shaped how electrification was carried out, including how the state chose the technologies it did. Private companies and electric cooperatives vied with the hegemonic state power company to participate in a monumental undertaking that would transform daily life for all Indonesians, especially rural citizens.

In this innovative volume, Anto Mohsin brings Indonesian studies together with science and technology studies to understand a crucial period in modern Indonesian history. He shows that attempts to illuminate the country were inseparable from the effort to maintain the new nation-state, chart its path to independence, and legitimize ruling regimes. In exchange for an often dramatically improved standard of living, people gave their votes, and their acquiescence, to the ruling government.

front cover of Emerging Memory
Emerging Memory
Photographs of Colonial Atrocity in Dutch Cultural Remembrance
Paul Bijl
Amsterdam University Press, 2015
This incisive volume brings together postcolonial studies, visual culture and cultural memory studies to explain how the Netherlands continues to rediscover its history of violence in colonial Indonesia. Dutch commentators have frequently claimed that the colonial past and especially the violence associated with it has been 'forgotten' in the Netherlands. Uncovering 'lost' photographs and other documents of violence has thereby become a recurring feature aimed at unmasking a hidden truth.The author argues that, rather than absent, such images have been consistently present in the Dutch public sphere and have been widely available in print, on television and now on the internet. Emerging Memory: Photographs of Colonial Atrocity in Dutch Cultural Remembrance shows that between memory and forgetting there is a haunted zone from which pasts that do not fit the stories nations live by keep on emerging and submerging while retaining their disturbing presence.

front cover of The End of Silence
The End of Silence
Accounts of the 1965 Genocide in Indonesia
Soe Tjen Marching
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
In the late 1960s, between one and two million people were killed by Indonesian president Suharto's army in the name of suppressing communism-and more than fifty years later, the issue of stigmatisation is still relevant for many victims of the violence and their families. The End of Silence presents the stories of these individuals, revealing how many survivors from the period have been so strongly affected by the strategy used by Suharto and his Western allies that these survivors, still afraid to speak out, essentially serve to maintain the very ideology that led to their persecution.

front cover of Erotic Triangles
Erotic Triangles
Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java
Henry Spiller
University of Chicago Press, 2010

In West Java, Indonesia, all it takes is a woman’s voice and a drum beat to make a man get up and dance. Every day, men there—be they students, pedicab drivers, civil servants, or businessmen—breach ordinary standards of decorum and succumb to the rhythm at village ceremonies, weddings, political rallies, and nightclubs. The music the men dance to varies from traditional gong ensembles to the contemporary pop known as dangdut, but they consistently dance with great enthusiasm. In Erotic Triangles, Henry Spiller draws on decades of ethnographic research to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, arguing that Sundanese men use dance to explore and enact contradictions in their gender identities.

Framing the three crucial elements of Sundanese dance—the female entertainer, the drumming, and men’s sense of freedom—as a triangle, Spiller connects them to a range of other theoretical perspectives, drawing on thinkers from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lévi-Strauss, and Freud to Euclid. By granting men permission to literally perform their masculinity, Spiller ultimately concludes, dance provides a crucial space for both reinforcing and resisting orthodox gender ideologies.


front cover of Ethics or the Right Thing?
Ethics or the Right Thing?
Corruption and Care in the Age of Good Governance
Sylvia Tidey
HAU, 2021
A sympathetic examination of the failure of anti-corruption efforts in contemporary Indonesia. 

Combining ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Kupang with an acute historical sensibility, Sylvia Tidey shows how good governance initiatives paradoxically perpetuate civil service corruption while also facilitating the emergence of new forms of it. Importing critical insights from the anthropology of ethics to the burgeoning anthropology of corruption, Tidey exposes enduring developmentalist fallacies that treat corruption as endemic to non-Western subjects. In practice, it is often indistinguishable from the ethics of care and exchange, as Indonesian civil servants make worthwhile lives for themselves and their families. This book will be a vital text for anthropologists and other social scientists, particularly scholars of global studies, development studies, and Southeast Asia.

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