Democracy Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia

Author: Nils Bubandt
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317682516
Release Date: 2014-06-05
Genre: Political Science

Indonesia has been an electoral democracy for more than a decade, and yet the political landscape of the world’s third-largest democracy is as complex and enigmatic as ever. The country has achieved a successful transition to democracy and yet Indonesian democracy continues to be flawed, illiberal, and predatory. This book suggests that this and other paradoxes of democracy in Indonesia often assume occult forms in the Indonesian political imagination, and that the spirit-like character of democracy and corruption traverses into the national media and the political elite. Through a series of biographical accounts of political entrepreneurs, all of whom employ spirits in various, but always highly contested, ways, the book seeks to provide a portrait of Indonesia’s contradictory democracy, contending that the contradictions that haunt democracy in Indonesia also infect democracy globally. Exploring the intimate ways in which the world of politics and the world of spirits are entangled, it argues that Indonesia’s seemingly peculiar problems with democracy and spirits in fact reflect a set of contradictions within democracy itself. Engaging with recent attempts to look at contemporary politics through the lens of the occult, Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia will be of interest to academics in the fields of Asian Studies, Anthropology and Political Science and relevant for the study of Indonesian politics and for debates about democracy in Asia and beyond. ?

The Empty Seashell

Author: Nils Bubandt
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801471964
Release Date: 2014-12-18
Genre: Social Science

The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.

Kinship population and social reproduction in the new Indonesia

Author: Roy Ellen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351027120
Release Date: 2018-05-16
Genre: Social Science

Nuaulu people on the Indonesian island of Seram have displayed remarkable linguistic and cultural resilience over a period of 50 years. In 1970 their language and traditional culture was widely considered ‘endangered.’ Despite this, Nuaulu have not only maintained their animist identity and shown a robust ability to reproduce 'traditional' ritual performances, but have exhibited both population growth and increasing assertiveness in the projection of their interests through the politics of the ‘New Indonesia’. This book examines how kinship organization and marriage patterns have responded to some of these challenges, and suggests that the retention of core institutions of descent and exchange are the consequence of population growth, which in turn has enabled ritual reproduction, and thereby effectively maintained a distinct identity in relation to the surrounding majority culture. Low conversion rates to other religions, and the political consequences of Indonesian ‘reformasi’, have also contributed to a situation in which, despite changes in the material basis of their lives, Nuaulu have projected a strong independent identity and organisation. In terms of debates around kinship in eastern Indonesia, this book argues that older notions of prescriptive social structure are fundamentally flawed. Kinship institutions are real enough, but the distinction between genealogical and classificatory relations is often unimportant; all that matters in the end is that the arrangements entered into between clans and houses permit both biological and social reproduction, and that the latter ultimately serves the former. An important contribution to the study of the peoples of Eastern Indonesia, it highlights a 'good news story' about the successful retention of a traditional way of life in an area that has had a troubled recent history. It will be of interest to academics in various fields of anthropology, in particular the study of kinship and Southeast Asian societies.

Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond

Author:
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004323643
Release Date: 2016-08-08
Genre: Social Science

Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond explores ghost movies, one of the most popular film genres in East and Southeast Asia, by focusing on movie narratives, the cultural contexts of their origins and audience reception.

Rethinking Power Relations in Indonesia

Author: Michaela Haug
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317333326
Release Date: 2016-07-15
Genre: Social Science

Since colonial rule, the island of Java served as Indonesia’s imagined centre and prime example of development, while the Outer Islands were constructed as the state’s marginalised periphery. Recent processes of democratisation and regional autonomy, however, have significantly changed the power relations that once produced the marginality of the Outer Islands. This book explores processes of political, economic and cultural transformations in Indonesia, emphasizing their implications for centre-periphery relations from the perspective of the archipelago’s ‘margins’. Structured along three central themes, the book first provides theoretical contributions to the understanding of marginality in Indonesia. The second part focuses on political transformation processes and their implications for the Outer Islands. The third section investigates the dynamics caused by economic changes on Indonesia’s periphery. Chapters writtten by experts in the field offer examples from various regions, which demonstrate how power relations between centre and periphery are getting challenged, contested and reshaped. The book fills a gap in the literature by analysing the implications of the recent transformation processes for the construction of marginality on Indonesia’s Outer Islands.

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia

Author: Robert W. Hefner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317242215
Release Date: 2018-01-03
Genre: Social Science

Few countries as culturally rich, politically pivotal, and naturally beautiful as Indonesia are as often misrepresented in global media and conversation. Stretching 3,400 miles east to west along the equator, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and home to more than four hundred ethnic groups and several major world religions. This sprawling Southeast Asian nation is also the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country and the third largest democracy. Although in recent years the country has experienced serious challenges with regard to religious harmony, its trillion-dollar economy is booming and its press and public sphere are among the most vibrant in Asia. A land of cultural contrasts, contests, and contradictions, this ever-evolving country is today rising to even greater global prominence, even as it redefines the terms of its national, religious, and civic identity. The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia offers an overview of the modern making and contemporary dynamics of culture, society, and politics in this powerful Asian nation. It provides a comprehensive survey of key issues in Indonesian politics, economics, religion, and society. It is divided into six sections, organized as follows: Cultural Legacies and Political Junctures Contemporary Politics and Plurality Markets and Economic Cultures Muslims and Religious Plurality Gender and Sexuality Indonesia in an Age of Multiple Globalizations Bringing together original contributions by leading scholars of Indonesia in law, political science, history, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, and gender studies this Handbook provides an up-to-date, interdisciplinary, and academically rigorous exploration of Indonesia. It will be of interest to students, academics, policymakers, and others in search of reliable information on Indonesian politics, economics, religion, and society in an accessible format.

The Modern Anthropology of South East Asia

Author: Victor T. King
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 0415297516
Release Date: 2003-01
Genre: History

This is a comprehensive introduction to the social and cultural anthropology of South-East Asia. It provides an overview of the major theoretical issues and themes which have emerged from the engagement of anthropologists with South-East Asian communities; a succinct historical survey and analysis of the peoples and cultures of the region. Most importantly the volume reveals the vitally important role which the study of the area has occupied in the development of the concepts and methods of anthropology: from the perspectives of Edmund Leach to Clifford Geertz, Maurice Freedman to Claude Levi-Strauss; Lauriston Sharp to Melford Spiro.

Vietnam and the South China Sea

Author: Do Thanh Hai
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781317398202
Release Date: 2016-12-01
Genre: Social Science

Studies of the escalating tensions and competing claims in the South China Sea overwhelmingly focus on China and its increasingly assertive approach, while the position of the other claimants is overlooked. This book focuses on the attitude of Vietnam towards the South China Sea dispute. It examines the position from a historical perspective, shows how Vietnam’s position is affected by its wish to maintain good relations with China on a range of issues, and outlines how Vietnam has occasionally made overtures to both the United States and Japan in order to bolster its position, and considered the possibility, so far resisted, of taking China to formal arbitration under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The book concludes by assessing the future prospects for Vietnam’s position in the dispute.

The Sociology of Southeast Asia

Author: Victor T. King
Publisher: NIAS Press
ISBN: 9788791114601
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social problems

One of the main problems faced by teachers and students who have a scholarly interest in Southeast Asia is the lack of general, user-friendly texts in the social sciences. The absence of an introduction to the sociology of Southeast Asia is especially unfortunate. This volume attempts to meet these needs. This is, then, the first sole-authored introductory sociology text on Southeast Asia that focuses on change and development in the region, provides an overview of the important sociological and political economy writings, and considers the key concepts and themes in the field since 1945. Some multiauthored works do exist but these either are outdated or focus on specialized topics. Aimed primarily at undergraduates up to the final year, it will also be a useful reference work for post-graduates and researchers who lack such a general work.

The State and Illegality in Indonesia

Author: E. Aspinall
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004253681
Release Date: 2011-01-01
Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE

The popular 1998 reformasi movement that brought down President Suharto’s regime demanded an end to illegal practices by state officials, from human rights abuse to nepotistic investments. Yet today, such practices have proven more resistant to reform than people had hoped. Many have said corruption in Indonesia is "entrenched". We argue it is precisely this entrenched character that requires attention. What is state illegality entrenched in and how does it become entrenched? This involves studying actual cases. Our observations led us to rethink fundamental ideas about the nature of the state in Indonesia, especially regarding its socially embedded character. We conclude that illegal practices by state officials are not just aberrations to the state, they are the state. Almost invariably, illegality occurs as part of collective, patterned, organized and collaborative acts, linked to the competition for political power and access to state resources. While obviously excluding many without connections, corrupt behaviour also plays integrative and stabilizing functions. Especially at the lower end of the social ladder, it gets a lot of things done and is often considered legitimate.

Indonesia

Author: Claitor's Publishing Division
Publisher: Claitors Pub Division
ISBN: 1579801404
Release Date: 1994-01-01
Genre: Reference


Civil Islam

Author: Robert W. Hefner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400823870
Release Date: 2011-05-21
Genre: Social Science

Civil Islam tells the story of Islam and democratization in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation. Challenging stereotypes of Islam as antagonistic to democracy, this study of courage and reformation in the face of state terror suggests possibilities for democracy in the Muslim world and beyond. Democratic in the early 1950s and with rich precedents for tolerance and civility, Indonesia succumbed to violence. In 1965, Muslim parties were drawn into the slaughter of half a million communists. In the aftermath of this bloodshed, a "New Order" regime came to power, suppressing democratic forces and instituting dictatorial controls that held for decades. Yet from this maelstrom of violence, repressed by the state and denounced by conservative Muslims, an Islamic democracy movement emerged, strengthened, and played a central role in the 1998 overthrow of the Soeharto regime. In 1999, Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid was elected President of a reformist, civilian government. In explaining how this achievement was possible, Robert Hefner emphasizes the importance of civil institutions and public civility, but argues that neither democracy nor civil society is possible without a civilized state. Against portrayals of Islam as inherently antipluralist and undemocratic, he shows that Indonesia's Islamic reform movement repudiated the goal of an Islamic state, mobilized religiously ecumenical support, promoted women's rights, and championed democratic ideals. This broadly interdisciplinary and timely work heightens our awareness of democracy's necessary pluralism, and places Indonesia at the center of our efforts to understand what makes democracy work.

Tracks and Traces

Author: Philip Hirsch
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
ISBN: 9789089642493
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

This volume traces the threads that tie together an understanding of Thailand as a dynamic and rapidly changing society, through an examination of the work of one major scholar of the country, Andrew Turton. Turton's anthropological studies of Thailand cover a wide spectrum from politics and economy to ritual and culture, and have been crucial in shaping evolving understandings of Thai society. In this collection, ten leading specialists on Thailand from a variety of disciplines critically consider aspects of Turton's work in relation to the changing nature of different aspects of Thai society. The book tracks the links between past and present scholarship, examines the contextuality of scholarship in its times, and sheds light on the current situation in Thailand.

Political Order in Changing Societies

Author: Samuel P. Huntington
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300116209
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Political Science

This now classic examination of the development of viable political institutions in emerging nations is an enduring contribution to modern political analysis. The foreword by Fukuyama assesses Huntingdon's achievement.