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.

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.

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.

Race Religion and the Indian Muslim Predicament in Singapore

Author: Torsten Tschacher
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781315303376
Release Date: 2017-11-10
Genre: Social Science

Indian Muslims form the largest ethnic minority within Singapore’s otherwise largely Malay Muslim community. Despite its size and historic importance, however, Singaporean Indian Muslims have received little attention by scholarship and have also felt side-lined by Singapore’s Malay-dominated Muslim institutions. Since the 1980s, demands for a better representation of Indian Muslims and access to religious services have intensified, while there has been a concomitant debate over who has the right to speak for Indian Muslims. This book traces the negotiations and contestations over Indian Muslim difference in Singapore and examines the conditions that have given rise to these debates. Despite considerable differences existing within the putative Indian Muslim community, the way this community is imagined is surprisingly uniform. Through discussions of the importance of ethnic difference for social and religious divisions among Singaporean Indian Muslims, the role of ‘culture’ and ‘race’ in debates about popular religion, the invocation of language and history in negotiations with the wider Malay-Muslim context, and the institutional setting in which contestations of Indian Muslim difference take place, this book argues that these debates emerge from the structural tensions resulting from the intersection of race and religion in the public organization of Islam in Singapore.

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 Chronicle of a People s War The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War 1979 1991

Author: Boraden Nhem
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351807654
Release Date: 2017-07-28
Genre: History

The Chronicle of a People's War: The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War, 1979–1991 narrates the military and strategic history of the Cambodian Civil War, especially the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK), from when it deposed the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 until the political settlement in 1991. The PRK survived in the face of a fierce insurgency due to three factors: an appealing and reasonably well-implemented political program, extensive political indoctrination, and the use of a hybrid army. In this hybrid organization, the PRK relied on both its professional, conventional army, and the militia-like, "territorial army." This latter type was lightly equipped and most soldiers were not professional. Yet the militia made up for these weaknesses with its intimate knowledge of the local terrain and its political affinity with the local people. These two advantages are keys to victory in the context of counterinsurgency warfare. The narrative and critical analysis is driven by extensive interviews and primary source archives that have never been accessed before by any scholar, including interviews with former veterans (battalion commanders, brigade commanders, division commanders, commanders of provincial military commands, commanders of military regions, and deputy chiefs of staff), articles in the People’s Army from 1979 to 1991, battlefield footage, battlefield video reports, newsreel, propaganda video, and official publications of the Cambodian Institute of Military History.

Political Change in South East Asia

Author: Michael R.J Vatikiotis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134829118
Release Date: 2005-06-21
Genre: Social Science

Political Change in South-East Asia takes up the debate between those who resist the pressure for democracy and point to unchanging 'Asian' values, and those who believe that the appeal of democracy is universal. The author examines the case for both sides and concludes that the strong state will be a fixture of South-East Asian politics for some considerable time to come. Increasingly close links between the ten states of South-East Asia are likely to reinforce perceptions of a common culture and in the end put up more effective defences against external cultural influence.

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


The Changing World of Bali

Author: Leo Howe
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134217809
Release Date: 2006-06-07
Genre: Social Science

The glossy guide book image of Bali is of a timeless paradise whose people are devoutly religious and artistically gifted. However, a hundred years of colonialism, war and Indonesian independence, and tourism have produced both modernizing changes and created an image of Bali as ‘traditional’. Incorporating up-to-date ethnographic field work the book investigates the myriad of ways in which the Balinese has responded to the influx of outside influence. The book focuses on the fascinating interrelationship between tourism, economy, culture and religion in Bali, painting a twenty-first century picture of the Balinese. In documenting these diverse changes Howe critically assesses some of the work of Bali’s most famous ethnographer, Clifford Geertz and demonstrates the importance of a historically grounded and broadly contextualized approach to the analysis of a complex society.

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.

Contemporary Indonesian Film

Author: Katinka van Heeren
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004253476
Release Date: 2012-01-01
Genre: Social Science

This highly informative book explores the world of Post-Soeharto Indonesian audio-visual media in the exiting era of Reform. From a multidisciplinary approach it considers a wide variety of issues such as mainstream and alternative film practices, ceremonial and independent film festivals, film piracy, history and horror, documentary, television soaps, and Islamic films, as well as censorship from the state and street. Through the perspective of discourses on, and practices of film production, distribution, and exhibition, this book gives a detailed insight into current issues of Indonesia’s social and political situation, where Islam, secular realities, and ghosts on and off screen, mingle or clash.