Post-Reformasi Indonesia: The challenges of social inequalities and inclusion

Since Reformasi began in 1998, Indonesia has experienced tremendous political, economic, social, and cultural transformations. The nation has made significant progress in building a more democratic polity. The general election in 2014 was an important turning point. The newly elected president, Joko Widodo (widely known as Jokowi), is the first president with no ties to the Suharto regime, and therefore many people take it as a positive sign for change.

When we organized the first Symposium of Jurnal Antropologi Indonesia in 2000, we were optimistic that Reformasi would improve the lives of Indonesians everywhere. In particular, we believed that a greater political equality and an progress in multiculturalism would lead to greater social and economic equality. However Indonesia is experiencing rising income inequality, conflicts over access to resources and jobs, increasing religious intolerance, and continuing marginalization of groups and individuals. Some scholars predict that these problems will continue since Reformasi alone could not address the root causes of the inequalities.

In the 6th International Symposium of the Journal of Anthropology Indonesia, we invite Indonesian and foreign scholars to propose panels and papers to discuss pressing issues associated with inequality. The objective of the symposium is to explore the social, political-economic, and cultural dimensions of these inequalities, their underlying causes, and the challenges of addressing them. We seek for contributions that critically analyze various forms and processes that produce inequalities, including that of governmental and non-governmental initiatives and interventions that are meant to address these problems.

The following are some key questions that we hope the participants will address.

  1. In what ways are ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference linked to inequality?
  2. In what ways might corruption contribute to the current patterns of inequality?
  3. How are socio-economic inequalities exacerbated by social and political responses to environmental factors? (for example, preventing and addressing environmental disasters, climate change, pollution, or regional differences in resource endowments.)
  4. In what ways do people resist and find ways to overcome the inequalities that they experience in daily life?
  5. In what ways are processes of inequality being shaped by International agendas and national policies (for example ASEAN Free trade, global investment, international development agenda)?

Possible panels and topics
The organizing committee has identified the topics for consideration. Applicants are encouraged to construct other panel and paper topics.
• Urbanization and inequalities
• regional inequalities in the context of the nation-state
• Language minorities in the contemporary national context
• Inequalities in media representations
• Gendered and or racialized access to and control of lands and natural resources
• Feminist contributions to the study of all inequalities
• political ecologies of regional development
• REDD+ and other international projects in Indonesia: the politics of access and exclusion
• Citizenship and identity politics producing difference
• Is pluralism equitable by definition?
• Religious conflict and cooperation in contemporary Indonesia: bases of equality and inequality.
• Cultural hegemony and the experiences of majorities or minorities
• Social movements and collective actions :addressing inequalities?
• Indigeneity and the shaping of political identities
• Persistent poverty in Indonesia
• Inequality related by the downturn of public services