Developing a Movement? Aid-Based Mediated Diffusion as a Strategy to Promote Labour Activism in post-Tsunami Aceh

in Asian Journal of Social Science
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



In this article we examine the extent to which mediated diffusion through trade union development aid succeeded in helping to establish a labour movement in Aceh after the 2004 tsunami. The international labour movement organisations involved in the post-tsunami reconstruction effort in Aceh focused their efforts primarily on humanitarian aid, physical infrastructure and vocational education. However, they also supported trade union-building programs, which succeeded in strengthening individual trade unions and instilling a sense of shared identity amongst Acehnese labour activists but ultimately failed to ensure the sustainability of the movement. We argue that while the Aceh case highlights the importance of local context to the outcomes of such interventions, the constraints imposed on international labour donors and their local counterparts by their focus on reconstruction and the time pressures of the post-tsunami aid cycle raise questions about the efficacy of the aid model as a means of promoting the growth of a social movement.

Developing a Movement? Aid-Based Mediated Diffusion as a Strategy to Promote Labour Activism in post-Tsunami Aceh

in Asian Journal of Social Science



  • AllenChris “Who Needs Civil Society?” Review of African Political Economy 1997 24 73 329 337

  • AspinallEdward Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh Indonesia 2009 Stanford Stanford University Press

  • AustinRebeccaEderJames “Environmentalism, Development, and Participation on Palawan Island, Philippines” Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal 2007 20 4 363 371

  • BambergerMichael “The Politics of Evaluation in Developing Countries” Evaluation and Program Planning 1991 14 325 330

  • BatliwalaSrilatha “Assumptions, Myths and Realities” Alliance 2006 11 1 12 14

  • BelloniRobert JarstadAnnaSiskTimothy “Civil Society in War-to-Democracy Transitions” From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding 2008 Cambridge Cambridge University Press 182 210

  • BrownMargaret “Has Hope Died? The Success of Social Movement and Advocacy Organizations in the Post-Civil Rights Era” 2005 Unpublished PhD Thesis University of Maryland

  • BrunnstromCecilia “Another Invasion: Lessons from International Support to East Timorese NGOs” Development in Practice 2003 13 4 310 321

  • ChabotSeanDuyvendakJan “Globalization and Transnational Diffusion between Social Movements: Reconceptualizing the Dissemination of the Gandhian Repertoire and the ‘Coming out’ Routine” Theory and Society 2002 31 6 697 740

  • CracknellBasil “Evaluating Development Aid: Strengths and Weaknesses” Evaluation 1996 2 1 23 33

  • CracknellBasil Evaluating Development Aid: Issues Problems and Solutions 2000 London Sage Publications

  • CrawfordPaulPerrymanJarredPetoczPeter “Synthetic Indices: A Method for Evaluating Aid Project Effectiveness” Evaluation 2004 10 2 175 192

  • CrawfordPaulBrycePaul “Project Monitoring and Evaluation: A Method for Enhancing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Aid Project Implementation” International Journal of Project Management 2003 21 5 363 373

  • EdwardsBobMcCarthyJohn SnowDavidSouleSarahKriesiHanspeter “Resources and Social Movement Mobilization” The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements 2004 Oxford Blackwell 116 152

  • EdwardsMichaelHulmeDavid “Too Close for Comfort? The Impact of Official Aid on Nongovernmental Organizations” World Development 1996 24 6 961 973

  • FaganAdam “Transnational Aid for Civil Society Development in Post-Socialist Europe: Democratic Consolidation or a New Imperialism?” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 2006 22 1 115 134

  • FordMichele DowdleM “Emerging Labour Movements and the Accountability Dilemma: The Case of Indonesia” Public Accountability: Design and Experience 2006 Melbourne Cambridge University Press 153 173

  • FordMichele Workers and Intellectuals: NGOs Trade Unions and the Indonesian Labour Movement 2009 Singapore NUS Press/Hawaii University Press/KITLV

  • FordMicheleDibleyThushara “Experiments in Cross-Scalar Labour Organizing: Reflections on Trade Union-Building Work in Aceh after the 2004 Tsunami” Antipode 2011 doi: 10.1111/j.1467–8330.2010.00836.x.

  • GiugniMarco “Was It Worth the Effort? The Outcomes and Consequences of Social Movements” Annual Review of Sociology 1998 24 371 393

  • HadizVedi Workers and the State in New Order Indonesia 1997 London and New York Routledge

  • HemmentJulie “The Riddle of the Third Sector: Civil Society, International Aid, and NGOs in Russia” Anthropological Quarterly 2004 77 2 215 241

  • HendersonSarah “Selling Civil Society: Western Aid and the Nongovernmental Organization Sector in Russia” Comparative Political Studies 2002 35 2 139 167

  • HrycakAlexandra “From Global to Local Feminisms: Transnationalism, Foreign Aid and the Women’s Movement in Ukraine” Sustainable Feminisms: Advances in Gender Research 2007 11 75 93

  • HughesCaroline “Transnational Networks, International Organizations and Political Participation in Cambodia: Human Rights, Labour Rights and Common Rights” Democratization 2007 14 5 834 852

  • HughesCaroline Dependent Communities: Aid and Politics in Cambodia and East Timor 2009 Ithaca, New York Cornell Southeast Asia Program

  • KeckMargaretSikkinkKathryn Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics 1998 Ithaca and London Cornell University Press

  • KriesiHanspeterPortaDonatella Della RuchtDieterKriesiHanspeterPortaDonatella Della “Social Movements in a Globalizing World: An Introduction” Social Movements in a Globalizing World 1999 New York St. Martin’s Press 3 22

  • McAdamDoug TraugottMark “‘Initiator’ and ‘Spin-Off ’ Movements: Diffusion Processes in Protest Cycles” Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action 1995 Durham Duke University Press 217 239

  • McAdamDougRuchtDieter “The Cross-National Diffusion of Movement Ideas” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 1993 528 1 56 74

  • McDonaldDiane “Developing Guidelines to Enhance the Evaluation of Overseas Development Projects” Evaluation and Program Planning 1999 22 2 163 174

  • MelucciAlberto “The New Social Movements: A Theoretical Approach” Social Science Information 1980 19 2 199 226

  • PatrickIan “East Timor Emerging from Conflict: The Role of Local Ngos and International Assistance” Disasters 2001 25 1 48 66

  • RoggebandConny “Translators and Transformers: International Inspiration and Exchange in Social Movements” Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social Cultural and Political Protest 2007 6 3 245 259

  • SampsonSteven “From Forms to Norms: Global Projects and Local Practices in the Balkan NGO Scene” Journal of Human Rights 2003 2 3 329 337

  • StrangDavidMeyerJohn “Institutional Conditions for Diffusion” Theory and Society 1993 22 4 487 511

  • StrangDavidSouleSarah “Diffusion in Organizations and Social Movements: From Hybrid Corn to Poison Pills” Annual Review of Sociology 1998 24 1 265 290

  • TarrowSidney Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics 1998 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

  • TarrowSidney The New Transnational Activism 2005 New York Cambridge University Press

  • TillyCharles From Mobilization to Revolution 1978 Reading, Mass Addison-Wesley

  • WarouwNicolaas FordM.ParkerL. “Industrial Workers in Transition: Women’s Experiences of Factory Work in Tangerang” Women and Work in Indonesia 2008 London and New York Routledge

  • WongDay “Rethinking the Coming Home Alternative: Hybridization and Coming out Politics in Hong Kong’s Anti-Homophobia Parades” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 2007 8 4 600 616

  • ZaldMayerMcCarthyJohn Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays 1987 New Brunswick, New Jersey Transaction Publishers

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 26 26 0
Full Text Views 83 83 0
PDF Downloads 6 6 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0