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Author: Farabi Fakih


This article examines the development of policies regarding the state-owned enterprises (SOE s) and public service agencies (PSA s) in Indonesia. In 2004, the government of Indonesia introduced PSA s—government agencies that were given large autonomy to manage their financial affairs. The rationale behind this autonomy is consistent with the New Public Management ideal: the creation of more market-oriented government institutions with the objective of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery. The PSA policy has increased state revenues significantly, yet the quality of services and accountability has not improved accordingly. A comparison with SOE s reveals that the restructuring of government agencies and SOE s took place before a supportive framework was set in place. We argue that to tackle informality and to safeguard the social functions of public services, the spearheads of efficiency and revenues in Indonesian bureaucratic reform policies require a strong foundation, consisting of regulatory and ideological components.

Author: Susie Protschky


There is but a limited scholarship on photographic sources from the Dutch military actions during the Revolusi Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian National Revolution) (1945–1949), and what exists almost entirely neglects perhaps the largest component of the archives: Dutch soldiers’ amateur photographs. Yet this category of photographs has simultaneously attracted much public and media controversy. This article contends that a narrow range of soldiers’ amateur photographs have thus far borne an anomalously weighty burden of proof to substantiate the nature and limits of extreme violence during the National Revolution, one that is brittle and difficult to sustain unless historians begin to broaden the focus of investigations into photographic archives. This article also investigates what it may mean for present-day Indonesians to see their ancestors as perpetrators as well as victims of violence and, importantly, as occupants of the ambiguous categories between both ends of this spectrum. What are the ethics of looking at and reproducing these photographs, and to whom do they belong?

Author: David T. Hill


Several thousand Indonesians were in China on 1 October 1965, when six senior military officers were killed in Jakarta by the Thirtieth of September Movement (G30S) in a putsch blamed upon the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The event changed the lives of Indonesians—in China and in their homeland—irrevocably. This article examines the impact of bilateral state relations upon the fate of those Indonesian political exiles in China and assesses the role of the Beijing-based leadership of the PKI (known as the Delegation of the Central Committee) as it attempted to manage the party in exile. Oral and written accounts by individual exiles are drawn upon to illustrate the broader community experience and trauma of exile, which was particularly harsh during the Cultural Revolution. The fate of the Indonesian exiles during this tempestuous period of Chinese politics was exacerbated by the failure of the delegation and, ultimately, by the exiles’ eventual rejection by the Chinese state.