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In: Asian Journal of Social Science

Abstract

Historically, Indonesia had a colonial experience of pluralist polities where cultures were divided but met in the marketplace. What we find less often in Indonesian history are truly pluralistic polities, that is polities either explicitly valuing diversity or emphasising trans-ethnic commonalities. In current Indonesia, behind cultural diversity issues as such, the more fundamental political issue looms large of how to organise multifaceted cultural diversity socially. I will argue that the answer lies not in playing diversity against unity, nor in emphasising secularism. Rather, my argument is based on cosmopolitan theories and the transdifference approach to cultural plurality and, thus, takes a stand against a mere focus on national and ethnic issues. In order to contribute to discussions about an explicitly diversity-honouring version of Indonesianess in everyday interactions, we can learn from revisiting historical experiences. Indonesia has a deep tradition of fruitful cultural exchanges and un-dogmatic religious syncretism. This is especially developed in Indonesia’s multicultural harbour cities. Based on my experience in Makassar (South Sulawesi) over a period of 30 years, this article provides a glance on a politically marginal but culturally cosmopolitan city, which has also been a centre of Islam since the 17th Century. Its specific form of localised cosmopolitanism might open some avenues for conceiving a pluralistic unity in Indonesia.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
Editor: William Hurst
This collection includes seven essays translated from the leading Chinese-language journal Open Times. Bringing together a wide range of leading experts across several disciplines, this book offers critical insights on some of the most important questions of contemporary urban Chinese politics and society. Drawing on extensive research across different localities and issues in China, the chapters offer rich data and fresh analyses of the shifting contours of urban governance, social mobilization and contention, and mechanisms of social control in the new Millennium. Taken together, this collection represents the most comprehensive look in some years at how urban Chinese political institutions have adapted and responded to challenges and how social actors and groups have mobilized to press for redress of substantial new grievances.
Trust in Contemporary Society, by well-known trust researchers, deals with conceptual, theoretical and social interaction analyses, historical data on societies, national surveys or cross-national comparative studies, and methodological issues related to trust. The authors are from a variety of disciplines: psychology, sociology, political science, organizational studies, history, and philosophy, and from Britain, the United States, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and Japan. They bring their vast knowledge from different historical and cultural backgrounds to illuminate contemporary issues of trust and distrust. The socio-cultural perspective of trust is important and increasingly acknowledged as central to trust research. Accordingly, future directions for comparative trust research are also discussed.

Contributors include: Jack Barbalet, John Brehm, Geoffrey Hosking, Robert Marsh, Barbara A. Misztal, Guido Möllering, Bart Nooteboom, Ken J. Rotenberg, Jiří Šafr, Masamichi Sasaki, Meg Savel, Markéta Sedláčková, Jörg Sydow, Piotr Sztompka.

Abstract

How do disparate grievances join to form an agenda for collective action? This article analyses the articulation of movement demands and solidarity building during the formative phase of a popular mobilisation against a multinational mining company in Bangladesh. Drawing on a conceptual framework derived from Laclauian discourse theory, I explain how local community resistance inspired various social groups to support an anti-corporate social movement, ultimately defeating the mining company. I explain how the construction of an empty signifier had the capacity to connect disparate groups to oppose a common enemy. This analysis is based on a set of interviews with activists and a close reading of organisational documents. The examination of how movement demands are articulated emphasises the role of movement intellectuals and enriches the theorising of social movements in the Global South.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
In: Asian Journal of Social Science

Abstract

Indonesia’s National Social Security System (SJSN) aspires to universal coverage of insurance for health, retirement, and occupational benefits, such as employment injury. This article surveys the successive layers of policy development since the 1960s, in pensions and health benefits for some, and in social assistance programmes for the poor in the Reformasi era. Clarifying the nature of prior developments helps to understand the challenges facing the SJSN. These initiatives are assessed in terms of the literature on welfare regimes, applied as an interpretative tool, rather than in the expectation Indonesia fits the often-rigid categories of welfare typologies.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science