Labor, Politics, and Democracy in Indonesia: Unions, Parties and Elections in the Last Decade
Indonesia’s political parties have made little attempt to define themselves by a commitment to particular policies, and have faced little sustained pressure from outside to do so. An important exception to this generalization is the organized labor movement. Drawing on case studies from five union-dense locations, this paper examines unions’ engagement in the 2009, 2014 and 2019 electoral cycles, which we argue has been tremendously significant for Indonesia’s emerging democracy.
Professor Michele Ford is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Michele is the author of Workers and Intellectuals: NGOs, Trade Unions and the Indonesian Labour Movement (NUS/Hawaii/KITLV 2009) and From Migrant to Worker: Global Unions and Temporary Labor Migration in Asia (Cornell ILR Press 2019) and is the co-author (with Teri Caraway) of Labor and Politics in Indonesia (Cambridge, in press). Michele has edited or co-edited several volumes such as Social Activism in Southeast Asia (Routledge 2013), Activists in Transition: Progressive Politics in Democratic Indonesia (Cornell SEAP 2019) and Beyond Oligarchy: Wealth, Power, and Contemporary Indonesian Politics (Cornell SEAP 2014).