ASEAS 10(1) – Gender, Ethnicity, and Environmental Transformations

ASEAS 10(1) on Gender, Ethnicity, and Environmental Transformations was published in June 2017. Find all article downloads below!


  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Environmental Transformations in Indonesia and Beyond Kristina Großmann, Martina Padmanabhan, Suraya Afiff
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-1
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Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia

  • Contested Development in Indonesia: Rethinking Ethnicity and Gender in MiningKristina Großmann, Martina Padmanabhan, Katharina von Braun
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-2
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    This article reviews the literature on the relationship between gender and ethnicity in Indonesia’s mining sector and outlines shortcomings and prospects for further research. Recent studies on mining and gender focus predominantly on women and how they are negatively affected by mining. Ethnicity, although a growing asset in struggles on environmental transformations, is hardly included in research on mining. The intertwinement of ethnicity and gender in elaborations on mining is often depicted in literature of development programs and environmental organizations in which indigenous women are homogenized as marginalized victims. We argue, however, for a multidimensional approach on mining that takes into account the institutionalization of gender and ethnicity in mining governance as well as the role of gender and ethnic identities. Feminist political ecology and institutional analysis are pointing the way for such an approach. Furthermore, other relevant categories such as class, age, or status should be considered in the analysis of the complex and multidimensional environmental transformations of the mining sector in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Ethnicity; Feminist Political Ecology; Indonesia; Institutions; Mining
  • Men, Women, and Environmental Change in Indonesia: The Gendered Face of Development Among the Dayak Benuaq – Michaela Haug
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-3
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    The increasing penetration of global capitalism, ambitious development efforts, and related environmental change have significantly transformed Kalimantan and its indigenous population, commonly referred to as Dayak, during the last decades. This article analyzes these processes from a gendered perspective and explores how gender relations among the Dayak, who generally are characterized by well-balanced gender relations, have been influenced by what is commonly referred to as ‘development’. A review of the existing literature shows that new asymmetries between men and women are emerging mainly due to different ways of inclusion in new economic systems. Based on research among the Dayak Benuaq, the article shows that far-reaching gender equality has been so far upheld within Benuaq society while gender gets interwoven with an increasing variety of inequalities. I argue that in order to capture this complexity, research on the gendered impacts of development should a) aim for a better understanding of the intertwinement of gender with other aspects, such as ethnicity, class, age, or education, b) pay more attention to how these aspects play out in different contexts, and c) differentiate more clearly between gender ideals, norms, and actual practice.
    Keywords: Development; Environmental Change; Gender; Indigenous Peoples; Kalimantan
  • Separating Sisters From Brothers: Ethnic Relations and Identity Politics in the Context of Indigenous Land Titling in IndonesiaStefanie Steinebach, Yvonne Kunz
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-4
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    Environmental and social transformations in Jambi province, Indonesia, are inextricably interlinked. Large-scale agro-industrial development and nature conservation policies equally alienate local communities from their agricultural lands and turn land into a scarce resource. Consequently, access to agricultural land becomes increasingly contested, not only between communities and state institutions or companies but also among communities themselves. To secure or restore local ‘indigenous’ land rights against land grabbing and green grabbing by states and companies, indigenous land titling has become a powerful tool all over the world. Ongoing activities of indigenous land titling in Indonesia have been largely perceived as an act of justice by indigenous and land rights activists and affected communities. Yet, a challenging step towards titling is the identification of who is and who is not ‘indigenous’. This highly political process creates ethnicity-based identities tied to rights and possibilities around land as a contested resource. Based on a case study of a national park in central Jambi, this paper shows that what is perceived as an act of justice against the state can also produce injustice among local communities by heavily impacting and transforming local social structures and relations.
    Keywords: Ethnic Identity; Indigenous Land Titling; Indonesia; Jambi; Land Use Conflicts
  • Transdisciplinary Responses to Climate Change: Institutionalizing Agrometeorological Learning Through Science Field Shops in Indonesia –
    Yunita Triwardani Winarto, Cornelis Johan (Kees) Stigter, Muki Trenggono Wicaksono
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-5
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    Science Field Shops (SFSs) are an example of a transdisciplinary educational commitment where farmers, scientists, and extension staff exchange knowledge on agrometeorology in dialogue form to better respond to climate change. How can scientists, farmers, and extension staff build up this transdisciplinary collaboration? How has the agrometeorological learning environment been institutionalized in several places in Indonesia? An interdisciplinary collaboration between agrometeorology and anthropology serves as basis for developing seven climate services that are provided in the SFSs. Through Knowledge Transfer and Communication Technologies, farmers have become active learners, researchers, and decision makers of their own responses to the consequences of climate change. Although such an approach proves efficient in improving the farmers’ knowledge and anticipation capability, the transdisciplinary collaboration with state authority needs to be overhauled to improve the process.
    Keywords: Argometeorology; Climate Change; Indonesia; Science Field Shops; Transdisciplinary Educational Commitment
  • “Only if You Really, Really Need It”: Social Rights Consciousness in the Philippines Niklas Reese
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-6
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    This article argues that communitarianism, as the prevalent citizenship paradigm in the Philippines, observable also in modest expectations towards government services among Filipinos and a high emphasis on individual and community action, can be used to explain the lack of political change in the Philippines. In its first part, the article presents data on the sense of citizenship and concepts of social rights and obligations among Filipinos by combining findings from a series of problem-centered interviews with young urban professionals and quantitative data collected within annual surveys by the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) on government, social inequality, and citizenship. The second part of the article attributes these findings to everyday concepts of citizenship as ideal-typical state responsibility theories and modern citizenship paradigms. By including ethnographic data, it discovers significant traits of communitarianism in Philippine everyday life. This section goes on to present how communitarianism (with its inherent character of exclusivity) impedes a democratic culture and moreover, how it is unable to serve as a guiding social philosophy in unifying a large-scale society mainly consisting of citizens who are strangers (ibang tao) to each other. Nevertheless, in conclusion, the article suggests the possibility of deepening and broadening the sense of citizenship in the Philippine society and its respect for the stranger by drawing on elements of Filipino culture.
    Keywords: Citizenship; Communitarianism; Philippines; Political Culture; Social Rights

Forschungswerkstatt / Research Workshop

  • Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines: Achievements and Challenges of the Purok SystemAngelina Matthies
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-7
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    The purok system in the Philippines is promoted as a voluntary self-organization at the sub-village level which strengthens community resilience to natural hazards. In 2011, the system received the UN Sasakawa Award and gained prominence among the practitioner community. Based on a qualitative study in the municipality of San Francisco (Cebu province) from December 2014 to March 2015, the article elaborates on the achievements and challenges of the purok system. Striking merits encompass efficient and effective information dissemination and evacuation measurements between all levels of political administration that stem from the system’s remarkable enforcement of human and social capital. This is underpinned by a clear determination of roles and responsibility that is subsumed under the concept of accountability. However, the purok system faces internal challenges of maintenance and implies profound conceptual ambiguities regarding the notion of voluntarism and capabilities that favor clientelism. Nevertheless, the purok system clearly distinguishes itself from conventional community-based disaster risk management practices and implies potentials that are highly beneficial for strengthening resilience in disaster prone areas.
    Keywords: Community-Based Disaster Risk Management; Purok System; Resilience; Social Capital; Voluntarism

Im Dialog / In Dialogue

  • “I Don’t Want to Limit Myself to Binary Thinking”: An Interview With the Indonesian Artist ArahmaianiGunnar Stange
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-8
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    Arahmaiani is one of the best known contemporary Indonesian women artists. Her works, performances, and installations have been exhibited at 7 biennials and in a total of 29 countries. She has taught at universities in Australia, China, Indonesia, Germany, the United States, and the Netherlands. Arahmaiani is a politically committed artist. In her works, she addresses the reduction of human beings to consumers, which is on the rise all over the globe, as well as the discrimination against people on the grounds of gender, religion, and ethnicity. While the phenomena addressed in her art are always of a global nature, the majority of her works deal with cultural, social, and political realities of Indonesia. She views these as being threatened by an increasing politicization and essentialization of Islam, whose protagonists supplant the country’s diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious heritage with a purely Islamic interpretation of the Indonesian past. In this interview, conducted by Gunnar Stange in December 2016, Arahmaiani elaborates on the main themes she addresses in her art works as well as on current political, social, and environmental challenges in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Engaged Art; Environmentalism; Indonesia; Political Activism; Religious Extremism

Rezensionen / Book Reviews

  • Rezension: Keller, A. (Hg.). (2015). Indonesien 1965ff. Die Gegenwart eines Massenmordes. Ein politisches Lesebuch. – Franziska Blum
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-9
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  • Book Review: Chandler, D., Cribb, R., & Narangoa, L. (Eds.). (2016). End of Empire. 100 Days in 1945 That Changed Asia and the World. – Iris O’Rourke
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-10
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  • Book Review: Aspinall, E. & Sukmajati, M. (Eds.). (2016). Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia. Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots. – Gunnar Stange
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2017.1-11
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