Blog Archives

Dictators use the Media Differently than Narcissists and Bullies

On Saturday, Sean Spicer held a press conference in which he lied about the size of President Trump’s inauguration audience and then refused to take questions. To many, this was just more evidence of the new administration’s authoritarian ambitions (see

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Malaysia, Politics

U.S.-Indonesian Relations at a Crossroads

The U.S. and Indonesia have enjoyed good bilateral relations since the late 1960s, when the rise of Soeharto saw the elimination of the world’s largest communist party in a non-communist country. Relations have been grown warmer since the fall of

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Islam, Politics

Race, Class, Money, Identity

I tweeted this last night. I'm a political economist. Guess what I've learned? Race and identity > money and class. — Tom Pepinsky (@TomPepinsky) November 4, 2016 What did I mean? I was responding narrowly to two current events. One

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Politics

Transactions Costs in Strange Places: Geertz on the “Bazaar Economy” of “Modjokuto”

Today I teach the Coase Theorem in my undergraduate Politics and Markets class. In a directed grad reading on Indonesian political economy, we are covering Clifford Geertz’s Peddlers and Princes. I did not anticipate that the two would have much

Posted in Economics, Indonesia, Politics, Teaching

Indonesian-Australian Meat Relations Redux

Five years ago, during a visit to Canberra, I wrote a bit about a surprisingly important foreign policy dispute regarding Australia’s export of live cattle to Indonesia (which I termed “Indonesian-Australian Meat Relations“). Back in Canberra this week for a

Posted in Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Indonesia, Politics

Law and Order and Drugs in Southeast Asia

The Jokowi administration’s handling of drug offenses in Indonesia has taken a worrying turn in recent days. I am referring to a recent report about Jokowi, the police, and drug traffickers. As we all know and as Jokowi has repeatedly

Posted in Asia, Current Affairs, Indonesia, Politics

Indonesia’s Total Defense System

A powerful op-ed in yesterday’s Jakarta Post by Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto from ANU indicts the 2015 Indonesian Defense White Paper for its “superficial” treatment of Indonesia’s maritime security challenges. But more importantly, it identifies a disturbing emphasis on bela negara

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Politics

Benedict Anderson and the Etymology of Bule

The great scholar Benedict Anderson‘s posthumous memoir, A Life Beyond Boundaries, is now available for purchase. It promises to be an exciting read by one of the most influential scholars of Asia of our time. I have not yet had

Posted in Indonesia, Language

The Culture of Political Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia

What do Jokowi‘s Mental Revolution and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi‘s Islam Hadhari have in common? They are both normative expressions of desire for a new kind of politics that is more ethical, just, humane, and progressive, even if they differ in

Posted in Indonesia, Islam, Malaysia, Politics, Research

It Gets Worse in Indonesia

Indonesia is in the midst of a dramatic upswing in anti-LGBT discourse. It has resulted in, for example, the national broadcasting regulator ruling that men on TV are not allowed to “talk like a woman,” Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu alleging

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Islam, Politics
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