Indonesia's Inequalities conference
1-2 November 2018
This conference examines the nature, causes, and consequences of Indonesia’s inequalities; the ways they are being contested; and options for addressing them to promote greater prosperity, inclusion and welfare.
Income and wealth inequality in Indonesia have worsened in recent years. The country is also characterised by marked inequalities in access to health services, education, social security, and political representation, among other things. These inequalities in turn reflect inequalities of power that have class, gender, ethnic and regional dimensions.
Banner image: Tempo website
Professor Andrew Rosser
Andrew Rosser is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at The University of Melbourne. After completing undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University respectively, he enrolled in a PhD in Asian Studies/Politics and International Studies at Murdoch University. Based in the Asia Research Centre, his research there focused on analysing the politics of economic liberalisation in Indonesia during the New Order and early post-New Order periods and the causes and consequences of the 1997-1998 Asian economic crisis. He subsequently worked at the University of Sydney, AusAID, the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex), and the University of Adelaide, building along the way an interest in the political economy of development, policy-oriented research, and social policy.
Between 2012 and 2015, Andrew was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, carrying out research on the relationship between law, politics and social rights in Indonesia. In addition to conventional academic work, he has also carried out pieces of commissioned research for and/or acted as a consultant to numerous international development organisations including the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development, AusAID/DFAT, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Oxfam, UNRISD, and UNDP.
Professor John Murphy
Professor John Murphy teaches and researches Australian politics and history, and comparative social policy history, with a developing focus on Indonesian social protection. He has expertise in social policy, examined historically and comparatively. He has published research on Australian social, political and policy history, public narratives about welfare, masculinity and nation, and memory, historiography and biography.
John previously taught at RMIT University where he was Director of the Centre for Applied Social Research. In the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne, he was previously the Associate Dean (Research and Research Training), Assistant Dean for the PhD Program, and Acting Dean, and is currently Deputy Dean.
Dr Ken Setiawan
Dr Ken Setiawan is a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Asia Institute. Her research interests include globalisation and human rights, transitional and historical justice, as well as reconciliation and reparation. She has published widely on the politics of human rights in contemporary Indonesia and is the author of Promoting Human Rights: National Human Rights Institutions in Indonesia and Malaysia (Leiden University Press, 2013).
Programme, biographies and abstracts
Download the conference programme
Download speaker biographies and abstracts
Dr Asep Suryahadi
Dr Asep Suryahadi is the Director of The SMERU Research Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia, since 2009. From 2003 to 2009 he was the Deputy Director of Research at SMERU (Social Monitoring and Early Response Unit). Previously he worked for the Center for Policy and Implementation Studies (CPIS) and the World Bank (both Jakarta). He serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES) and the Advisory Board of the Indonesia Project (both ANU). He has written several articles on the issue of inequality in Indonesia, which can be found on the SMERU website.
In addition, Asep is the author of numerous articles on various development issues in Indonesia published in peer-reviewed journals including Education Economics, Health Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, World Development, Journal of Development Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change. He holds a doctorate degree in economics from the Australian National University.
The Causes and Consequences of Increasing Inequality in Indonesia: A Long-Term View
Measured by consumption per capita, inequality in Indonesia was stable at a relatively low level during the 1980s. It started to increase quickly during the early to mid-1990s, but reversed at the end of the decade due to the Asian Financial Crisis which hit Indonesia quite hard. The recovery from the crisis was immediately followed by a resumption of an upward trend in inequality for two decades. Afterward, inequality was again stable but at a relatively high level. This means that the search for the drivers of increasing inequality should focus on what was going on around the early 1990s. It is most likely that economic deregulation, which took place during the 1980s, caused a tightening of the labor market, which in turn resulted in an increase in wages in the modern sector vis a vis the traditional sector. Experience shows that increasing inequality has serious repercussions on economic growth, poverty reduction, potential for social conflict, crime rates, and so on.
Professor Michele Ford
Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Michele’s research focuses on Southeast Asian labour movements, labour migration and trade union aid. Michele is the author of From Migrant to Worker: The Global Unions and Labor Migration in Asia (Cornell ILR Press, in press) and Workers and Intellectuals: NGOs, Trade Unions and the Indonesian Labour Movement (NUS/Hawaii/KITLV 2009). She is the editor of Social Activism in Southeast Asia (Routledge 2013) and the co-editor of several volumes including Beyond Oligarchy: Wealth, Power, and Contemporary Indonesian Politics (Cornell SEAP 2014).
In addition to her research work, Michele has engaged in extensive consultancy work for the international labour movement and the Australian government. She is currently a member of the Advisory Boards of the Indonesia Project (ANU), the Asia Research Institute (NUS) and the Global Asia Research Center (NTU).
The Politics of Inequality: Opportunities for Engagement at the Local Level
Most scholarly work on Indonesian politics rightly emphasises the ongoing influence of the very wealthy and the politically well-connected in the electoral arena nationally and at the local level. At the same time, however, an increased focus on the ‘local’ as a domain of political contestation, and in particular the introduction of direct district head elections, has created opportunities for grassroots engagement by less privileged groups. Using the example of organised labour, this paper explores the ways that this feature of Indonesia’s electoral system has not only encouraged subaltern participation in formal politics, but also borne fruit in policy terms. The paper argues that trade unions’ engagement in local politics demonstrates that - despite the very real challenges presented by elite influence and money politics - there are nevertheless far greater opportunities for electoral engagement by progressive social movement organisations now than in the past.
Registration is now closed.
The Indonesia's Inequalities Conference will be held 1-2 November 2018 at the University of Melbourne.
The rates for the conference are as follows:
Student/Concession Ticket: $50
Academic Ticket: $90
Non-Academic and Industry Ticket: $130
Various hotels are available within a short distance of The University of Melbourne.
|Accommodation|| Single room rate |
| Walking distance to|
The University of Melbourne
|Arrow on Swanston||From $95||19 mins|
|Ibis Melbourne Swanston St|
(search for this hotel name)
|From $125||16 mins|
|Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments|
(search for this hotel name)
|From $140||16 mins|
|Lygon Lodge||From $150||17 mins|
|Best Western Plus Travel Inn Hotel||From $155||17 mins|
|Quest Carlton on Finlay||From $135||19 mins|
|Rydges on Swanston||
From $220 |
For more information about the conference please contact:
There are many public transport options for access to The University of Melbourne campus. Details can be found on the How to get here web page.
Ticketed parking is available at three locations within the Parkville campus, details can be found on the Parking on campus web page. A number of other public car parks are also available within walking distance from the Parkville campus.