Civil Resistance in Southeast Asia: Patterns and Effectiveness
Wed 11:00-12:30 Room 3.03
- Diah Kusumaningrum Universitas Gadjah Mada
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Damai Pangkal Damai: Insights from A Database of Nonviolent Actions in Post-Soeharto Indonesia
Diah Kusumaningrum Universitas Gadjah Mada
If we claim to work for peace, why is it that we spend more time observing and trying to understand its opposite – that is, violence? More specifically, why is it that databases on violence, war, genocide, armament, and such, seem to be more advanced than those of on peace? Aren’t there so much to learn about peace itself, its components, its forms, and such?
The Limits of Tactical Diffusion in Social Movements: A Study of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and Kamisan in Indonesia
Ayu Diasti Rahmawati University of Florida
Social movements draw inspirations from one another, and scholars of social movement have used the concept of “diffusion” to explain the spread of behaviors, ideas, or organizational features of one social movement to another. Comparing the case of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (henceforth, “the Mothers”) in Argentina and Kamisan in Indonesia, this paper investigates the condition limiting the success of cross-national tactical diffusion among human rights movements in countries transitioning to democracy. To be precise, this paper asks why the Mothers in Argentina and Kamisan in Indonesia have led to different outcomes despite the attempts of the later to intentionally model its movement after that of the former? The research argues that tactical diffusion should be accompanied with a reinvention of a resonant framing that would allow a movement to capture massive public support, thus placing the opponent in a dilemmatic situation. In Argentina, the tactics of silently protesting in front of Casa Rosada worked because it was supported by the consistent and persistent use of motherhood and other familial frames. By portraying the movement as the action of sorrowful mothers, the Mothers placed the Argentine junta and public in a condition where they should either support the Mothers or bear the risk of losing their credibility and morality. In Indonesia, the adoption of similar repertoire of action is accompanied by the use of injustice frames, which tend to be too broad, too impersonal, and lacking both prognostic and motivational elements. This has prevented Kamisan from overcoming the challenge of routinization amidst indifference, let alone from placing the Indonesian government and the public in a morally dilemmatic situation.
Towards a Green Future? The climate movement in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities
Daniel Petz University of Graz
Southeast Asia is one of the global regions that is most at risk from climate change and the countries in the region face a myriad of environmental issues. While activists in the region have engaged in struggles to protect the environment against encroachment, exploitation, and destruction for decades, including the struggles by indigenous communities, the climate movement is a more recent creation. Spurred on by organizations from the global North such as Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion numbers of groups have formed in Southeast Asian countries, engaging in climate advocacy and nonviolent actions to support the global fight for climate justice. This paper takes a look at the climate movement in Southeast Asia, trying to unpack its aims, its diversity, and its methods. One of the core questions is if there is a unique Southeast Asian movement that tailors its messages and tactics on local issues (particularly when it comes to climate mitigation and adaptation) or if the movement is largely copying tactics and methods from the Global North? Based on looking at the Indonesian movement it will also look at how the climate movement interacts with wider environmental struggles. The paper further will aim to identify the main obstacles for success of the climate movement in the region, particularly looking at increasing authoritarian drift in several countries, leading to shrinking political space and harsher repression of environmental activists. Linking challenges and opportunities the paper in conclusion aims to provide several suggestions on how the climate movement could improve its effectiveness.
2020 and 2021 may be remembered as the years of the pandemic. Nevertheless, they also need to be regarded as the years where civil society groups in Southeast Asia decided to step up their game and engage in various civil resistance movements #ReformasiDikorupsi in Indonesia, youth uprising in Thailand, opposing the junta in Myanmar, to mention a few. Using well known methods of nonviolent actions as well as expanding their repertoires, citizens fight the deterioration of democracy, shrinking civic space, acute corruption, climate crisis, etc.
Are there any patterns to these movements? What can be done to increase their margins of success? More importantly, are we asking the right (research) questions when it comes to analysing civil resistance in the Global South ?