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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

The Solidarity Economy Experiments of Indonesia's Peasant and Fisher Movements

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October 31, 2022
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Join Dr Iqra Anugrah (Kyoto University) to reflect on Indonesia's rural political economy, and learn about the achievements and limits of solidarity economy projects carried out by farming and fishing communities.

Studies on Indonesian rural social movements and communities have mainly focused on rural dispossession, contentious politics, and everyday forms of (non)resistance. What this conversation overlooks is economic forms of rural resistance against capitalist expansion. This economic strategy manifests in different institutions, such as cooperatives, credit union, and community school system, among others. These initiatives can be categorised as examples of solidarity economy – a democratic economic philosophy-cum-practice that seeks to provide alternatives to both market capitalism and authoritarian statism.

Examining several solidarity economy projects by farming and fishing communities, this paper seeks to evaluate the limits and achievements of such experiments. Tentatively, it argues that these experiments offer possibilities for a democratic and sustainable arrangement of communal ownership and resource allocation. However, these practices remain limited to the local level. Through this inquiry, this study hopes to intervene dispossession- and oligarchy-centric explanations of Indonesia’s rural political economy.

About the IS4 Series: Sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Cornell Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), this virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Indonesia.


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