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Talking Indonesia: kretek capitalism

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What kinds of labour - paid, under-paid and unpaid - keep the the kretek industry fabulously profitable in Indonesia? In this episode of Talking Indonesia Elisabeth Kramer chats with Dr Marina Welker about her new book and deep dive on how multinational tobacco corporations impact the lives of ordinary Indonesians.

Are Indonesia’s former and future capital cities in political-economic symbiosis?

In August 2019, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo first announced his intention to relocate the Indonesian capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan. Jokowi has been busy spruiking the new capital, Nusantara, abroad. However, a lack of interest from foreign investors has forced the government to turn to domestic capital and, in particular, prominent developers invested in the speculative urban expansion of Jakarta, the current capital.

Is the Duterte-Marcos rift a glimpse into the future of the Jokowi-Prabowo alliance?

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Several pundits have drawn comparisons between the Prabowo-Widodo and Marcos-Duterte alliances. So does the recent Duterte-Marcos dispute offer lessons on the long-term viability of these power sharing arrangements? And does it expose possible fault lines to watch out for in the Indonesia context?

What’s driving Aceh’s backlash against Rohingya refugees?

Aceh has recently attracted media attention due to the local community's resistance to the arrival of Rohingya refugees in the area. This sudden change has left humanitarian observers confused, given Aceh welcomed Rohingya refugees with such open arms in 2015 – and won international praise for doing. So why did the Acehnese community go from welcoming hosts to hostile opponents of refugees?
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How green is China’s Belt and Road investment in Indonesia?

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Chinese President Xi Xinping on the sidelines of the 5th Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Summit in Hong Kong on 17 October. They announced a unveiled a host of new investment deals focused on green development. But how green is Chinese investment, really?

Indonesia’s white elephant in the jungle will be reared on foreign capital – or will it?

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Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is scheduled to visit Australia next month, his fifth and likely last trip south as Indonesian President. He wants foreign investors to back a project that he hopes will define his legacy - shifting Indonesia’s overcrowded, over-polluted and over-stressed capital from Java 1,300 km north to Kalimantan.

Indonesia needs to incentivise public servants justly and equitably to deliver reforms

The Indonesian government recently intensified its push to make the public service more entrepreneurial but these calls prompted strong reactions from Indonesia’s civil servants. Many see these appeals as overlooking the most important reform – the urgent need to offer civil servants a decent living wage.

Talking Indonesia: natural disasters and ancient beliefs

Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters and it is not surprising that societies throughout the ages have attached political and social significance to these displays of natural power. In this episode, Dr Elisabeth Kramer speaks…

Football World Cup: has a hard line on Israel undermined Indonesian soft power?

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A lot has been said about Fifa's decision to replace Indonesia as the host of the Under-20 World Cup. Here Ario Bimo Utomo takes a look at the impact of the decision on Indonesian soft power.

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