With rapid urbanisation and rising inequality in Indonesia, levels of urban poverty have also increased, and people living and working in informal circumstances face the ongoing threat of eviction. Periodically, the urban poor’s activism to defend and advance their interests has taken centre stage in Indonesian politics, never more so than in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections, when the issue of evictions became entwined with Islamist opposition to the incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok, in the massive mobilisation against him.


What is the lived experience of urban poverty in Indonesia, and what forms of activism do the urban poor engage in? How have various Indonesian governments responded, and what prospects do the urban poor have to carve out a place for themselves in Indonesia’s cities?


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Dr Ian Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Terrorism and Count-terrorism Studies at Murdoch University and the author of The Politics of Protection Rackets in Post-New Order Indonesia: Coercive Capital, Authority and Street Politics.


The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Rivan Awal Lingga for Antara.


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