Given a variety of recent events, Indonesia has seemingly entered a liminal phase in its development trajectory, suggesting that its economic vulnerability will be tested in new ways. The present circumstances should be understood as a particular test for the ability of policy initiatives to temper the effects of perturbing exogenous factors and demand shocks to the overall economy.
17 November 2019 (closed)
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Charles Baker grew up in the U.S. and completed his undergraduate education at Yale University. Within his first year at university, he became fascinated by the interplay of religion and politics in Southeast Asia—particularly within Indonesia.
He began an intensive study in Bahasa Indonesia through classes offered at Yale, while turning his attention from neuroscience (his initial concentration) toward sociology and political science. From there, he developed a passion for writing and has researched and written on a variety of topics from the 'sociology of Islam' to health care policy development in Indonesia.
Charlie wrote his undergraduate thesis on the JKN initiative in Indonesia and maintains a keen academic interest in welfare state development. While at Yale, he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Medicine and Law.
Currently, Charlie is completing his MSc. in Political Sociology at The London School of Economics (LSE), where he has continued to focus on Indonesia as well as on broader topics related to economic sociology and international history. His graduate dissertation examines the relationship of Islam to historical class alignments and civil society organizations in Indonesia and how these alignments and organizations have structured political conflict since Suharto's 'New Order'.
Overall, he is interested both in the intersection of sociology and economics and in religious conflict. Charlie spends his free time surfing and farming, and he is also quite interested in advanced mathematics.
Writer Information Table:
The London School of Economics (LSE)
|Current position||Independent Researcher|
|Expertise||Religion & Politics | Labour development | Geopolitics|
Kolom ditulis Charles Baker
Constructing a comprehensive outlook of a country’s political and macroeconomic climate requires a firm grasp on the nature of general labor, employment, and the trajectory of the labor-market. Such an endeavor is especially important in considering Indonesia, which again finds itself at a juncture in labor-market development. Questions over a ‘demographic dividend’ are emanating amid new budgetary propositions, waning consumer confidence, and the post-election tempering of popularized radical politics.
The recent elections in Indonesia reinforced the durability of many historical trends in political and social conflict and development—specifically, the paramount importance of Islamic civil society organizations in the structuring of political conflict. Although often used to denote violent or rogue activity, ‘political conflict’ is a term used here to broadly characterize the oppositional dynamics within the formal political society sphere—the arena in which parties and politicians contend.
While the re-election of President Joko Widodo has done much to the quell anxieties over Islamist challenges to Indonesia’s pluralist and relatively-moderated socio-religious and political climate, the question of Islamist opposition potential remains salient for many.