From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia

The panel presents the first results of the project ”From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia’ ( This four-year long research project (2012-2016) is a collaboration between KITLV, Universitas Gadja Madah, University of Amsterdam and Leiden University. It brings together senior researchers from universities in Indonesia, the Netherlands and other European countries, post-doc researchers as well as PhD students from Indonesia and the Netherlands. The project aims to understand the impact of Indonesia’s democratization process on everyday state-citizen interaction: to what extent is Indonesia’s democratic transition changing the way ordinary Indonesians relate to the state in terms of citizenship? How can we explain both the changes and the continuities? The panel will present first results of sub-studies which aim to capture the changing norms, practices and discursive strategies that citizens adopt vis-à-vis powerholders as they focus on key citizenship struggles in contemporary Indonesia – such as the anti-corruption mobilization and the campaigns to institute Islamic morality, to secure land rights, to receive adequate public services and to realize social security reform. The panel will also move beyond the focus on Indonesia and address conceptual issues such as the notion of citizenship and clientelism in a post-colonial setting as well as the concept of institutions and informality.