Civil Society Elites: Field Studies from Cambodia and Indonesia

$37.00 SGD

edited by Astrid Norén-Nilsson, Amalinda Savirani and Anders Uhlin

This innovative volume is the first systematic study of civil society elites in Southeast Asia (and indeed anywhere in the world). Spanning two previously separate areas of research – civil society and elites – it sheds new light on power inequalities within and beyond civil society, identifies different types of elite formation and elite interaction within and beyond civil society, and traces interactions and integration with elite groups from party politics, the state, and the business sector. This tightly edited volume, produced by a research team ranging from senior scholars to promising younger academics, analyses how such processes are influenced by reliance on foreign funding and explores how they play out in two settings – where the political space for civil society is generally shrinking (Cambodia) and where it is relatively expanding (Indonesia). However, the volume offers more than a rethinking of civil society in Cambodia and Indonesia; it looks beyond. It thus challenges a view of civil society entities as relatively isolated from the state and from political and economic society, revealing power relations that link them. Suggesting a new direction for civil society research, the book will be of great interest to the many researchers working on civil society, elites and contemporary Southeast Asian politics as well as those engaged in other areas of society in Cambodia and Indonesia. Policymakers, donors and not least civil society activists themselves will find the volume highly relevant to their work.

"This is an original and engaging book. The editors have compiled a strong selection of thoughtful and detail-rich chapters. The book will be of interest to scholars of civil society and social movements in Southeast Asia, and those interested in the role of civil society in democratisation. Hopefully it prompts greater attention, among both academics and practitioners, to processes of elitisation in civil society and their consequences for democratic change, both positive and negative." - Tim Mann, Inside Indonesia

Astrid Norén-Nilsson is a senior lecturer at the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden. Her scholarship focuses on the politics of Cambodia in the post-conflict reconstruction era (1993–).

Amalinda Savirani is an associate professor at the Department of Politics and Government, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. She has published many books and academic articles on civil society movements in Indonesia.

Anders Uhlin is Professor of Political Science at Lund University. He has published widely on civil society activism, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Publication year: 2023
300 pp / 229mm x 152mm
7 b/w pictures, 7 colour picture, 1 table
ISBN: 978-87-7694-329-5, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-328-8, Hardback

NIAS Press