From Subjects to Citizens

Balinese Villagers in the Indonesian Nation-State

by Lyn Parker

  • Published:
  • Pages: 319 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series number: 9
Available from NIAS Press worldwide
This book analyses the processes by which conservative and introverted Balinese villagers have been incorporated into the Indonesian nation-state, exploring the changing social relations of villagers in their transformation from being subjects of their local "king" to anonymous citizens of the Republic of Indonesia.
Broadens the discussion on the expansion of the Indonesian state into the local community. Significant because it shows how we can understand Indonesia in its efforts to become a nation-state. Unusual in showing that the experience of many Indonesian citizens was not of a menacing and coercive state but of a modernizing and developmentalist nation-state.


This book analyses the processes by which conservative and introverted Balinese villagers have been incorporated into the Indonesian nation-state. It explores the changing social relations of villagers in their transformation from being subjects of their local "king" to anonymous citizens of the Republic of Indonesia.

Although the national unity of Indonesia is now hotly contested, the Suharto regime was long-lived and a development success-story. This book is significant because it shows how we can understand Indonesia in its efforts to become a nation-state. While not in any way attempting to apologize for or glorify the Suharto regime, this study is unusual in showing that the experience of many Indonesian citizens was not of a menacing and coercive state but of a modernizing and developmentalist nation-state.

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Lyn Parker is an anthropologist  whose primary research interests include the anthropology of Indonesia, women and gender relations, adolescence, education, citizenship and Islam.

Lyn Parker is an anthropologist  whose primary research interests include the anthropology of Indonesia, women and gender relations, adolescence, education, citizenship and Islam.  In particular, her key research covers social and cultural anthropology of Indonesia, gender relations and feminism in Indonesia and cross-culturally, and adolescence in Indonesia and cross-culturally.

Professor Parker also teachesIndonesian language, and has conducted fieldwork in Bali and West Sumatra. 

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by Laura Noszlopy, University of Central England
From journal:
Aseasuk News no.35

…it contains a wealth of invaluable information and citable case studies … and it is written in a clear and uncluttered style.

In short, this is a welcome and very usable contribution to the anthropology of modern Bali, not Bali as a ‘paradise island’, but Bali as a province of Indonesia.

…it contains a wealth of invaluable information and citable case studies … and it is written in a clear and uncluttered style.

In short, this is a welcome and very usable contribution to the anthropology of modern Bali, not Bali as a ‘paradise island’, but Bali as a province of Indonesia.

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