What does civil society look like in Indonesia and Cambodia, and who are civil society elites?
In this podcast episode of the Nordic Asia Podcast, editors of “Civil Society Elites. Field Studies from Cambodia and Indonesia” Astrid Norén-Nilsson, Amalinda Savirani and Anders Uhlin dive into the themes of their book.
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.
You can listen to the episode on the Nordic Asia Podcast, on Spotify or on your preferred platform.