An Introduction to the Politics of the Indonesian Union Movement

An Introduction to the Politics of the Indonesian Union Movement
Max Lane, author
Date of publication:  2019
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Number of pages:  160
Code:  BM575
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789814843300
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About the publication

“In this most significant contemporary study of Indonesian trade unions and the broader working class, Max Lane provides a concise and informed examination of the practical and ideological challenges of incipient labour organizations engaged in political and popular struggles in an underdeveloped nation. This detailed and highly informative book evokes similar historical and comparative struggles of exploited workers worldwide and is indispensable for students of labour movements in the Global South.” 
—Immanuel Ness, Professor of Political Science, City University of New York, author of Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class

“Given the potential importance of Indonesian trade unions and labour politics, and the shortage of general analyses of the complicated issues and conflicts, as well as the myriad of groups, this historical overview of the radical efforts in particular is most welcome and useful. Unavoidably, there is a focus on certain issues and explanatory factors. But one does not have to agree on all of them to benefit from Lane’s insightful accounts and analyses.”
—Olle Törnquist, Professor of Political Science
and Development Research, University of Oslo

“It is impossible to understand the dynamics of trade union politics in Indonesia without an appreciation of the historical legacies of the New Order and its authoritarian controls over labour as well as the labour radicalism that emerged as a reaction to it. In this important study, Max Lane provides a sharp and detailed analysis of the impact of both legacies upon contemporary trade unions, the ongoing tensions between them, and possible future trajectories.”
—Ian Wilson, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University


  • An Introduction to the Politics of the Indonesian Union Movement
    [Whole Publication, ISBN: 9789814843317], by Maxwell Lane, author
  • Preliminary pages
  • 1. The Legacy of State Authoritarian Unionism
  • 2. Transition Out of State Authoritarian Unionism
  • 3. The Rise and Decline of Union Militancy, 2010–13
  • 4. The Labour Movement and “Go Politics”
  • 5. Conclusions
  • Appendix 1: The Politics of Wages and Indonesia’s Trade Unions
  • Appendix 2: Trade Unions’ Initiative to Create Alternative Political Force in Indonesia
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author

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