Indonesia Social Science Seminar Series (IS4)

Statement regarding the futre of the IS4 series

The IS4 series has now come to a conclusion, though all previous talks will remain online (see below).

We thank all of the speakers, discussants, and participants for their thoughtful and enthusiastic engagement throughout the series. We very much enjoyed learning alongside this vibrant community and look forward to connecting at in-person events at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Cornell Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Carribbean Studies (KITLV) and beyond.

Best wishes,

Sam, Ward, Najib, Michele, David, Amelia, Jeremy, Tom and Jessica.

This virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Indonesia. 

In addition to providing an in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in Indonesia, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in Indonesia and around the world.

It is sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Cornell Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV).

2023 Schedule

Day Time (PT) Time (ET) Time (CET) Time (WIB) Time (AET) Title/Registration

Catch up on previous IS4 talks!


Does Performance Pay Enhance Social Accountability? Evidence from Remote Schools in Indonesia

Displacement and Dispossession in Carbon Sink Governance: The Politics of Peatland Partnerships in Indonesia

The Solidarity Economy Experiments of Indonesia's Peasant and Fisher Movements

"I have a right to a better imam”: Women, Divorce, and Islam in Indonesia

Covid-19 and Health Care in Indonesia: A Painful Lesson for a Better Future

Head to YouTube to watch even more IS4 webinars! 


IS4 Organising Committee

Samuel Bazzi is an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego. His research lies at the intersection of development economics and political economy, with a focus on how individuals and nations adapt to the challenges of diversity in a global world. He is particularly interested in understanding the barriers to labor mobility, how migration shapes culture, and how policy can mitigate the adverse effects of diversity. 

Ward Berenschot is a senior researcher at KITLV, studying contemporary politics in Indonesia and India. His work focuses on the role of money and informality in election campaigns, while a second field of research concerns the character of civil society and citizenship in democratizing countries. He has also been involved in efforts to promote legal aid in Indonesia, particularly in relation to land conflicts sparked by palm oil expansion.

Dr Najib Burhani is a researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Indonesia. He has a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara. He has published extensively on sectarian movements in Islam and religious minorities with Islamic origin such as Ahmadiyya, Druze, Isma'ili, Yazidi, and Baha'i Faith.

Professor Michele Ford is Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Her research focuses on Southeast Asian labour movements, the intersection between national and international trade unions, labour migration, and labour’s engagement in the political sphere. She has been involved in extensive consultancy work for the ILO, the international labour movement and the Australian government.

David Kloos is a senior researcher and a member of the KITLV Management Team (Portfolio Research). His work is characterized by a combination of historical and anthropological research methods. He is interested in religion, gender, violence, colonialism, knowledge formation, visual methods, and the social and political aspects of climate change.

Amelia Joan Liwe is Assistant Professor in International Relations at Universitas Pelita Harapan. She teaches Foreign Policy of Southeast Asia, Civil Society and Military Relations in Southeast Asia, Nationalism in Southeast Asia, and ASEAN & Great Powers courses. She holds a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jeremy Menchik is Associate Professor in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and faculty affiliate in Political Science and Religious Studies. His areas of expertise include comparative politics, religion and politics, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Tom Pepinsky is the Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government at Cornell University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Tom studies the interaction of political and economic systems, mostly in emerging market economies. 

Jessica Soedirgo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam in April 2021, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Studies, Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.