Paper

Environmental Social Movements in Indonesia: Quo Vadis?

Rita Padawangi, Singapore University of Social Sciences; Merlyna Lim, Carleton University

Panel

In Search of Social-Ecological Transformation in Indonesia's Urbanizing Landscapes

Abstract

Amidst intensifying attention to invite global investments for development projects, environmental activism remains a strategic angle to continue the political functioning of civic spaces in Indonesia. Environmental activism in the literatures have its normative and non-negotiable positioning on sustainable urban practices, but environmental issues are also potentially strategic to initiate civic discussions in places where social activism on other issues is limited (Marolt 2014; Sullivan and Xie 2009). Environmental activism has grown to be nuanced, as there are groups that work closely with government organizations while others are oppositional. As environmental campaigns have intertwined with technocratic approaches of environmental improvements, and green-sustainable development efforts align with popular yet development-oriented themes such as recycling and clean-green practices, to what extent are environmental social movements able to be political? What are the tools, spaces, and strategies for political environmental social movements? What are the possibilities and challenges in questioning imbalance of power in environmental sustainability, to address social inequalities and environmental injustices? How has the recent COVID-19 pandemic affected these social movement tools, spaces, strategies, possibilities, and challenges?

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