The Southeast Asia Seminar: Postgraduate Research Session


The Southeast Asia Seminar: Postgraduate Research Session

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 - 2:00pm
Deakin Room
Dr Matthew J Walton
Southeast Asia Seminar

Incorporating the Delphi Method within Poverty Measurement, a Case Study of West Java, Indonesia
Putu Natih (Trinity, Social Policy and Intervention)                
This empirical paper aims to illustrate the importance of a level of consensus within the selection of dimensions, indicators and weights when constructing a poverty measure and how the Delphi method can be utilised to achieve this reliable level of consensus. As Townsend (1979) states, even though poverty is ‘relative’, there needs to be at least some level of consensus with regard to the ‘living conditions and amenities’ considered as ‘customary’ within a society, to enable evaluation of whether a household or a person falls short from these customs. With this in mind, a Delphi survey was conducted during July-August 2016 with policy makers from the Bogor City Government, West Java, Indonesia. The aim of the survey was to discover relevant dimensions, indicators of poverty and their respective weights, fit to be included within a quantitative measure of poverty that will enable policy makers to map critical areas of concern with regard to poverty alleviation in West Java, Indonesia. The paper will start with an overview of the merits of utilising the Delphi approach to support poverty measurement. The second part will present an overview of how the Delphi method was implemented in Bogor City. The third section will discuss results and the fourth will conclude.

Reading Rejection: What does the Rhetoric of Southeast-Asian Diplomacy tell us about the Regional Response to the Rohingya crisis?
Theophilus Kwek (Merton, Refugee Studies)
Attempts to understand restrictive policies towards refugees in Southeast Asia have focused largely on realist and institutionalist explanations. This paper contends that studying rhetorical practices in Southeast Asian diplomacy, and statements made by Southeast Asian governments and their representatives, provide a promising alternative - these strategies, after all, can tell us a lot about regional conceptions of immigration and asylum, and ASEAN’s self-perception in international affairs. Based on states’ rhetoric surrounding the Rohingya crisis in particular, the paper surveys some historical and emergent discourses that frame their responses, then test these findings against three ‘exceptions’: Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  

The Evolution of Jakarta's Flooding Policy
Thanti Octavianti (Trinity, Geography)
This paper presents an analysis of the evolution of flooding policy in a developing world city. Jakarta was selected to enable analysis of the role of colonialisation on water policy. We draw data from key informant interviews and secondary sources, such as books, scientific articles, and policy documents. Using historical institutionalism theory, we map historical pathways of water-related investments from the past 400 years and find that path dependence on infrastructure measures was evident in the way government coped with flooding. Ruling government focusing their investments on large infrastructures were primarily observed during the colonial era (1619-1945) and the present times (1998-2016). However, in between the two periods, infrastructure solutions have always been ‘floating’ around policy discourses but the lack of funding hindered their implementation. Therefore, we argue that there is a persistent water governance in dealing with constantly evolved water challenges in Jakarta. Infrastructure has always been the chosen solution since Batavia times (old Jakarta) in early 17th century and institutions seemed arranged to support this engineering solution. The continued preference on infrastructure measures created positive feedback cycles to deal with flooding.

A Comparative Analysis of the Evolution of Migrant Worker Desirability in Malaysia and Indonesia since the 1970s
Wai Siong See Tho (Lincoln, International Development)
Who is a desirable migrant? Who determines desirability of migrants and how is it done? Malaysia and Indonesia has close cultural and economic relations due to historical ties. In the 1970s, Malaysia adopted a stronger emphasis on changing the economy from agriculture to industry, which created a higher demand for low-skilled labour. In order to meet that demand, Malaysia implemented a more open immigration policy to allow more migrant workers, which resulted in an influx of low-skilled migrant workers from neighbouring countries, mostly from Indonesia. Since then, the Malaysian government has increased immigration regulations and restrictions at the border. This is due to pressure from interest groups and public opinion. In recent years, there is a stronger emphasis on attracting high-skilled migrants, creating a hierarchy of migrant desirability. At the same time, changes in Malaysia’s migration policies impacted bilateral relations with Indonesia. This affected the Indonesian government’s stand on Indonesians emigrating for work. This research will look at how this hierarchy of migrant desirability is constructed, affecting migration policies, and by what interest groups.