Social Movements Facing Authoritarian-Style Neoliberal Governments: Comparative Positioning Towards Violence in Indonesia and France

Gabriel Facal(1*), Gloria Truly Estrelita(2)

(1) Centre Asie Du Sud-Est
(2) Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
(*) Corresponding Author


Faced with global and systemic crises, neoliberal oriented governments are taking on more authoritarian forms of governance. By using the power of the media, justice, the police, and a set of government technologies, this authoritarian style manifests itself in alternating phases of low-key brutality and crises of ostentatious repression designed to frighten and demoralize opposition social movements. Confronted with these modes of government, the social movements adopt different tactics of mobilization, ranging from direct confrontation to forms of compromise and civil disobedience. With the climate crisis as well as the globalization of social struggles, these movements adopt new political strategies, which question the dichotomy between violence and non-violence. Using a historical and anthropological approach, this paper studies two cases in contemporary Indonesia and France. It shows that the objectives of the groups involved and the national socio-political and cultural background shape the local specificities of these strategies. The comparison, however, reveals similarities at both levels. It shows the persistence and even strengthening of class and oligarchy networks in the implementation of authoritarian-style neoliberal policies. It also points to the respective effectiveness of violent and non-violent tactics in the implementation of militant strategies.

Full Text:



Adam, A. W. (2016, May 25). Pergulatan Politik Pancasila [Political Struggle of Pancasila]. Indonesian Institute of Sciences. Retrieved from

Agrikoliansky, É., Fillieule, O., & Mayer, N. (2005). La dynamique altermondialiste en France [The alter-globalization dynamic in France]. L’Economie politique, 25(1), 82–90. Retrieved from

Anjani, K. (2020). Kaus Hitam dan Paranoia Negara: Stigmatisasi dan pelanggaran Kelompok Anarko-Sindikalis [Black Shirts and State Paranoia: Stigmatization and Violations of Anarcho-Syndicalists]. Lokataru Foundation. Retrieved from

Art, M. (2020, April 15). Menggali Akar Anarkisme di Indonesia [Exploring the Roots of Anarchism in Indonesia]. Historia. Retrieved from

Avignon, F. (2012, October 26). L’eusko bientôt dans les porte-monnaie [Eusko soon in your wallet]. Sud Ouest. Retrieved from

Barroux, R. (2019, October 15). Bizi, une association basque qui pense planète [Bizi, a Basque association that thinks about the planet]. Le Monde. Retrieved from

Bertho, A. (2020). Time over ? : Le temps des soulèvements [Time over ?: The time of uprisings]. Vulaines-sur-Seine: Editions Du Croquant.

Bertrand, J. (2008). Ethnic Conflicts in Indonesia: National Models, Critical Junctures, and the Timing of Violence. Journal of East Asian Studies, 8(3), 425–449. Retrieved from

Bizi ! (2019). Beti Bizi ! Climat d’urgence [Still Alive ! Emergency Climate]. Bayonne: Self edition from Bizi assoication.

Boni, S., & Ciavolella, R. (2014). Inspiring Alter-Politics. Anthropology and Critical Political Thinking. Focaal, 72.

Boutaleb, A., Ferrié, J.-N., & Rey, B. (Eds.). (2005). Remarques sur la consolidation autoritaire et ses limites [Remarks on authoritarian consolidation and its limits]. In M. Camau, L’autoritarisme dans le monde arabe: Autour de Michel Camau et Luis Martinez [Authoritarianism in the Arab world: An Overview of Michel Camau and Luis Martinez], 5–8. Cairo: CEDEJ.

Brown, C. (1994). The Politics of Trade Union Formation in the Java Sugar Industry, 1945-1949. Modern Asian Studies, 28(1), 77-98.

Bruff, I. (2014). The Rise of Authoritarian Neoliberalism. Rethinking Marxism, 26(1), 113–129. Retrieved from

Cahyana, B. (2020, May 5). Memahami Anarko-Sindikalis: Berdasarkan Penuturan Figur Sentral Gerakan dan Penjelasan dari Pengamat [Understanding Anarcho-Syndicalists: Based on Its Central Figures’ Narrations and Experts’ Perspectives]. Harian Jogja. Retrieved from

Chamayou, G. (2018). La société ingouvernable. Une généalogie du libéralisme autoritaire [The ungovernable society. A genealogy of authoritarian liberalism]. Paris: La fabrique.

Dabène, O., Geisser, V., & Massardier, G. (Eds.). (2008). Autoritarismes démocratiques et démocraties autoritaires au XXIe siècle: Convergences Nord-Sud [Democratic Authoritarianisms and Authoritarian Democracies in the 21st Century: North-South Convergences]. Paris: La Découverte.

Della Porta, D. (2004). Démocratie en mouvement. Les manifestants du Forum social européen, des liens aux réseaux [Democracy on the move. European Social Forum demonstrators, from links to networks]. Politix. Revue des sciences sociales du politique, 17(68), 49–77. Retrieved from

Della Porta, D. & Diani M. (Eds.). (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Social Movements [E-Reader Version]. UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

Dorlin, E. (2019). Se défendre, Une philosophie de la violence [Self Defense, A Philosophy of Violence]. Paris: La Découverte.

Dufresne, D. (2020, June 12). Allô Place Beauvau: Nous sommes à l’écoute [Hello Place Beauvau: We are here to listen]. Mediapart. Retrieved from

Estrelita, G. T., & Facal, G. (2020). A Mega Coalition for Accelerated Development. In C. Cabasset & C. Thi-LiênTran (Eds.), L’Asie du Sud-Est 2020. Bilan, enjeux et perspectives [Southeast Asia 2020. Assessment, challenges and prospects], 207–236. Paris: Irasec & Les Indes Savantes.

Estrelita, G. T., & Facal, G. (2019). Tensions en Nouvelle-Guinée Occidentale – A la croisée d’un héritage conflictuel et d’un tournant répressif en Indonésie [Tensions in Western New Guinea - At the crossroads of a legacy of conflict and a repressive turn in Indonesia]. Asia Trends, 6. Retrieved from

Estrelita, G.T. (2009). Penyebaran Hate Crime oleh Negara terhadap Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat [Dissemination of Hate Crime by the State against the Institute for the People’s Culture]. Unpublished Master Thesis in Criminology. Universitas Indonesia.

Facal, G. (2020). Islamic Defenders Front Militia (Front Pembela Islam) and its Impact on Growing Religious Intolerance in Indonesia. TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, 8(1), 7–20. Retrieved from

Fassin, D. (2016). L’ethnographie retrouvée. Sur quelques approches contemporaines des pratiques policières [Ethnography rediscovered. Some contemporary approaches to police practices]. L’Homme, N° 219-220(3), 287–310.

Foucault, M. (1976). La volonté de savoir [The will to know], Paris: Gallimard.

Graeber, D. (2004). Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. US: University of Chicago Press.

Graziano, P. R., & Hartlapp, M. (2015). La fin de l’Europe sociale ? Évaluation du rôle des changements politiques et organisationnels au sein du système politique de l’Union européenne [The end of a Social Europe? Assessing the role of political and organizational changes in the political system of the European Union]. Revue française des affaires sociales, 3, 89–114.

Hadiz, V. R. (2020). Indonesia’s Missing Left and the Islamisation of Dissent. Third World Quarterly, 1-19. Retrieved from 10.1080/01436597.2020.1768064.

Haryanto, A. T. (2020, February 20). Riset: Ada 175,2 Juta Pengguna Internet di Indonesia [Research: There are 175.2 Million Internet Users in Indonesia]. Detik. Retrieved from

Honna, J. (1999). Military Ideology in Response to Democratic Pressure during the Late Suharto Era: Political and Institutional Contexts. Indonesia, 67, 77-126.

Indriani, S. (2019, February 20). Rekam Jejak Jokowi Bergelimang Penggusuran [Jokowi’s Record is Full of Land Clearing Issues]. Geo Times. Retrieved from

Jackman, M. R. (2002). Violence in Social Life. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 387–415. Retrieved from

Klein, N. (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Knopf.

Kusumadewi, L. R. (2012, May 16). Memotong Budaya Kekerasan [Ending the Culture of Violence]. Kompas.

Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London: Verso.

Lecoeuvre, C. (2019, November). Les écologistes tentés par l’action directe [Environmentalists to take direct action]. Le Monde diplomatique. Retrieved from

Lestari, R. (2016, March 22). Ahok Akan Cabut Izin Operasional Sopir Taksi Anarkis [Ahok Will Revoke Operational Permit of Taxi Drivers Involved in Anarchism]. Okezone. Retrieved from

Maharani, S. (2019, May 4). Dosen UGM: Fobia Anarko Sindikalis, Seperti Ciptakan Hantu Baru [UGM Lecturer: Anarcho-Syndicalist Phobia, Creating a New Ghost]. Tempo. Retrieved from

Massemin, E. (2016, December 20). Txetx Etcheverry : « La stratégie la plus efficace est la non-violence » [Txetx Etcheverry: “The most effective strategy is non-violence”]. Reporterre. Retrieved from

Milanovic, B. (2016). Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. US: Belknap Press.

Moro, D. (2019, April 6). La fin de l’Europe politique [The end of European politics]. AgoraVox. Retrieved from

Nugroho, R. A. (2016, June 16). Spanduk Tolak Anarkisme Bermunculan [The Emergence of Banners Against Anarchism]. Kompas. Retrieved from

Persada, S. (2019, September 26). Amnesty International: Polisi Berlebihan Hadapi Demo Mahasiswa [Amnesty International: Police Carries Out Excessive Force Against Student Demonstration]. Tempo.

Petit, A. (2019, November 26). La recherche, une arme pour les combats du futur [Research, a weapon for the future’s battles]. Les Echos. Retrieved from

Pierre, T. (2006). Les revendications institutionnelles contemporaines en Pays basque de France: Représentations du monde basque et discours politiques [Contemporary institutional demands in the Basque Country of France: Representations of the Basque world and political discourses]. Lapurdum. Euskal ikerketen aldizkaria | Revue d’études basques | Revista de estudios vascos | Basque studies review, 11, 291–303. Retrieved from

Planes, E. (2010, April 29). Le mouvement Bizi! Prend de l’ampleur [The Bizi! Movement Gets Bigger]. Sud Ouest. Retrieved from

Power, T. P. (2018). Jokowi’s Authoritarian Turn and Indonesia’s Democratic Decline. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 54(3), 307–338. Retrieved from

Prihatin, I. U. (2020, June 16). Panggil Mahfud MD, Jokowi Tegaskan Larangan Komunisme Mutlak Tak Perlu Disoal [Calling Mahfud MD, Jokowi Affirms the Prohibition of Communism is Unconditional, No Further Question]. Merdeka.

Purcell, M. (2009). Resisting Neoliberalization: Communicative Planning or Counter-Hegemonic Movements? Planning Theory, 8(2), 140-165. Retrieved from

Putra, B. S. (2017, December 2). Anarkisme di Indonesia [Anarchism in Indonesia]. Anarkis.Org. Retrieved from

Putra, F. F. (2017). Tanpa Negara, Tanpa Kapitalis (Studi Dinamika Formasi dan Perjuangan Kelompok-Kelompok Anarkis di Indonesia Periode 1999-2010) [No State, No Capitalist (A Study on the Dynamics of Anarchist Groups’ Formation in Indonesia and Its Struggle Between 1999-2010)]. Unpublished Bachelor’s Thesis. Gajah Mada University. Retrieved from

Rachman, D. A. (2019, November 17). Imparsial Catat 31 Pelanggaran Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan Sepanjang 2019 [Imparsial Records 31 Violations of Freedom of Religion and Belief Throughout 2019]. Kompas. Retrieved from

Rizaldi, M. (2019, August 1). Kebebasan Berpendapat di Internet dan Hukum Pidana [Freedom of Speech on the Internet and Criminal Law]. Detik. Retrieved from

Robinson, G. B. (2018). The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-1966. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Santika, E. F. (2020, May 4). UU ITE Masih Jadi Momok Kebebasan Berekspresi [The Electronic Information and Transaction Law Remains as a Threat for Freedom of Expression]. Gatra. Retrieved from

Setiaji, H. (2017, March 31). Late rush to join Indonesia tax amnesty after $360 billion declared. Reuters. Retrieved from

Soemardjan, S. (1957). Bureaucratic Organization in a Time of Revolution. Administrative Science Quarterly, 2(2), 182–199. Retrieved from

Solehudin, M. (2019, October 29). Wali Kota Bandung Keluarkan Surat Edaran Tolak Paham Anarko [Mayor of Bandung Issues a Circular Disallowing Anarcho Idealism]. Detik. Retrieved from

Stiegler, B. (2020). Du cap aux grèves [From the cape to the strikes]. Paris: Verdier.

Syahrianto, M. (2020, April 13). Menengok Perkembangan Kelompok Anarko di Indonesia [Observing the Anarchy group’s Movement in Indonesia]. Warta Ekonomi. Retrieved from

Tarrow, S. (2005). The New Transnational Activism. New York & Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tilly, C. (2003). Inequality, Democratization, and De-Democratization. Sociological Theory, 21(1), 37–43. Retrieved from 10.2307/3108607.

Tierney, Thérèse. F. (2013). Disentangling Public Space: Social Media and Internet Activism. Treshold, 41, 82–89.

Traïni, C. (2010). Des sentiments aux émotions (et vice-versa) [From feelings to emotions (and vice versa)]. Revue francaise de science politique, 60(2), 335–358. Retrieved from

Velarosdela, R. N. (2020, April 13). Polisi Selidik Dalang Kelompok Anarko yang Berencana Lakukan Vandalisme Massal [Police Maps Out Anarcho groups’ Mastermind Regarding the Mass Vandalistic Action Plan]. Kompas. Retrieved from

Wieviorka, M. (2003). Violence and the Subject. Thesis Eleven, 73(1), 42–50. Retrieved from

Williams, A. (2020). Political Hegemony and Social Complexity: Mechanisms of Power After Gramsci. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from

Willis, A. T. (1977). Indonesian Revival Why Two Million Came to Christ. California: William Carey Library Pub.

Wodak, R. (2019). Entering the “Post-shame Era”: The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Populism and Neo-authoritarianism in Europe. Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs, 9(1), 195–213.

Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. New York: PublicAffairs.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 2889 | views : 2516


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Humaniora

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

free web stats Web Stats

ISSN 2302-9269 (online); ISSN 0852-0801 (print)
Copyright © 2022 Humaniora, Office of Journal & Publishing, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada