Eclectic Leftism in Southeast Asia


Single Panel


Session 7
Wed 14:00-15:30 REC A2.05



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Southeast Asia is home to varied expressions of leftist, revolutionary, and progressive politics, movements, and ideas. From revolutionary traditions of millenarian and Marxist-Leninist movements to progressive agendas of contemporary social movements, most studies on the region have captured these diverse expressions of ecumenical leftism, including its cosmopolitan inspirations and local transmutations. What is more challenging to discuss is the eclectic nature of these leftist/left-leaning articulations, especially for heterodox and revisionist/reformist variants. Considering the popularity of this perspectival eclecticism at discursive and practical levels across the region, a closer look at this phenomenon is warranted.

This panel aims to start a more thoughtful, deeper conversation on this subject. We are interested in a range of eclectic leftism. This includes, but not limited to, local anarchisms, anti-authoritarian/anti-totalitarian ideas, labor-social reproduction-environmental struggles, progressive and (left)liberal currents in civil society activism, and quasi-Marxist and populist thoughts, among others. How do we make sense of this eclectic leftism? What are the ideational and material origins of this strange dissident politics? How does it intersect with the older, more orthodox Marxist and revolutionary traditions in Southeast Asia? Finally, what are its implications for political praxis in the region?

In this panel, we invite you to ponder these questions together. We particularly encourage submissions on case studies outside Indonesia.