Hello! I currently write about the international political economy of data, and have previously written on governance, democratisation and political Islam. I teach digital politics, international development and Asian politics. My area specialism is Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, where... Continue Reading →
Several emerging economies have expressed interest in adopting a different model of digital capitalism based on economically exploiting the personal data collected by the state in the process of welfare dispersal. This article describes its progenitor, the “India Stack,” drawing... Continue Reading →
There is a global standoff going on about who stores your data. At the close of June’s G20 summit in Japan, a number of developing countries refused to sign an international declaration on data flows – the so-called Osaka Track. Part of... Continue Reading →
Indonesia is well-placed for China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But despite a slew of investment promises, problems around land acquisition, construction permits and the politicisation of Chinese investment have hampered plans. With the Indonesian presidential and legislative elections just around the corner in April 2019, the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
As the United Kingdom considers post-Brexit trade opportunities outside the European Union, this briefing looks at the potential for greater cooperation with Indonesia. It finds that the UK can mitigate its reduced bargaining power outside the EU by providing targeted, practical trade facilitation measures in exchange for increased investment opportunities. Becoming an agile and dynamic economic partner in comparison with the EU’s bureaucratic approach chimes well with the small business background of Indonesia’s President Widodo.
The deeper the internet infiltrates our daily lives, the more interesting it becomes to study. With universities now introducing courses in Internet Studies and Digital Culture, they are effectively defining a new digital ‘place’ that requires a unique set of skills and knowledge to understand it. But if the online environment really is a new place, where does that leave area studies specialists interested in the digital? Does it make our region-specific knowledge redundant? Or is it precisely the careful attention to power and place which defines area studies scholarship that this growing field needs?
A common vision of the future of digital humanities is that some of the techniques will become so widely used as to be practically absorbed into mainstream humanities methods. They will become so unremarkable as to not even deserve their special classification as digital. But there are also indications of an opposite trend, where the methods become part of a wider “discipline of the digital.”
There is something about the digital humanities community which makes it a particular pleasure to engage with. My experience of DH events has been of meeting people who are already respected in their own fields, but are not afraid to put themselves into what is, after all, the vulnerable position of learning something completely new.
Whenever I see another piece of research using social media data, I must admit I roll my eyes. Social media will only ever capture the voices of the urban young – the type of people who have less difficulty in getting their voices heard than the poor and relatively less educated rural population. The shorthand way I use to express this is “peasants don’t blog” and I fret about the future of the social sciences where funding and focus will increasingly leave out the voices of this already disenfranchised majority.