Jim Schiller, “Jepara Civil Society: Fractious but Inclusive” in Renegotiating Boundaries: Local Politics in Post-Soeharto Indonesia,  Henk Schulte Nordholt and Gery van Klinken (eds.) KITLV 2007.

This article argues that Jepara’s unusual conditions have lead to a strong network of civil society organisations centred on Nahdlatul Ulama. NU is a powerful Muslim-based organisation able to be critical or supportive of the local state. The combination of a locally dominant religious organisation able to enter or withdraw from politics, a strong/ pribumi/ (indigenous Indonesian) entrepreneur community built on the furniture industry and a rather accommodative state. This has been good for local government responsiveness and performance. Civil Society has also been able to build a degree of civic trust that has minimised political violence.

Developing Jepara: State and Society in New Order Indonesia, Jim Schiller, Monash Asia Institute, 1996.

Unlike most books which focus on the ‘high politics’ of Jakarta this book investigates state-society relations at the local level in the district (kabupaten) of Jepara in Central Java. It focuses on the building of a strong state, the weakening of non-state institutions and the role of development ideology (and practice) in changing senior civil servants’ perceptions of their opportunities and duties. It examinse the response to an increasingly activist state by an influential alliance of Islamic, commercial and religious (Nahdlatul Ulama) elites who have been able to speak with moral authority. It argues that – in a period of economic growth – elements of civil society in Jepara have been critical, mutually supportive and vocal enough to precipitate a relatively more responsive local state. The civil society has been resourceful and creative in its adaptation to a ‘Power-house’ state and this has led to better governance in Jepara.

Jepara’s election, Inside Indonesia,  Jim Schiller, Inside Indonesia

The 1999 election had embarrassed Jepara’s officials and civic leaders. Four people were killed and many injured in pre-election violence and it was widely believed that the PPP Ômilitia’ had intimidated voters in many villages. National media talked about places with outbreaks of mass violence as being ‘Jepara-ised’ (‘dijeparakan’). In 2004, both the local government and the PPP leadership were determined to prevent violence from again dominating the election. Implementing the elections in Jepara was a considerable task. More than 700,000 voters and 24 political parties were registered, and 333 candidates were certified as eligible to stand. 2656 voting stations were established, some of them on isolated islands and unpaved mountain roads. Local committees had to be established, trained, paid, and supplied with the correct type and number of ballot papers. Campaign, voting, and vote counting rules had to be publicised, monitored, and enforced. The election was peaceful, but the campaign was about very little, and nothing local. Nothing was said about the looting of the teak forests in Jepara and the lack of timber for the furniture industry which employs 85,000 workers. Nothing was said about the rapidly degrading marine and coastal environment that was expected to be the source of economic growth. Nothing was said about junkets abroad by assembly members or increasing corruption or poverty.

Jalan terjal reformasi lokal : dinamika politik di Indonesia / editor, Jim Schiller.  Yogyakarta : Program Pascasarjana Politik Lokal dan Otonomi Daerah, Program Studi Ilmu Politik, Universitas Gadjah Mada, 2003.

Imagining Indonesia : cultural politics and political culture / edited by Jim Schiller and Barbara Martin-Schiller.  Athens, Ohio : Ohio University Center for International Studies, c1997.


Atlas of wooden furniture industry in Jepara, Indonesia, Jean-Marc Roda, Philippe Cadène, Philippe Guizol, Levania Santoso, Achmad Uzair Fauzan. Montpellier, France: French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 2007.

In this document, we study the industrial district of Jepara, Indonesia. It is specialised in furniture production, for Indonesian consumption as well as for worldwide exports. We summarize the main features of the dynamics of the firms involved in the Jepara industrial complex with a quantitative analysis of flows among them, and between them and markets elsewhere. A specific method of spatial analysis was designed, and merged with existing methods for the analysis of forest production networks and social networks. This method allows to take into account and to accurately assess the number of very small workshops that cannot be evaluated by classical methods. We demonstrate that both the official statistics and the existing literature about Jepara considerably underestimate the extent of the wood industry and its activities. We present the results through synthesis maps. A total of 15 271 units of production have been identified, employing approximately 170 000 workers n Jepara. The activity generates considerable revenue: between 11 900 and 12 300 billion Rp/year of added value (about 1 billion euros/year), that is to say between 70 and 78 million Rp/worker/year. The district of Jepara consumes between 1.5 and 2.2 million m3/year of roundwood, and in other words, we found that the use of around 9 m3 of roundwood sustains one full-time employee for a year. The organisation of the production is typical of an industrial district, featuring a high level of intertwined relationships and subcontracting among highly specialised production units and a prevalence of small and very small units in various steps of the production rather than bigger, integrated units.

Java furniture makers: globalisation winners or losers? Lienda Loebis and Hubert Schmitz, Development in Practice, Volume 15, Numbers 3 & 4, June 2005.

This article is concerned with the question of whether participation in the global economy leads to sustainable income growth. It examines the furniture industry of Central Java, which has grown rapidly since the financial crisis in 1997. The article shows that the exporting small and medium-sized enterprises generated substantial employment and income growth. However, this growth is not sustainable because the viability of exports has become dependent on wood which is logged illegally and risks depletion. Government and donor projects aimed at small enterprises risk driving these enterprises deeper into the race to the bottom. The article

then discusses ways to avoid this, stressing the need for a coalition of public and private actors along the local–global axis.

Taking a Seat in the Global Marketplace: Opportunities for “High Road” Upgrading in the Indonesian Wood Furniture Sector? Anne Caroline Posthuma, International Labour Organization, 2003.



Patiayam Site Threatened by Landslide, Bandelan Amarudin, Tempo Interactive, 2009-10-30

The ancient Patiayam site is being threatened by landslide if the government does not immediately carry out reforestation. The site is located in Muria Mountain in Kudus. “Patiayam is very steep, so landslides are likely to happen” Sami’ani Intakoris, Kudus Public Works Office staff, said yesterday. He also said the area is dry and denuded. The Patiayam site is included in the Paleo-anthropology map of Indonesia, followed by other sites such as Sangiran, Trinil, Ngandong, Ngawi and Perning. Fossils found at the site tend to come from a variety of species and in better condition. It is also in UNESCO’s list of world heritages. However, the government does not seem to be paying much attention to it. “Due to lack of funding, we cannot properly maintain the site,” admitted Sancaka Dwi Supani, Kudus Cultural Office staff.

Sea Level Variation in the Java Sea Derived from Topex/Poseidon and Tide Gauge Stations, Ibnu Sofian and Kozai Kozai, 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 18 – 25 July 2004, in Paris, France., p.1684.

Flooding and coastal erosion in the big cities like Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya are easily affected by the sea level changes of the Java Sea. Past sea level changes in the Java Sea are investigated using satellite altimetry and tide gauges. Monthly mean sea level anomalies from TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and tide gauges between January 1993 and December 1999 are used. Trend analysis is applied to define the changing rate of sea surface temperature (SST) and sea level of the Java Sea. Monthly mean sea level anomalies from tide gauges show sea level rise rate 0.19 mm/month, 0.86 mm/month, and 1.58 mm/month at Jakarta and Jepara (near Semarang), and Surabaya respectively, whereas T/P indicate 0.91 mm/month to 1.08 mm/month at three locations. Trend analysis of sea surface temperature (SST) in the Java Sea during the same period indicates that SST has high correlated trend with the T/P and tide gauge trends. The high correlation between SST trends and T/P or tide gauge trends suggest that sea level changes of the Java Sea from 1993 to 1999 are due to heating of the Java Sea which has average depth from 40 m to 50 m. In addition the wavelet analysis was also used to SST and monthly mean sea level anomalies for evaluating ENSO impact on SST and monthly mean sea level anomalies. The results of wavelet analysis of SST show SST near Jakarta was highly affected by the 1994 to 1995 ENSO years than the 1997 to 1998 ENSO years. The period of the maximum power spectrum of SST anomalies at Jakarta was shorter than Jepara and Surabaya. Power spectrum of tide gauge sea level anomalies show the impacts of ENSO were different based on the geographical locations. Tide gauge mean sea level anomalies at Surabaya had the highest power spectrum during the 1997 to 1998 ENSO years and had the smallest power at Jakarta during the same period. Comparison of the maximum power spectrum at each location shows the period of maximum power spectrum at Jakarta was shorter than the others. But the results from T/P show power spectrum from 1997 to 1998 ENSO years was the highest at Jakarta, and was the smallest at Jepara. The differences of period and the magnitude of the maximum power spectrum of tide gauge sea level anomalies at Surabaya may be explained by the closeness to the Makasar Strait where the Indonesian Trough Flow is dominant.

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
2 November 2009