Studies on welfare state regimes have been dominated by consideration of rich OECD/European and increasingly East Asian countries/territories, leaving South Asian cases such as Indonesia underexplored. The few existing studies that have explicitly tried to conceptualize the Indonesian welfare regime have resulted in little consensus. To address the resulting lack of clarity, this article reviews scholarly articles relevant to bringing Indonesia into the global welfare regime debate, specifically encapsulating how the country has been classified compared with its East Asia counterparts. Accordingly, we find that existing studies have mainly concentrated on the Indonesian health care and social protection expansion, which has led authors to conclude that this evolution demonstrates Indonesia's transition away from welfare productivism. By contrast, we argue that Indonesia's productivist characteristics have largely prevailed while informal networks, clientelism, strong families, and the limited effectiveness of the civil society movement created a specific social politics in Indonesia. We thus conclude that the causal mechanisms typically attributed to welfare development in more developed welfare geographies, including East Asia, cannot fully explain the evident institutional formation in the Indonesian case. The future research agenda for studying the welfare regimes in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries is discussed.
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- social policy
- welfare modeling business
- welfare regimes