(P54) Rethinking Expertise in a Time of Global Crisis
Wed 09:00-10:30 K14 | 2.05
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End-of-Life Care in Indonesia: Silence, Narrative and Moral Personhood
Annemarie Samuels Leiden University
In our research project ‘Globalizing Palliative Care?’ we ask how the emergence of palliative care – as a professional form of end-of-life care – is folded into ongoing discourses on death and dying and practices of care for people with advanced illness in Indonesia, India and Brazil. Focusing on Indonesia, in this presentation, we will outline our research plans and reflect on how our questions speak to the analysis of silence, narrative and moral personhood at the end of life.
We start by drawing on previous research in Aceh, where death and dying were rarely discussed during the last phase of life, whereas the practice of “narrating the good death” retrospectively played an important role in socially confirming the moral personhood of the deceased. This analysis raises several pressing questions, including: How are discussing and not discussing dying implicated in creating a “good death” in Indonesia? How does the social and moral valuing of silence and narrative impact clinical and family interactions, particularly concerning disclosure and decision-making? And how do practices of care and narratives of moral personhood in advanced illness unfold along lines of class, gender and religion?
We will discuss how these questions inform our proposed research on palliative care broadly, and care trajectories of women with breast and reproductive cancer in Jakarta more particularly. With this research we aim to provide insight into processes of care and (non-)disclosure that are relevant both to the emerging practice of palliative care in Indonesia and to broader theoretical debates on morality, silence and end-of-life care.
Marine protection, climate change, and ‘zoning’ as expertise in Indonesia and elsewhere
David Kloos KITLV
Yvonne Kunz KITLV
This paper looks at confluences of and contestations between different forms of expertise in the context of marine protection and the climate crisis. Concretely, we focus on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the specific practice of ‘zoning’: the allocation of different zones within protected areas for different purposes, differentiating between areas that may not be disturbed to areas in which certain economic activity, such as fishing or tourism, is allowed. While the effectiveness of MPAs as a governance tool has been hotly debated since their emergence in the 1980s, climate change has arrived as both an additional threat and a new raison d’être. Marine environments face immediate consequences of climate change, such as sea level rise, extreme weather events, and environmental degradation. Yet they are also seen as a crucial new frontier – from discourses about natural buffers to blue carbon – in both mitigation and adaptation efforts. This entails that conventional zoning practices might be fundamentally reformulated, shifting from a classic conservation paradigm directed at protecting ‘what was there’ to a more flexible, future-oriented practice that takes into account different possible impact scenarios. Our paper focuses on this emerging narrative and the forms of expertise, from conservation science to local knowledge, as its basis. We begin by introducing a new transdisciplinary research project on climate change and ocean governance in Indonesia and the Caribbean. We then proceed to discuss an experiment with a more flexible, climate-oriented management strategy at a new protected marine site in Maluku, Indonesia, to formulate pertinent questions about zoning as a form of expertise. What does planning for climate and its inherent uncertainties mean, both locally and for the future of the MPA as a fundamentally territorial, and therefore also inflexible concept? To what extent are these new management strategies based on scientific models and to what extent are they based on local expertise of climate in relation to cultural concepts of zones, territories, and space?
To be equal to a doctor: Reflections on trust, expertise, and the professionalisation of midwifery in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Catherine Smith Macquarie University
This paper explores the relationship between trust and expertise, and asks how the foundations for trust in a group of healthcare workers might change through a process of professionalisation. It takes as its case study the ongoing process of the professionalisation of midwives in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which is expected to accelerate over the next decade. After discussing the current dynamics of trust and mistrust in midwives, and the aspirations midwives hope to achieve through professionalisation, the article offers reflections on the possible effects that professionalisation might carry for midwives in the next decade. The paper reflects on the relationship between the enactment of trust and expertise, and the likely effects of the further integration of midwives into the health system might carry on both trust and the nature of midwives’ expertise.
Trust me, I’m an influencer
Fajri Siregar University of Amsterdam
This study examines how the position of influencers in Indonesian public sphere has been solidified due to the endorsement of the state. Reflecting on the utilization of social media influencers in the handling of Covid-19 since its outbreak in Indonesia, I argue that the state has reinforced the questionable position of social media influencers. By endorsing influencers to disseminate important public service announcements during the pandemic, the state has proactively eroded the authority and role of scientific institutions such as the Eijkman Institute and other relevant organisations with a public health expertise. This paper also discusses how as a result of this shifting public reason, individual experts such as epidemiologists had to acquire new science communication skills in order to regain the scientific authority they have conceded to the state-endorsed influencers.
We are living in a time of crisis. A global pandemic is raging. The climate crisis is upon us. And throughout the world populist movements are exerting pressure on political systems. The main premise of this panel is that a defining feature of the contemporary global crisis is the ways in which various forms of expertise are constructed, contested, denied, mobilised,
and marginalised both by those in power and by society at large.
Expertise, scholars have long observed, follows the fault lines of power, emerging through socio-political processes that create powerful epistemologies and social institutions. Historians and social scientists have studied the production and assemblages of, as well as the competition between, scientific, professional, religious, and indigenous knowledge, and
revealed the role of technopolitics in shaping modernity. Some have researched the discursive and sensory performance of expertise. Others apply or reflect on their own (historical, anthropological, etc.) expertise to conduct socially impactful research, but sometimes find themselves entangled within broader regimes of expertise. While the politicization of expertise is a general phenomenon, taking place everywhere in any time, a salient feature of contemporary Southeast Asia, and to some extent the global South more generally, is that some of the processes that facilitate the proliferation and contestation of expertise – mass education, mass mediatization, democratization, among others – have taken place in a comparatively short time. In this context of ‘compression’, and considering the fact that societies are both dependent on experts and fundamentally conflicted about their role, how do scholars of Southeast Asia make sense of expertise?
Papers may consider any or multiple of the following questions: What are the processes through which expertise is constructed, performed, legitimised, or contested? How do experts claim authority in a time in which lay persons, celebrities, and politicians revert to alternative facts or post-truth rhetoric to challenge any kind of expertise? How is expertise gendered, racialized, or reflective of broader socio-political realities? What do we make of the impact or (further) decline of marginalised forms of expertise? What futures are imagined or precluded through the construction or (de)legitimation of expertise? What is the relationship between expertise and social responsibility? What is the role of critical scholarship in valuing expertise and experts (including ourselves), while still analysing the forms of power that are wound up in the production, exercise, and application of expertise?