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Emerging Labor Movements and the Accountability Dilemma: The Case of Indonesia

Ford, Michele
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In Michael W. Dowdle, Ed., Public Accountability, Designs, Dilemmas and Experiences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 157-173.

“This chapter begins by examining the arguments most often made about the differences between labor unions and labor NGOs and the effects those differences have on the nature and extent of their accountability to workers. It then explains the context in which NGOs came to dominate the Indonesian labor movement in the early 1990s and the web of accountability in which Indonesian labor NGOs and unions find themselves today. The chapter concludes by outling the implications of the “accountability dilemma” faced by unions and labor NGOs. It argues that — despite their formally democratic accountability structures — Indonesian unions are not necessarily always more accountable to workers than their undemocratic labor NGO counterparts. This suggests that a multidimensional model of accountability is required that recognizes the impact that pressures associated with a particular environment have on labor movement organizations’ ability to be accountable to workers.” (excerpt)


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