Box 2 – Indonesian CSOs – Formal status as strategy
The survey (of 268 CSOs during this study) shows that 73.13% of respondent CSOs are formally registered organisations. While this may sound strange recognising that many social movement organisations are informal (Crossley, 2002; Davis et al., 2005; Della-Porta and Diani, 2006), interviews may be able to provide some explanation. The program manager of Yayasan SET explained explicitly that, “in legal terms, all [CSOs] are foundations. What we have [termed as] NGOs, LSMs, CSOs – they are all [legally registered as] foundations” (Kristiawan, interview, 28/10/05). Kristiawan’s explanation confirms findings from previous work. In their attempt to escape from government control, there was a period when many Indonesian CSOs felt it necessary to formally register with the notary as a foundation (yayasan) as this would provide a necessary legal basis for the organisations’ existence and at the same time ‘exempted’ them from current laws aimed at controlling CSOs’ activities (Bunnell, 1996:198; Eldridge, 1995:7-8; Hadiwinata, 2003:95-96).
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Picture for this post is taken from Wikipedia – depicting Mayday rally 1 May 2003 in Jakarta