Political-Economy of Social Entrepreneurship in Indonesia: A Polanyian Approach
Tadzkia Nurshafira and Rizky Alif Alvian


This paper attempts to develop a critical analysis on the concept of social entrepreneurship (SE) in Indonesia in comparison to that in the Global North. Departing from Karl Polanyi’s theoretization of market society, this paper asserts that the concept of SE embodies a ‘double movement’. It embodies a tension between the ‘dis-embedding movement’ (attempts to organize society according to market rationality) and the ‘re-embedding movement’ (attempts to ensure that market works to serve society’s interests), between formal and substative approach to economy. The rise of SE, therefore, is always situated within particular political-economic context. Using Indonesia’s experience as a case study, this paper argues that the emergence of SE is strongly influenced by Widodo’s economic nationalism ideology. In this regard, SE is largely a part of Widodo’s strategy to bolster economic growth, particularly by stimulating the rise of local entrepreneurs. Within such framework, the nature of SE as a tool to address social problem is insufficiently recognised. SE in Indonesia therefore embodies tensions between the disembedding and reembedding movement. The disembedding movement, however, prevails in Indonesia.