This study analyses the character and trajectory of Indonesia's welfare regime in which government welfare provisions trigger social conflict and are used for the practice of clientelism. The study focuses on four issues: the administrative arrangements of government social protection programs; the implication of the administrative arrangements for social conflict; the threat of conflict to social capital; and political manipulation of the arrangements for clientelism. This study selects subsidised rice (Raskin) and unconditional cash transfer (BLT) programs as the cases to understand these issues. The study employs mixed methods, with a qualitative approach as the main method. Prior to qualitative data analysis, this research looks at Governance and Decentralisation Survey and Indonesia Family Life Survey using descriptive statistical analysis. After the quantitative analysis, this study examines qualitative data, which covers newspapers, television news footages, previous related studies, government documents, and primary data. The primary data were collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The fieldwork data collection was conducted at national, district, and community levels. This study involved 117 key persons consisting of the former vice president, parliament members, government officers, districts mayors, non-government organisation activists, village heads, and social leaders. The analysis of the data shows that since 1998, Indonesia's welfare regime has been undergoing a transformation from a productivist welfare regime to a liberal-informal one. The transformation is shown by a growing role of the state in providing social protection for the poor and at the same time, the role of community in providing livelihood for people is still thriving. The growing role of the state was triggered under pressure by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank through establishing conditionality to provide social safety net to support structural adjustment programs. The welfare-regime transformation suffers from complicated social conflict. Both quantitative and qualitative data show that the BLT program stimulated social conflicts, protests, and destructive demonstrations. The conflict, which was a result of recurring discord triggered by the Raskin program, occurred because of poor administrative arrangements of the BLT program which led to a problematic mis-targeted distribution. The conflict eroded trust and weakened social networks threatening social capital. Besides generating social conflict, the Raskin and BLT programs also provoked clientelism, which emerge at national, district, and community levels. At the national level, the ruling party used BLT program for vote buying in the 2009 presidential elections. The party manipulated the administrative arrangement of BLT programs, eliminated widespread political refusal of the program, distributed BLT during political campaign period, and claimed it as the ruling party's benevolence to mobilise voters to obtain their votes. At district level, BLT program was used by district mayors to show their political loyalties and to bargain with political-party leaders to secure their office. At community level, village heads utilised both Raskin and BLT programs to reward people who voted for the village heads in the village-head elections and to keep their political loyalties for the next village-head elections.
The primary data were collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The fieldwork data collection was conducted at national, district, and community levels.