Globalisation and its discontents: An Indonesian perspective: Heinz W. Arndt Memorial Lecture, Canberra, 1 September 2011

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It is indeed a great honour for me to give the 2011 Heinz Arndt Memorial Lecture. The first time I met the great Professor Heinz Arndt was as a nine-year-old back in 1966 when our family first came to Canberra and Heinz was my father's (Panglaykim) new boss. I recall that he picked us up at the airport and within the first week we had visited his house in Deakin, where he gave me and my two brothers games such as Chinese checkers and books that his own kids had outgrown. So my first thought was: what a kind and thoughtful man. Little did I know that I would end up being what he often termed his 'academic grandchild'. I never took a class from Heinz or was fortunate enough to be supervised by him. However, I had many interactions with him when I was a student at the Australian National University (ANU) and, upon graduation, as an aspiring young academic. He had an important influence on the course of my life. First, he encouraged me to do my PhD in the USA. After I completed my masters at the ANU under Peter Drysdale, I toyed with the idea of continuing with a PhD at the Research School of Pacific Studies. However, Heinz convinced me to go to the USA because he thought it would widen my horizons. He was right. Second, there was the importance of being disciplined and thorough in undertaking country or regional research. One of the most important initiation exercises for an academic working on Indonesia was to do a 'Survey of Recent Developments' for the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies. I recall being given a yellowed document that had been formulated by Heinz with precise guidelines on topics, structure, and people to see and interview. We found similar guidelines on regional surveys when we did economic surveys of all the provinces a few years later. I found that doing the research and interviews for the survey was the easy part. The hard part was the two weeks spent in Canberra writing up the survey and being subjected to peer review. The draft was presented to the 'editorial team' and others, including, of course, the venerable Professor Arndt. I am glad to say that I passed in terms of substance; but of course there were lots of edits to do following Heniz's traditional typed-up comments, both general and specific! Third, despite being a formidable figure and someone with a reputation for strong opinions, Heinz was the same kind and thoughtful man I remembered as a nine-year-old. He always had the time of day for the young academics, especially those from Indonesia. I had many cups of tea with him as a student and later as an aspiring academic. I still recall his room in University House filled with his books and the filing cabinet near the bathroom, where he would inevitably pull out the right references and reading materials that one needed. I learned a lot about the importance of mentoring and encouraging the young-many of whom have succeeded and are in the room today. This lecture is to honour Professor Heinz Arndt. I believe Professor Arndt was a true internationalist and therefore he would tackle with gusto the rumblings of discontent on globalisation. He would be thorough in trying to understand the manifestations of globalisation and its sources of discontent. He would also be of the firm belief that the benefits of globalisation outweigh its costs and come up with strategic ideas on how to best manage globalisation to counter 'globaphobia'. I hope I do justice to this topic in the Heinz Arndt tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAsian-Pacific Economic Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012

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