Johan Lindquist
Johan Lindquist

Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 22 27
Room: B670
Office hours: By appointment

Johan Lindquist is Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard and Cornell and a visiting professor at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. He is also a member of the editorial committee of Public Culture.


Lindquist’s research has most generally been concerned with the relationship between transnationalism and migration, with a particular focus on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. His previous research dealt with the lives of migrants and tourists who pass through the transnational Growth Triangle that connects Singapore, the Malaysian province of Johor, and the Indonesian island of Batam. This resulted in the monograph The Anxieties of Mobility: Development and Migration in the Indonesian Borderlands (2009, University of Hawai’i Press) and a documentary film, “B.A.T.A.M.”, which was awarded first prize at the film festival at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in 2005. The book and film are suitable for undergraduate courses on gender, globalization, migration, and Southeast Asia and is available for purchase through Documentary Educational Resources (

More recently, Lindquist has shifted his focus to the forms of brokerage and infrastructure that are shaping contemporary transnational migrant mobility from Indonesia to countries across Asia and the Middle East. Since the 1997 Asian economic crisis there has been a dramatic increase in documented migration from Indonesia, particularly to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. At the center of this transformation are a growing number of private recruitment agencies that become brokers between state authorities, employers abroad, and prospective migrants in villages across Indonesia. This shifts focus away from a primary concern with migrant experience towards the industry and infrastructure that channels migrant mobility. More generally, the empirical concern with migrant offers a strategic methodological starting point for grasping how regulated systems of transnational circular migration are developing in Asia in the context of changing forms of globalization.  

Many of his publications are available via

Lindquist also has an ongoing collaboration with American artist and scholar John Freyer at Virginia Commonwealth University about IKEA. For more information, see their blog:

Selected publications


  • Mediating Migration: Brokering Knowledge and Mobility in Indonesia and Beyond. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21(S1): 162-177.
  • The Anthropology of Brokers and Brokerage. In International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Science, 2nd edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.






  • The Anxieties of Mobility: Development and Migration in the Indonesian Borderlands. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Teaching and advising

Advanced level, Master’s program, course organizer and lecturer. Contemporary Themes in Anthropology, spring semester 2015.

Doctoral students, primary: Arvid Lundberg, Darcy Pan, and Gladis Aguirre Vidal.

Doctoral students, secondary: Mia Forrest, Ulrik Jennische, and Simon Johansson.

Conferences and invited lectures


  • Care and Control in Asian Migrations, conference organized at Stockholm University.
  • Infrastructures of Escort, invited speaker at the workshop “Indonesian Infrastructures: Politics, Poetics, Plans”, University of Toronto, March 18-20.
  • Mediating Indonesian Migration: Brokerage, Ethnography, and the Production of Knowledge, invited lecture at CETREN Transregional Research Network Speaker's series, University of Göttinge, January 13.  


  • Migration Infrastructure and Labor Circulation in the Indonesian-Malaysian Oil Palm Complex, invited speaker at the conference “Migration and Late Capitalism: Critical Intersections with the Asia-Pacific and Beyond,” University of Victoria, Canada, June 12.
  • “Suffering, Ethics, Reflexivity,” panel organized at the annual meeting of the Swedish Anthropology Association, Lund University, April 18.
  • Organizing Transnational Labor: Migration Brokers and Employers in the Indonesia-Malaysia Borderlands, invited lecure at the research seminar, Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex, March 31.


  • Mediating Migration: Brokering Knowledge and Mobility in Indonesia and Beyond, inivited lecture at the Ethnography and Social Theory Colloquium, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, October 1.
  • Migration Infrastructure, invited lecture at International Migration Review 50th Anniversary Symposium, International Migration Scholarship in the 21st Century: Critical Issues, Critical Questions, New York, September 30.
  • Migration Infrastructure, invited lecture at the Institute for International Migration, Oxofrd University, May 7.
  • Organizing Global Work: Migration Infrastructure and the Logistics of Transnational Labor in Asia and the Middle East, invited keynote presentation at the conference Transnational Migration and Global Work, Stockholm University, March 6.

Information about past activities can be found in the Department’s previous Annual Reports