Indonesian Politics

Nahdlatul Ulama and the politics trap

A pillar of Indonesian civil society faces an ever more acute dilemma between representing a religious community and securing resources and influence within government.

Shariah, dakwah, and rock ’n’ roll: Pemuda Hijrah in Bandung

A movement making piety cool for youth alienated from traditional religious organisations has become a national phenomenon in Indonesia.

An interview with Ridwan Kamil

On 'black campaigns', the Islamic vote, and upcoming presidential elections.

Measuring religious intolerance across Indonesian provinces

Trying out a more sophisticated measure of how religious intolerance varies across Indonesia's provinces.

Millennials won’t rescue Indonesia

Beyond the media hype, the new Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) isn’t much different from the conservative, oligarch-linked parties we’re used to.

Mapping the Indonesian political spectrum

A new survey shows that political parties are divided only by their attitudes on Islam.

Indonesia’s regions a test bed for civil society influence

Nearly two decades of decentralisation have shown the promise and challenges for Indonesia's civil society.

Civic structures and uncivil demands in Indonesia

Looking at Indonesia's grassroots neighbourhood associations helps us understand the perils of aligning civil society with elite interests.

Kartini and ‘Kartini’

On the many meanings of Hari Kartini, Indonesia's annual celebration of its most famous colonial-era feminist thinker.

Ghosts in the machine

An in-depth investigation into the land deals behind the downfall of one of Indonesia's most senior judges.

Lost in Translation: Jawa Pos

Foreign correspondent and historian Frank Palmos reflects on his first translating job in Java in 1961.

Desperation in the Indonesian diaspora

The global success of a motorbike gang with roots in the Netherlands’ Indonesian community is indicative of the socioeconomic marginalisation of many Indonesian migrants.

Sukmawati’s saving grace

When you’re accused of blasphemy, displays of humility and oligarchic pedigree may be the best defence.

Prabowo didn’t just announce a presidential run

A supposed announcement of his candidacy actually reemphasises how ambivalent Prabowo is about fighting Jokowi again.

Jokowinomics vs reality: a look at PLN

SOEs are expected to do ever more for Jokowi's infrastructure push, but politics dictates they forgo revenue to offer subsidised goods. Who ends up with the bill?

Jokowi shares the blame for MD3 debacle

The MD3 saga lays bare not only the DPR's attempt to shield itself from public accountability, but the dysfunctionality of governance under Jokowi.

Bulldozers and palms in Aceh

Snapshots of the new socio-ecological dynamics in post-reconstruction Aceh.

The “orang gila” scare in Indonesia

What's behind a fresh panic about attacks on Islamic figures at the hands of "crazy people"?

Indonesia’s Constitutional Court and public opinion

Data suggest public opinion and civil society do influence judges. That's both good and bad for the quality of their decisions.

Indonesia’s minority report

Indonesian law recognises both international human rights norms and 'religious values'. The latter are increasingly taking precedence.

Terrorist arbitrage in Southeast Asia

Jihadists know how to take advantage of the unique space for mobilisation offered by the Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines triborder area. Governments are still catching up.

Islamic leaders don’t get their ‘copy and paste’ of Jakarta

Details on a falling out between pro-Anies Baswedan political parties and the religious leaders behind the 212 movement.

Disinformation and democracy in Indonesia

Crackdowns on ‘fake news’ producers aren’t enough—Indonesian voters need better journalism and greater digital literacy.

Piety, politics, and the popularity of Felix Siauw

An ethnic Chinese convert to hardline Islam stands out in Indonesia’s crowded Islamic preaching market.