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Indonesia

Wielding the purse strings of Southeast Asian civil society

Illiberalism at home, and pro-market ideologies abroad, are putting pressure on Southeast Asian civil society organisations' financial health.

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.

Writing history in the Indian Ocean world

Writing history in the Indian Ocean world was the result of a complex interplay of global norms and local conditions of textual production.

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.

Retronesia: The Years of Building Dangerously

A forgotten cultural frontier reveals Indonesia's version of mid-century modernism

Measuring religious intolerance across Indonesian provinces

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

Twenty years of Indonesian democracy—how many more?

Two decades after Suharto’s fall, it’s hard to see a return to dictatorship—or to declare the democratic status quo safe.

The teka-teki of Indonesian

The second in a series of articles by veteran journalist Frank Palmos, reflecting on his time living and working in Indonesia in the early 1960s.

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.

The Sufi poet and the peculiar whale (part two)

A commentary on the Sufi poem of the peculiar whale, by the 16th-century Malay poet Hamzah of Barus.

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.

The big canvas

A new book on West Sumatran 'angkot' reveals the complex tensions between tradition and modernity in contemporary Minangkabau society

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?

Documentation, Restoration, and Repatriation? Reflections on a dance film screening for the ‘Bali 1928’ project

Nien Yuan Cheng reflects on the film screening and lecture, "Gender, Crossdressing and Androgyny in Balinese Dance", conducted by ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst under the aegis of the Bali 1928 repatriation project.

The Sufi poet and the peculiar whale (part one)

Hamzah of Barus was the foremost Malay poet of the 16th century, whose work draws deeply from Sufi imagery and philosophy.