It has been a year full of challenges for democracy in a number of countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. The Tifa Foundation, which has entered into a new partnership with New Mandala, believes that civil society organisations in the region must have a role in facing those challenges, including using the opportunities that are there to encourage the advance of democracy.

To discuss these issues, you are invited to attend the Tifa Foundation’s 17th Anniversary Conference, Our Race to the Bottom? Civic Space, Human Rights, and the Trajectory of Democracy in ASEAN Countries, in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday 8 December 2017. 

In this special forum, academics from ASEAN countries and Australia will discuss the state of democracy and civil society in Southeast Asia, digging deeper into the themes and questions in New Mandala’s ongoing series on the big issues facing Southeast Asian democracy. These academics will join politicians and activists in surveying the scale of the challenge to political and civil rights across the region, and identify the opportunities for civil society to build coalitions for defending and extending democracy. Audience members will be welcome to join in the conversation, too.


FRIDAY 8 DECEMBER 2017 | 08:15–14:00

Ballroom 2, JS Luwansa Hotel, Jl HR Rasuna Said C22, Jakarta Selatan | Refreshments and lunch will be provided


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New Mandala and the TIFA Foundation



This conference is appearing as part of New Mandala’s developing collaboration with the TIFA Foundation, the Jakarta-based affiliate of the Open Society Foundations network. The TIFA Foundation has provided support to many of the Indonesia’s most respected civil society organisations, supporting campaigns in critically important fields like access to information, community and independent media, legal aid, anti-corruption, and minority rights. You can find out more about the TIFA Foundation and the work they do supporting progressive organisations in Indonesia at their website.

As part of this partnership, New Mandala is publishing a series of posts and policy papers under the banner of the Regional Learning Hub, a site for conversations about the big issues facing civil society in Indonesia and Southeast Asia amid shrinking civic space. Contributions from scholars from around the world will put the experience of Indonesian civil society in its regional context, and highlight the opportunities available for civil society to defend democratic space. Click here to read expert perspectives on the big issues facing democratic freedoms in the region.