Indonesian Politics

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.

‘Religion’ and ‘belief’ in Indonesia: what’s the difference?

In insisting that “animist” faiths be given a lower status than “religion”, Islamic leaders ignore how the false divide between them was constructed in the first place.

Reflections on a reunion in Jakarta

On the reunion of 2016’s anti-Ahok protests: the ‘awakening’ of Islamic identity means togetherness to some, and division to others.

Mosque polling stations and voting for Anies

A correlation between polling stations’ location in houses of worship and support for Anies throws up some interesting questions.

Southeast Asian cyberspace: politics, censorship, polarisation

The internet is both a factor in, and a victim of, the region’s crisis of democracy.

Old dominance, new dominoes in Southeast Asia

Democracy in the region finds itself in dark days. Can anything save it?

A new partnership with the TIFA Foundation

A frank discussion on civil society and Southeast Asia's crisis of democracy.

Behind Indonesia’s illiberal turn

Oligarchs have weaponised identity politics in their struggles over power and resources. That means it's not going away any time soon.