The changing face of Indonesian elections

Originally published in China Daily, 29 March 2019 As Indonesia gears up for its presidential election on April 17, the vote, which will be held concurrently with parliamentary elections, will see a rematch between the two candidates who faced off in 2014: incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, former commander of the Indonesian […]

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Indonesian foreign policy needs to focus more on impact than process

Last weekend, Indonesia successfully hosted the 11th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF). Since its inception in 2008, the BDF has been a staple of Indonesia’s growing regional and global profile.  The BDF envisions “progressive democratic architecture” in the Asia-Pacific region. But Indonesia’s immediate environment has demonstrated the resilience of varying authoritarianism. Thailand is under military rule, […]

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Will religious sectarianism change Indonesian foreign policy?

Earlier this month, Islamist groups held a major rally in Jakarta to call on Muslims to shun political parties and candidates that had backed the now-imprisoned former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahja Purnama, or Ahok. The rally was yet another reminder that religious sectarianism still looms large over Indonesia’s presidential race. As we head into the final five […]

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Indonesia and the Quad: can’t or won’t decide?

Huong Le Thu’s recent study on Southeast Asian perceptions of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the informal grouping of the US, Japan, Australia and India, commonly known as the Quad) found that Indonesians were among the most ambivalent towards it. In response to the question, ‘Do you support the Quad?’, more than 50% of Indonesians surveyed chose, ‘Not […]

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Indonesia has a stake in Australia’s Lombrum plans too

During the November APEC Summit, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US will work with Australia and Papua New Guinea to develop the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island. Analysts have debated whether the plan is part of a pushback against Chinese encroachment in the Pacific and how militarily useful the base would be in a future conflict. But the […]

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Pemilih Milenial dan Pemilu 2019

PENINGKATAN jumlah pemilih kelompok milenial pada Pemilu Nasional 2019 menyebabkan studi tentang perilaku dan karakteristik pemilih milenial menjadi relevan dan strategis. Bonus demografi pemilih milenial terjadi beriringan dengan meningkatnya akses pemilih terhadap internet dan media sosial. Dua hal itu akan memengaruhi konfigurasi politik dan pergerakan dukungan pemilih kepada capres dan partai dalam pemilu mendatang. Persepsi […]

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Kepala Daerah dan Era Baru Kepemimpinan Nasional

Dua puluh tahun lalu, ketika reformasi kita dimulai tahun 1998, dunia berspekulasi bahwa Indonesia akan terpecah belah, ter-Balkan-isasi seperti Yugoslavia yang bubar segera setelah negara itu menjalankan demokrasi saat Uni Soviet runtuh di akhir tahun 1980-an. Setahun sebelum dan sesudah 1998, konflik internal yang berdarah dan mematikan menerpa Indonesia. Mulai dari konflik etnik di Kalimantan […]

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Russia: Comrade-in-arms?

The terms “intelligence” and “espionage” may not buzz the same way as they did back in the Cold War era. Thanks to the entertainment industry, we laugh at the likes of Austin Powers, Johnny English and Gru of Despicable Me.  However, this October, a different kind of “Gru” has resurfaced. The British, Dutch and American governments […]

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