What the Jakarta attack means for Indonesian terrorism

Indonesian police officers patrol near the site of the 14 January terrorist attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia, 17 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Greg Fealy, ANU

Two weeks after the terrorist attack in front of the Sarinah Department Store in central Jakarta, a clearer picture is emerging of the key figures behind the operation and its significance for Indonesian jihadism.

On 14 January, four perpetrators launched a mid-morning attack in the busy Sarinah area of Jakarta. Read more…

‘Old guard’ blocking human rights reform in Indonesia

Indonesian police stand guard in front of a prison during the transfer of death row prisoners in Bali, Indonesia, 4 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ken Setiawan, University of Melbourne

To many, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) election represented a break with the past as he had no ties to existing military or political elites. The new president was also different from his predecessors in other ways. Read more…

Dealing with the IS threat in Southeast Asia

A man looks at floral tributes at the scene of a bomb blast at a police post in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kumar Ramakrishna, RSIS

On 14 January 2016, four Indonesian militants mounted a brazen lunchtime assault on a Starbucks Café and a police post in downtown Jakarta. The general area boasts government offices, shopping malls and eateries as well as a United Nations office and the United States embassy. Read more…

Jokowi not the reformer he promised to be

Indonesian president Joko Widodo greets supporters with his 'three-finger greeting' symbolising 'The Unity of Indonesia'. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Burhanuddin Muhtadi, ANU

In his first year in office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) failed to deliver on his promises of reform. As former New York governor Mario Cuomo nicely put it, ‘We campaign in poetry, but when we’re elected we’re forced to govern in prose’. Yet, six months on, things may be picking up for Jokowi.

Read more…

Will Jokowi move beyond protectionism?

n Indonesian vendor counts Rupiah notes at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia, 10 December 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Arianto Patunru, ANU

Put in a comparative, historical perspective, Indonesia’s economic growth performance has been relatively strong. Yet the recent slowdown in growth is a cause for concern.

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Indonesia’s identity war 50 years in the making

Members of the Youth Wing of the Indonesian Communist Party (Pemuda Rakjat) are guarded by soldiers as they are taken by open truck to prison in Jakarta, October 30 1965. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Robert Cribb, ANU

In October 2015, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival cancelled the launch of three books containing testimonies collected from survivors of Indonesia’s worst political genocide of the 20th century. Read more…

Indonesia’s fateful choices

A restaurant employee prepares rendang, a traditional West Sumatranese meat cuisine, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It was Indonesia that led its ASEAN partners down the path towards the ambitious ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC was signed onto in Kuala Lumpur at the ASEAN leaders meeting in November. This was the year of delivery. Well, perhaps but not exactly — and that is probably an apt descriptor of where Indonesia is at on many fronts after the first year of the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) presidency. Read more…