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The Chinese state’s Confucius Institutes are often depicted as vehicles for expanding Chinese soft power. But as Rika Theo writes, the Indonesian experience demonstrates that the institutes are not simply unidirectional projects imposed on Indonesia from a wealthy partner seeking to expand its influence.

Are we seeing a conservative turn in Indonesian Islam? What new Islamic organisations are emerging, and what challenges do they pose to mainstream organisations such as NU and Muhammadiyah? Dr Charlotte Setijadi explores these questions and more with Dr Ahmad Najib Burhani in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

Since coming to power, the administration of President Joko Widodo has accelerated the national land certification program, believing that secure land tenure can contribute to economic growth and improved welfare for rural people. But Emilianus Yakob Sese Tolo writes that land certification may have led to some unintended negative outcomes.

How is Indonesia balancing its environmental challenges with its economic interests? What are the roles of government, business and civil society? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues with Professor Suraya Affif, from the University of Indonesia, in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia

The years-long dispute between Freeport and the government looks to be finally nearing resolution, with the mining giant agreeing to give a majority stake in its local unit to the government. But Nurkholis Hidayat and Valerie Tan write that while Freeport and the government continue to negotiate, the rights of Freeport’s thousands of local workers have been ignored.

For more than a year, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has been tracking the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA), which stands accused of spreading hoax news and hate speech online. SAFEnet Regional Coordinator Damar Juniarto presents a detailed examination of the shadowy network.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears to have developed a strong rapport with President Joko Widodo. But Professor Tim Lindsey and Dr Dave McRae write that this may not be enough to overcome the mutual misunderstandings and suspicions, and tensions over human rights issues, that complicate the bilateral relationship.

What deficits in criminal law is the draft revised criminal code seeking to address and how have controversial regressive articles emerged? What will the implications be for Indonesian democracy if the current draft passes? Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues and more with Anugerah Rizki Akbari in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

In contrast with many other countries around the world, in Indonesia, social media has yet to play a significant part in the recruitment of new terrorists. It does, however, appear to affect the speed of radicalisation. Terrorism scholar Solahudin presents new research and looks at the reasons why.

On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, demanding that the government promote gender equality in law making and public policy and take action to eradicate violence against women. Like similar marches across the globe, the event featured many powerful and humorous signs.

What prompts violent Islamist extremists to turn their backs on violence? What can governments and activists learn from patterns of disengagement? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Julie Chernov Hwang in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

While most of Indonesian civil society was preoccupied with proposed changes to the Criminal Code, the House of Representatives (DPR) last week passed a revised version of the 2014 Law on Legislative Bodies. Dr Robertus Robet looks at the controversial changes, which he says will result in a DPR that is resistant to criticism and immune from prosecution.

On 8 February, the Constitutional Court issued a decision that paves the way for the national legislature (DPR) to compel the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to attend questioning, using its so-called hak angket powers. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision.

More than half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30 but little research has been done into the attitudes of the country’s youth. Do they care about social inequality and environmental degradation? How do their consumption patterns reflect their values and aspirations? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Meghan Downes in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein last week issued a stern warning about Indonesia’s plans to revise its Criminal Code. Tim Mann looks at Hussein’s recent visit to Indonesia and questions whether the country’s engagement in the UN rights process is just window dressing.

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