Talking Indonesia: disengagement from terrorism


Dirk Tomsa is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics and Philosophy at La Trobe University

Violent Islamist extremism has been a serious security threat in Indonesia for nearly two decades. But while terrorist networks continue to recruit new members, there are also former militants who have turned their back on violence.


What prompts such acts of disengagement? Why do some terrorists quit, while others don’t? And what can governments and peace activists learn from patterns of disengagement?


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues with Associate Professor Julie Chernov Hwang, a specialist in terrorism studies and Islamist politics from Goucher College in Baltimore, and the author of Why Terrorists Quit: The Disengagement of Indonesian Jihadists.   


In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Former West Java Police Chief Anton Charliyan with former terrorists Nasir Abas, Ali Fauzi, and Muhammad Najih Arromadloni. Photo by Adeng Bustomi for Antara.