Category: Analysis

Nine women from Central Java captured the nation’s attention last week when they encased their feet in cement blocks and demanded to meet President Joko Widodo. Hendri Yulius writes that despite the subordination of women in Indonesian society, women and mothers have on several occasions been key drivers of social change.

After weeks of speculation, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) confirmed in early April that it had dismissed outspoken lawmaker Fahri Hamzah. PhD candidate Luqman-nul Hakim looks at the broader political implications of the move and what it means for PKS’s position in the Red and White Coalition (KMP).

This year has seen an escalation of tensions in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and the government has vowed to continue its security operation in the region until it captures the country’s most-wanted terrorist, Santoso. Adriany Badrah, director of the Celebes Institute, examines the impacts of these prolonged security operations in Poso and the poor decisions that have allowed violence to continue.

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) issued a circular in February preventing television stations from broadcasting programs depicting “feminine” men. Hani Yulindrasari writes that not only does this circular ignore the reality of gender diversity in Indonesia but also contributes to a potentially damaging and toxic version of masculinity.

In May 2015, Indonesia agreed to provide temporary shelter for up to 3,500 Rohingya boat people, insisting that they be resettled or repatriated within a year. With this deadline fast approaching, Dr Antje Missbach reports that few have been resettled, and public goodwill is beginning to dry up.

Inequality in Indonesia has reached record levels. What is driving this inequality, and what does Indonesian society look like as a result? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Matthew Wai-Poi in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Last week, pressure from mass organisations forced the cancellation and relocation of the Belok Kiri Fest, a cultural event that aimed to challenge dominant discourses of Indonesian history. Dr Ken Setiawan writes that the incident is the latest example of the ongoing repression of alternative discourses on leftism and the events of 1965 in democratic Indonesia.

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has big plans for Bandung. But these plans are coming up against the informality that has shaped the city’s development over many years. Anna Rowe and Amy Wu suggest an alternative approach that values informality and will ensure that all citizens – not just the middle class – can benefit from development.

Indonesians were stunned earlier this month after a photo emerged of Bogor Mayor Bima Arya opening the new office of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an organisation that openly rejects democracy and the Indonesian state. Burhanuddin Muhtadi looks at the movement and its strategy to revive a transnational Islamic caliphate.

Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is promoting Islam Nusantara — its vision of an inclusive and peaceful Islam — as a counterweight to violent extremism. What exactly is meant by the concept? And what can Islam Nusantara offer the broader Muslim world? Dr Nadirsyah Hosen examines the movement.

Previous attempts by the Indonesian left to move into politics have not met with much success. Iqra Anugrah looks at the Confederation of Indonesian People’s Movements (KPRI), an emerging alliance that is now making preparations to participate in elections in 2017 and 2019. Will it be able to make an impact where others have struggled?

Many were shocked on 6 February when Unicef reported that an estimated 60 million Indonesian women and girls have undergone genital cutting. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although some Indonesians believe female circumcision is an important expression of religious identity, theological justification for the practice is weak.