Going by the first presidential debate on 20 January, neither candidate feels that the electorate cares much about human rights. Dr Robertus Robet and Dr Alfindra Primaldhi present survey results suggesting that Indonesians do believe human rights are important – but acceptance of rights has its limits.

Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata Ayun write that rather than dismissing non-voters as apathetic or irresponsible, it is far more productive to reflect on how they can contribute to strengthening democracy.

Professor Tim Lindsey writes that Jokowi’s backtracking on plans to release Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is a reminder that there are still powerful nationalist forces in government who regarded Islamist hardliners as an existential threat.

With rights on the agenda during the first debate on 17 January, expectations were high. But as Dr Ken Setiawan writes, the performance of both candidate pairs left little hope for an improvement in the human rights situation.

President Joko Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin squared off against Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno in the first of five planned presidential debates on 17 January. Dr Dave McRae was watching, and presents his five key takeaways here.

President Joko Widodo surprised many when he selected Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his vice presidential running mate. Dr Budhy Munawar Rachman looks at Ma’ruf’s record at the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) and writes that if the pair are elected, things could become a lot worse for religious minorities.

With the 2019 elections fast approaching, Dr Teguh Dartanto presents results from a recent research paper suggesting that in the 2014 Presidential Election, voters in villages with good economic conditions were more likely to vote for Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last week met participants of Indonesia’s longest running human rights protest, Kamisan (“Thursdays”). Dr Ken Setaiwan writes that despite the promising photographs that came out of the meeting, his government has little interest in pursuing justice for past crimes.

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.

Many Indonesians are concerned about the damage that hoaxes and so-called “fake news” are doing to social cohesion. Professor Ariel Heryanto writes that it is difficult to find a more powerful hoax than the story of the 30 September Movement, which has provided the basis for numerous other nonsensical and dangerous hoaxes.

October 2017 marked three years since President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo came to power. How does the Indonesian public view his presidency? What issues matter to them when determining who to vote for in the next presidential election? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Djayadi Hanan in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

President Joko Widodo’s apparent lack of interest in ASEAN is a result of his short-term and pragmatic approach to policy making, writes Randy Nandyatama. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials have an important role to play in explaining ASEAN’s relevance and its connection to his political agenda.