Ganjar Pranowo (left), Prabowo Subianto (centre) and Anies Baswedan (right) will compete in the 2024 presidential election on 14 February 2024. Photo by Galih Pradipta for Antara.

The new year has arrived and it will be a particularly important year for Indonesia as the country heads towards a general election on 14 February. As the big day draws closer, we look forward to bringing you election analysis as well as our regular insights and commentary.

We would like to extend our thanks to those who contributed to our site over the past year. We could not operate without your continued effort and support.

We would also like to thank our readers. You can continue to engage with us through our regular channels as well as our new LinkedIn page.

To celebrate the year just past, we have pulled together this short list of the articles and podcasts you found most interesting in 2023.

Indonesia at Melbourne Blog

Who is Ganjar Pranowo? – Virdika Rizky Utama

Megawati Soekarnoputri and Joko Widodo were both present at the announcement of Ganjar Pranowo’s presidential candidacy on 21 April. But that doesn’t mean the PDI-P team are united.


Who are the elites who control Indonesian politics – Robertus Robet

Political position, wealth, and access to and control over policy are all important in determining who is part of the political elite in Indonesia.


Does Indonesia’s higher education system need a reset? – Sulistyowati Irianto

Researchers in Indonesia are alienated from their work because they lack academic freedom, their roles reduced to ticking administrative boxes. Professor Sulistyowati Irianto believes Indonesian universities are in need of reform.


Foreign influencers in Indonesia: love of the country or a ploy for popularity – Ranny Rastati

What is behind the growing number of foreign influencers producing content about Indonesia?


Why do so many Indonesians back Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? – Radityo Dharmaputra

Indonesian governments and society have historically supported victims of aggression and conflict, so why do so many Indonesians, especially online, seem to support the Russian invasion?


Half-hearted progress: religious freedom after the new criminal code – Zainal Abidin Bagir

Many media reports have been highly critical of how the new Criminal Code (KUHP) treats religious freedom. But there are some changes that should mean minorities are better protected.


Is West Sumatra on the verge of an intolerance and violent extremism crisis? – Ulta Levenia and Ivany Arbi

There are indications of growing intolerance and violent extremism in West Sumatra. A new law could make matters worse.


Islam and the 2024 presidential election: moving towards a consensus candidate – Alexander R Arifianto

The Defending Islam rallies in 2016 and 2017 and the very polarising Indonesian presidential election of 2019 suggest the role of Islam in the 2024 election will be more significant than ever. But how will Muslims vote on election day?


2024 elections: the third candidate, Anies Baswedan – Helen Pausacker

Recent opinion polls indicate Anies Baswedan is unlikely to make the run-off in the 2024 presidential elections. But, regardless, he seems determined to stay in the running. Helen Pausacker explores who is Anies Baswedan, and why is he so determined to stay in the race?


Prabowo Subianto: Indonesia’s perennial strongman recast as the adorable grandpa – Virdika Rizky Utama

Prabowo’s political trajectory is a case study of resilience and reinvention. As the 2024 election approaches, it is his most recent persona – that of an adorable grandpa for Indonesia’s Generation Z and millennial voters – that could be his most savvy.

Talking Indonesia

Expatriates – Dr Anne Meike Fechter

In January 2021, a case that became known as ‘digital-nomad-gate’ gripped both Indonesia’s social and conventional media channels and was also reported around the world. This is just one of many cases in recent years which have caught out foreigners in Indonesia for breaking laws and flouting or ignoring social and cultural norms and sensitivities.


Decoloniality and independence – Tamara Soukotta

We see that 78 years after Soekarno proclaimed independence in 1945 – Indonesians are still asking the question “sudahkah kita merdeka?” – are we truly independent yet. In this week’s episode of Talking Indonesia, Tito Ambyo chats with Tamara Soukotta about her research into conflicts in Ambon how to celebrate Independence Day critically and decolonially.


Pathways to extremism – Dr Julie Chernov-Hwang

In the post-Soeharto era, terrorist acts have drawn attention through a handful of small, but committed, jihadist organisations conducting targeted bombings. In this week’s episode, Elisabeth Kramer chats with guest Dr Julie Chernov Hwang about how social networks facilitate entry into and exit from jihadist groups in Southeast Asia.


Indonesia and AUKUS – Dr Ahmad Rizky M Umar

What underpins Indonesia’s negative response to AUKUS? Dr Dave McRae explores this question and more with Dr Ahmad Rizky M Umar in the first episode of Talking Indonesia for 2023.


Gen Z voters – Abigail Limuria and Dharmadji Suradika

Generation Z will vote in their first general elections in 2024. How will they vote? Tito Ambyo sits down with Abigail Limuria and Dharmadji Suradika from Bijak Memilih, a website helping young people understand Indonesia’s political landscape.


Jokowi goes to Africa – Christophe Dorigné-Thomson

Joko Widodo’s recent trip to four African countries marked the first ever by an Indonesian head of state. So, what motivated such a high-level trip to Africa? In this week’s episode Jemma Purdey chats with Dr Christophe Dorigné-Thomson who holds a PhD in Politics from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Universitas Indonesia.


Sand mining – Febriana Firdaus and Krisna Pradipta

According to a report from the UN, sand is the second most exploited natural resource in the world after water. Done without care, sand mining can cause coastal areas or even whole islands to disappear. Some fishing communities in Indonesia are at risk of losing their livelihoods and cultures due to sand mining operations.


Religion, gender and migrant worker identity – Lailatul Fitriyah

The World Bank estimated in 2016 that over 8.9 billion US dollars flowed back to Indonesia via remittances. However, it is limiting to view the experiences of overseas workers purely in economic terms. Lis Kramer’s guest today, Dr Lailatul Fitriyah, has researched and published on the migrant worker experience through an intersectional lens, focusing on how gender and religion shape the lived experiences of women working overseas.


Indonesian student armies – Jonathan Tehusijarana

In this episode of Talking Indonesia, Tito Ambyo chats with Jonathan Tehusijarana about the history of Tentara Pelajar – student militia units – that were active during the Indonesian War of Independence and how this history still colours the Indonesian understanding of the term pemuda, meaning youth.


Cryptocurrency – Rob Raffael Kardinal

How is the booming cryptocurrency market regulated in Indonesia? What are the main concerns do users? Tito Ambyo chats to Rob Raffael Kardinal in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

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