Vigilantism made headlines in Indonesia in 2017 owing to a spate of so-called “persecution” incidents, entailing physical intimidation or violence against online critics of prominent religious figures. But these incidents are just one manifestation of the broader phenomenon of vigilantism, which remains widespread in democratic Indonesia. How pervasive is vigilante violence, and what patterns do we see in its distribution, its perpetrators and its targets? What drives this phenomenon, and how does the state respond when citizens turn to vigilantism?


In the final Talking Indonesia episode for 2017, Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Sana Jaffrey, PhD candidate at the University of Chicago’s Department of Political Science and a visiting fellow at the Center for Study of Religion and Democracy (Pusad Paramadina). Sana previously led the design and implementation of the National Violence Monitoring System (NVMS) database at the World Bank from 2008-2013.


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 – the podcast returns in 2018 on Thursday 18 January. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Rivan Awal Lingga for Antara.


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