This month marks 20 years since the riots and violence that erupted in cities including Jakarta, Medan and Solo, and mainly targeted Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese population. In light of the recent surge in anti-Chinese sentiment in Indonesia, Dr Jemma Purdey questions whether violence like that of May 1998 could happen again.

21 May marks 20 years since Soeharto stepped down, ending 32 years of authoritarian rule under the New Order, and setting off a major process of democratic reform. Indonesia at Melbourne is publishing a range of commentary and interviews reflecting on the reform process and what lies ahead for Indonesia.

The Chinese state’s Confucius Institutes are often depicted as vehicles for expanding Chinese soft power. But as Rika Theo writes, the Indonesian experience demonstrates that the institutes are not simply unidirectional projects imposed on Indonesia from a wealthy partner seeking to expand its influence.

On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, demanding that the government promote gender equality in law making and public policy and take action to eradicate violence against women. Like similar marches across the globe, the event featured many powerful and humorous signs.

More than half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30 but little research has been done into the attitudes of the country’s youth. Do they care about social inequality and environmental degradation? How do their consumption patterns reflect their values and aspirations? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Meghan Downes in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

How pervasive is vigilante violence in democratic Indonesia? What drives the phenomenon, and how does the state respond when citizens turn to vigilantism? Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Sana Jaffrey in the final Talking Indonesia episode for 2017.

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is Indonesia’s most prominent ‘Habib’ – an honorific title given to Islamic scholars who are descendants of Prophet Muhammad. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr traces the origins of the Habib in Indonesia and examines their influence over contemporary Jakarta politics.

Former State Secretary and Islamic scholar Djohan Effendi died in Geelong, Victoria, on 17 November after a long illness. His former student Ihsan Ali-Fauzi remembers a quietly principled man who was committed to challenging religious exclusivism.

Indonesia’s massive population is comprised of hundreds of ethnicities. The ethnic Chinese are one of the largest but their numbers are much smaller than is commonly believed. Charles A. Coppel takes a look at recent census data to provide a more accurate picture of this often stigmatised group.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has been ripped to shreds for saying that it was time for pribumi (‘native or indigenous Indonesians’) to be masters in their own land. Professor Denny Indrayana looks at the history of the term and questions whether there is any such thing as a true pribumi.

Can Jakarta’s urban villages (kampung) co-exist with residential, infrastructure, and commercial projects planned for the city? What do the controversies surrounding evictions and Jakarta’s kampung communities reveal about social and economic divides? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Rita Padawangi in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.