Professor Tim Lindsey examines the blasphemy allegations against Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama. He writes that the case reveals two problems at the heart of Indonesian democracy: the rise of religious intolerance among Indonesia’s Muslim majority and the manipulation of that intolerance by the small group of elite politicians who dominate Indonesian politics.

How has the Joko Widodo administration performed on economic management? How successful has the tax amnesty program really been? And has the government’s perceived new emphasis on ties with China changed Chinese involvement in the economy? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Yose Rizal Damuri, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

What accounts for Indonesia’s infrastructure deficit and how can the government best address it? How does President Joko Widodo differ in his approach to infrastructure compared to his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono? Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Jamie S. Davidson, from the National University of Singapore, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

President Joko Widodo made an appeal to Southeast Asian unity in the face of regional instability as the ASEAN Summit kicked off in Laos this week. Dr Avery Poole writes that this may bode well for Indonesia’s traditional leadership role in ASEAN but we are unlikely to see significant progress on key regional governance challenges.

President Joko Widodo has already shown signs that human rights will not be a top priority for his government. But as Christian Donny Putranto writes, few of Jokowi’s passionate campaigners would have ever imagined that two years after his election his administration would promote military officials involved in abducting pro-democracy activists to senior positions in security agencies.

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s contrasting approach to foreign policy compared to his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, stands to reshape Australia-Indonesia ties. In this public lecture, Dr Evi Fitriani charts President Joko Widodo’s distinct approach to foreign policy and outlines the implications for Indonesia’s relationship with Australia.

President Joko Widodo’s economy-focused cabinet reshuffle on 27 July has been described as evidence of his growing talent for managing political relationships. But as Matthew Busch writes, while the reshuffle might be a political success, it should not be assumed the gloss extends to the economy.

President Joko Widodo appointed a new cabinet on 27 July, adding nine new faces. Burhanuddin Muhtadi writes that the reshuffle was a pragmatic move aimed at consolidating his now broad ruling coalition and providing him with greater freedom to implement his priority programs. He might appear to be playing it safe, Burhanuddin says, but this strategy is not without risks.

The past month has seen rising tensions in the South China Sea. What are the implications of recent developments for Indonesia, and how can it best respond? Will Indonesia’s relations with China be affected? Dr Dave McRae speaks to Dr Makmur Keliat, from the University of Indonesia, about these issues and more in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Jokowi was produced by a decentralised democratic system in which negotiation, including with oligarchs, was necessary for advancement. But now that he is president, he finds that he has nothing to bargain with except his personal popularity. As Professor Vedi Hadiz writes, negotiating with oligarchy may end up eroding the popularity Jokowi needs to negotiate with them in the first place.

In January, President Joko Widodo twice instructed senior officials to resolve past violations of human rights by the end of the year. Yati Andriyani and Nurkholis Hidayat write that unless major changes are made to the reconciliation process, prospects for meaningful resolution do not look good.

Indonesian diplomats have been encouraged to promote the country’s exports and attract more foreign investment. But as Awidya Santikajaya writes, unless trade liberalisation is also part of the discussion, their efforts will not come to much.