While former Muslim militants swap bullets for ballots in Central Sulawesi, a community in West Nusa Tenggara appears to be going the other way, write Ihsan Ali-Fauzi, Irsyad Rafsadie and Siswo Mulyartono.

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.

Is a hard-line approach the best way to deal with religious intolerance? Is there a more nuanced way to address the problem? Dr Charlotte Setijadi chats to Dr Sandra Hamid about rising intolerance towards religious minorities in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

Over a couple of weeks in early May, Indonesia saw the deadliest spate of terrorist activity since the 2005 Bali bombings. Terrorism researcher Judith Jacob writes that the attacks are consistent with global trends in Islamist militancy but they are also distinctively Indonesian in several important ways.

In contrast with many other countries around the world, in Indonesia, social media has yet to play a significant part in the recruitment of new terrorists. It does, however, appear to affect the speed of radicalisation. Terrorism scholar Solahudin presents new research and looks at the reasons why.

What prompts violent Islamist extremists to turn their backs on violence? What can governments and activists learn from patterns of disengagement? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Julie Chernov Hwang in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

The government recently announced it was blocking messaging application Telegram for providing a forum for extremist propaganda. But Nava Nuraniyah writes that the real reason for the ban may have been to force the tech company to comply with government regulations.

This year has seen an escalation of tensions in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and the government has vowed to continue its security operation in the region until it captures the country’s most-wanted terrorist, Santoso. Adriany Badrah, director of the Celebes Institute, examines the impacts of these prolonged security operations in Poso and the poor decisions that have allowed violence to continue.

On Indonesia at Melbourne last week, Bhatara Ibnu Reza warned against revising anti-terror legislation to provide police or intelligence officials with greater powers. Christian Donny Putranto writes that the proposal to strip the citizenship of individuals suspected of fighting with terrorist groups is just as dangerous.

After the deadly terrorist attack in Jakarta on 14 January, a range of senior officials have agreed on the need to strengthen Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws. But as Bhatara Ibnu Reza writes, the history of security sector reform in the country shows that reform should be approached with extreme caution.

Police have named Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian affiliated with ISIS, as the suspected mastermind of the Jakarta attacks. Who is he, and does this mean Indonesia should expect further attacks from ISIS-affiliated in groups in the country? In this special edition of Talking Indonesia, Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Solahudin, a leading expert on jihadism in Indonesia.