2019 Indonesia Update

From stagnation to regression? Indonesian democracy after twenty years

6–7 September

If you are already on the Indonesia Project mailing List, you will receive an email when the registration form goes up on the website. Please email nurkemala.muliani@anu.edu.au if you would like to be added to the list.


Coombs Lecture Theatre, H C Coombs Building #9, corner Fellows Road and Garran Road, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601


Indonesia is a rare case of democratic transition and persistence in Southeast Asia. But like many other democracies around the world, Indonesia increasingly shows signs of fragility and even deconsolidation. In recent years there has been a rise in authoritarian populism, arbitrary state crackdowns on freedom of speech and organisation, and a deterioration in the protection of minority rights. There are more deep-seated problems too: corruption, clientelism, unequal access to legal protection and redress, under-representation of lower-class and minority voices, and growing support for religious majoritarianism amongst the political class. Many symptoms of democratic fragility were first diagnosed during the second term of President Yudhoyono (2009-2014); but to the surprise of many observers, the most dramatic decline in democratic quality has occurred on President Jokowi’s watch (2014-).

To be sure, Indonesia has a well-earned reputation as the region’s most vibrant democracy. There is much to celebrate about what Indonesia has achieved over the past two decades since Suharto’s authoritarian regime was dismantled. But the warning signs require urgent analytical attention. Cases like the Philippines and Turkey provide powerful reminders that once-stable democracies can deteriorate quickly in the hands of democratically-elected leaders. This conference examines the quality of Indonesian democracy. The contributors will identify, assess and debate the signs of deconsolidation across a range of political and institutional contexts. They will do so with a view not just to assessing Indonesia’s democratic evolution over time, but also to situating Indonesia in the context of a global democratic recession.


The conference is free of charge

Conference convenors

Thomas Power
The Australian National University

Eve Warburton
The Australian National University
The National University of Singapore

Conference administrator

Indonesia Project
The Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
Canberra ACT 2601
+61 2 6125 5954, +61 2 6125 3794