Sunday 26 Jun 2022 | 18:58 | SYDNEY
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Panel discussion: A nation divided? Islam, politics and polarisation

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was decisively re-elected in April but his second, and final, term in office looks set to be anything but plain sailing. The election revealed deep divides in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, with politics polarised along religious lines. The economy remains sluggish despite promises of structural reforms to unlock rapid growth. And Indonesia’s democratic system, long seen as a beacon of progress, is facing intensifying challenges, from crackdowns on free speech to a deterioration in the protection of minority rights.

The Indonesia Update has been an annual event held by the Australian National University in Canberra since 1983; this panel discussion was part of the 14th abbreviated Sydney edition held by the Lowy Institute.

Edward Aspinall is a professor in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. He is a specialist in the politics of Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia.

Nava Nuraniyah has been an analyst the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) since 2015, and her research interests include political Islam as well as the evolution of extremism in South East Asia, including the role of women.

The discussion was chaired by Ben Bland, the Director of the Lowy Institute's Southeast Asia Project.

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