Matthew Busch, Research Fellow, East Asia Program at Lowy Institute, and special guests Rahimah “Ima” Abdulrahim, Executive Director of The Habibie Centre, Jakarta, and Sandra Hamid, Indonesia Country Representative for The Asia Foundation, had a discussion about Indonesia in an era of vigorous electoral competition and growing sectarianism.
In advance of more than 100 local elections in 2018 and presidential and legislative elections in 2019, now is an ideal time to take stock of the trajectory of politics in Indonesia. Should we expect a repeat of the religious and ethnic mobilisations deployed during the divisive 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election? How have other civil society groups responded to an injection of religious identity into the political sphere? Do these trends complement or threaten to undermine the consolidation of Indonesia’s democratic institutions on the twenty-year anniversary of Reformasi?
The Lowy Institute is grateful to the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their support of this event.