Published daily by the Lowy Institute

David McRae

Dave McRae is a senior research fellow in the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne.

He has researched conflict, politics, democratisation and human rights issues in Indonesia for over a decade. He wrote his PhD at the Australian National University on post-authoritarian inter-religious violence in Indonesia, explaining why civil-war-like violence could suddenly occur in a previously quiescent region. As Lead Researcher for the World Bank’s Conflict and Development Team in Indonesia between 2008 and 2010 he led a research program on interventions to prevent conflict and address its impacts. He worked for the Jakarta office of the International Crisis Group between 2004 and 2006, researching and writing reports on most of Indonesia’s major conflict areas.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Specialist-Indonesian) degree with honours and university medal from the Australian National University, as well as a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies, and speaks fluent Indonesian.

Articles by David McRae (8)

  • Jokowi makes a political spectacle of executions

    It's hard to believe that just four months after President Jokowi swept to power on a wave of disillusionment with Indonesia's politics, his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is now openly displaying schadenfreude.  President Jokowi's disastrous handling of the appointment of a new police chief, and his paralysis once his nomination triggered an all-out conflict between the national police (Polri) and the anti-corruption commission (KPK) after the KPK named Jokowi's nominee a corruption susp
  • Jokowi marches on in Indonesia's polls

    Two recent reputable public opinion polls in Indonesia provide further confirmation of the rise of Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) as the clear front runner for next year's presidential elections. From his original position as mayor of Solo — a city of around 550,000 people — Jokowi has captured a mood of public disillusionment to first win election as Jakarta governor in September 2012 and then surge past the previous presidential front runner Prabowo Subianto in popularity.
  • *SBY*, the tweeting president

    The second round of the Australia-Indonesia spying stoush has now rolled on for a week, and attention is turning to the longer term implications for the relationship.
  • How Indonesia's print media saw the Abbott visit

    Yesterday Sam Roggeveen provided English-language links to coverage of Prime Minister Abbott's visit to Indonesia. This post looks at the Indonesian language print media on Tuesday and Wednesday. I've covered four of Indonesia's largest daily newspapers — Kompas, Jawa Pos, Koran Tempo and Media Indonesia — in their print form. Web articles would cover a wider range of issues, and include a greater diversity of views on the issues covered below, but for brevity are not surveyed here.
  • Views across the Pacific: Change in Myanmar

    Although still not a democracy, Myanmar has been the standout case of political change in Southeast Asia over the past two years. In this new video, the third in the 'Views Across the Pacific' series with the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, I discuss with Ernie Bower how the US and Australian governments have responded to reform in Myanmar, in the areas of sanctions, defence cooperation and international aid. David McRae
  • Carr and Bishop dodge the difficult questions on Indonesia

    It was nice to see one of seven questions at last night's foreign policy debate focus on Indonesia, as a chance to draw out each party's plan to develop the relationship. Overall though, I thought each side's answers dodged some of the more difficult questions facing Australia-Indonesia ties. Neither Carr nor Bishop set out a strategic vision for the relationship.
  • In 100 words: The most important issue of this campaign

    We kick off our election coverage with short posts from Lowy Institute experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign. Asylum seekers and people smuggling ought not to be the main international policy issues of the campaign, but each party has placed them front and centre. Each party's policy is settled ahead of the election: the PNG solution vs Operation Sovereign Borders.
  • Why don't Australians trust Indonesia?

    This year's Lowy Institute poll reveals Australians' lack knowledge of Indonesia and a pronounced mistrust of our northern neighbour. Only 33% of Australians agree that Indonesia is a democracy, fifteen years and three rounds of democratic elections after the fall of Suharto's authoritarian regime. 54% think Australia is right to worry about Indonesia as a military threat.