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Jakarta Post

Debating quality of Indonesia’s democracy

  • Eve Warburton and Thomas Power

Canberra   /   Mon, July 22 2019   /  01:30 am

A recent commentary by The Jakarta Post senior editor Endy M. Bayuni — “Indonesia’s democracy alive, but needs more kick” — criticized a growing body of international scholarship that claims Indonesian democracy is in
decline. The writer was particularly disapproving of an upcoming conference in Australia. He was obviously referring to the Indonesia Update at the Australian National University (ANU), themed “From stagnation to regression? Indonesian democracy after 20 years”. By proposing this theme, he suggested, those involved had“essentially condemned [Indonesia] as a failing state on the verge of returning to a dictatorship”.As convenors of this conference we feel compelled to respond to Endy’s article, and to correct several mischaracterizations. First, contrary to his assertion, no serious academic would use a term such as “failed state” or “dictatorsh...