Is Indonesia’s much-lauded democracy backsliding? A growing number of observers agree that Indonesia is not a full democracy, but instead has evolved into some other, more illiberal form of democratic government.
According to Australian National University (ANU) political scientists Edward Aspinall and Marcus Mietzner, Indonesia meets the requirements for an “electoral democracy”, which constitutes “the minimal level in the hierarchy of democratic polities”. But other important features of a full democracy, like protections for minorities, freedom of speech and freedom of organization have all eroded over the course of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo presidencies.
Recent events confirm the worrying state of Indonesian democracy. A wave of online and offline protests led by activists, a...
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