Focus on the state of the Indonesian democracy at “Southeast Asia at yet another Crossroad” Seminar

After a morning session outlining the current political climate in Vietnam, after lunch the seminar titled “Southeast Asia at yet another Crossroad” took a closer look at the situation in Indonesia as of June 2014; one month before the presidential elections and two months after the parliamentary elections.

Professor Gerry van Klinken

New political elites

First, Prof. Nankyung Choi from the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong gave a presentation about new emerging political elites in Indonesia. Prof. Nan provided examples of several new political figures at sub-national level with somewhat unlikely backgrounds having successfully entered politics.

Expectations towards the state

Prof. Olle Törnquist from UiO presented the latest findings from the national democracy survey conducted in cooperation with the Gajah Mada University. One of the findings of this research is that the Indonesian population seems to have a less contemptuous view of the state than some years back and that there are widespread expectations for the state to provide welfare benefits.

When the state does not work

Starting out by recounting the story of how Jan Djong of Maumere, an activist and a former village head met his destiny in 1966, Professor Gerry van Klinken of KITLV/University of Amsterdam made some reflections about the challenges to human rights when the state does not work and citizen’s rights are not recognised. Van klinken also argued that the state is not a bureaucratic machine, but an arena for competition.

Published July 8, 2014 3:24 PM - Last modified Aug. 26, 2014 3:47 PM