ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Politics of Amnesia

Fifty years ago, a failed uprising against pro-US army generals (though not against the country's president) in Indonesia became the scapegoat for pogroms and inaugurated a three-decade long period of authoritarianism. Indonesia became the model for the West in its suppression of popular movements in the global South. The elite in Indonesia and its international allies still do not want to talk about their violent methods. This amnesia and the refusal to understand the experiences of popular politics works to the detriment of democracy in the country.

Stagnation or Transformation in Indonesia?

In October, Joko Widodo, or "Jokowi", campaigning on a populist pro-democracy platform, became the new president of Indonesia after a bitter election campaign against oligarch Prabowo Subianto, a former military officer who was supported by elements of the former Suharto regime. Jokowi's victory illustrates both the real achievements and the profound limits of Indonesian democracy. Fortunately, it also highlights possibilities for substantive reform.

Is Social Democracy Being Undermined?

Contrary to conventional opinion that "social democracy" as an idea has been undermined by globalisation, it can be argued that it is increasingly valid in both the post-industrial and new industrial countries outside Europe. The Swedish Social Democratic Party's crisis is one of its own making - borne out of parochialism, complacency and short-term politics.

Prisoners of Social Capital

Prisoners of Social Capital Interrogating Social Capital: The Indian Experience edited by Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Bishnu N Bohapatra and Sudha Pai; Sage Publications, New Delhi, Thousand Oaks and London, 2004;

Indonesia: Problems and Options for Democratisation

Indonesia needs a renewed agenda of 'substantial democracy'. Its fledgling democracy is still dominated by players from the old elite who retain their presence in most institutions of governance. The pro-democracy movement is active in pockets and remains confined to isolated attempts at organising civil society.

What's Wrong with Indonesia's Democratisation?

Indonesia's democratisation is not making much sense even to its major potential pro-democratic force - the people at large - as a way of promoting ideas and solving conflicts. There is an urgent need for a third path between determinism and idealism, that aims at substantial democratisation not in terms of good outcome for all but the promotion of citizen's actual capacity to make use of and further improve civil and democratic rights and institutions.

Dynamics of Indonesian Democratisation

What are the characteristics and problems of Indonesia's democratisation? First, it is argued here, the current elite-focused approaches and recipes are insufficient. Politics is getting more localised and there is a special need to study actors and processes that may deepen democracy. Secondly, the problems of attempts at popular politics of democratisation are examined. Third, this view from below is used to analyse the 1999 elections and their turbulent aftermath.

Crisis in East Timor

Indonesian army let loose the dogs of war in East Timor but could not call them off. The UN failed to intervene in time. But beyond these, a lasting solution to the problem can only come through strengthening the democratic movements both in Indonesia and in East Timor.

Indonesia : Birth of World's Third Largest Democracy

While the recent elections were free and fair, the context was not just and the substance was shallow, with a lack of opportunities to make use of the political liberties. The healthy growth of the world's third largest democracy depends crucially on the further development and consolidation of the democracy movement.

Crisis in Asia Calls for Political Solution

Solution Olle Tornquist EAST and south-east Asia are in crisis. In Indonesia, for example, the tall of the currency is close to a catastrophe, and so is the value on the stock market. Several banks have had to close. Decades of yearly growth of around 7 per cent have turned into a predicted contraction of 5 per cent. Large companies and the state find it hard to pay overseas loans. The picture is largely the same in substantially more developed South Korea. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have gone in with gigantic- aid packages in which Sweden is taking part.

INDONESIA-Violence in Paradise

Violence in Paradise Olle Tornquist The rising violence in Indonesia in recent months has to be seen in the context of several developments. For one, not only have the working and middle classes grown, but youth groups have become politically more mobile. The general discontent with the despotic political system has accentuated with the drought and the current economic crisis. The risk is great that Indonesia is headed for a period of wider political violence.

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