Indonesia: twenty years of reforms

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №4

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080000431-1

The article maintains that during two decades after the fall of the authoritarian “New Order” regime in Indonesia in 1998 the country is undergoing a complicated and thorny path of democratic reforms, modernization of the political system and of political culture of the Indonesian society. From the legal point of view, this process is based upon four series of amendments to the Constitution adopted in 1999–2002, including the special chapter on human rights, and a number of other laws and acts. Nevertheless the country and Indonesian society are still facing many problems including the problems inherited from the previous regime. The fact is that the change of the regime was not a revolution. The Indonesian elite are much similar to that of the “New Order” and are not always united enough. The most acute of the problems are the necessity to confront radical Islam and terrorism, to deal with influential military elite dreaming of returning to the army the dominance it enjoyed before 1998, to overcome growing misbalance between social groups in the society, and misbalance in the development of regions. As far as religious radicalism is concerned, in many cases it is a reaction to social injustice and the policy of the USA aimed at the creation of unipolar world. Cabinet of President Joko Widodo elected in 2014 and supposed to run again in 2019 has taken several important steps to overcome these problems including some measures against radical Islam organizations, reducing the percentage of poor people, and developing infrastructure to lessen the misbalance between western and eastern regions of Indonesia. The legislative and presidential elections that will take place in 2019 are supposed to become a test for the efficiency of these efforts. They also will show how far reaching is the social support for the government policies.

Keywords: Indonesia, reforms, Army, religion, radical Islam, human rights, social imbalance, regions

Pages: С. 111–122

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