Indonesia – the Experience of Transformation

Vostok/Oriens '2014, №1

After the fall of the authoritarian military regime of the “New Order” in Indonesia in May 1998, substantial reforms were accomplished including four clusters of the amendments to the Constitution and several laws ensuring the democratization of the political system. But the political culture of Indonesians and, particularly, the Indonesian elite is still bearing the heritage of the previous decades of authoritarianism. The divisions within the elite are an obstacle for efficient implementation of the reforms, rule of law, rights of ethnical and religious minorities. Under these circumstances radical Islam groups are becoming more and more active demanding that Sharia laws are introduced at the state level. Their activities may arouse centrifugal tendencies in multiethnic and multiconfessional Indonesia. It is resulting in growing nostalgia of Indonesians for the era of authoritarian regime. Under this situation there is a possibility that the army move to the political proscenium as the only force able to confront the “balkanization” trend.

Keywords: Indonesia, reforms, Islam, radicalism, power, elite, society

Pages: С. 66–78

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