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Response to Tim Lindsey’s “Retreat from Democracy”

Response to Tim Lindsey’s “Retreat from Democracy”


Tim Lindsey’s excellent essay lays out clearly just how much the political climate in Indonesia has changed over the past decade. The optimism about extending democratic reform is gone, as is the hope that systemic corruption might be wound back, and there is an increasingly conservative mood as religious chauvinism is fanned by Islamist hardliners.

Such changes are a cause for genuine concern. But the picture is not all bleak. Perspective and expectations make a difference. Compared to Indonesia’s recent past, the picture is depressing. But compared to the experiences of other young democracies, it is less so.

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This is correspondence to Australian Foreign Affairs 3: Australia and Indonesia. To read the full issue subscribe or buy the issue.

This correspondence is featured in Australian Foreign Affairs 4: Defending Australia.