1401977_Setiawan,K_2023.pdf (226.55 kB)
Defending a Vulnerable yet Resilient Democracy: Civil Society Activism in Jokowi's Indonesia
journal contributionposted on 2024-01-12, 04:36 authored by KMP Setiawan, Dirk TomsaDirk Tomsa
For the first two decades after the end of the authoritarian New Order regime, Indonesian civil society was widely hailed as a bulwark against elite attempts to roll back the country's democratic achievements. More recent assessments, however, have highlighted how polarisation, socio-religious conservatism and growing state repression have increasingly restricted civil society's ability to defend Indonesian democracy against further backsliding. In the face of these growing pressures, political activists have nonetheless demonstrated adaptability, resourcefulness and resilience, and, despite the narrowing space for dissent and protest, occasionally succeeded in halting and even reversing anti-democratic trends. In this article, we focus on two segments of civil society – women's rights groups and environmental activists – to illustrate under what circumstances progressive political activism in contemporary Indonesia can still be effective in upholding diagonal accountability and defending human rights.