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  • Author: Jacques Bertrand, Jessica Doedirgo
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Although the January 2016 Sarinah mall attacks in Jakarta demonstrate the need for continued vigilance, this paper argues that Islamic extremism and fundamentalism are not on the rise in Indonesia. In fact, Islamic extremism in Indonesia reached its height in the early 2000s, with radicalized groups participating in religious conflicts in Eastern Indonesia and carrying out large-scale terrorist attacks, such as the bombings in Bali in 2002. Since then, the capacity of the security apparatus has markedly improved, leading to the crippling of terrorist networks. Today, the majority of Islamists engage in above-ground non-violent activities and pose little threat to the country’s stability. This paper views fundamentalism and extremism as symptoms of broader problems in Indonesia, and argues that addressing these issues should help to further reduce the problems of religious fundamentalism and extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Sectarian violence, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Bali
  • Author: Wendy Dobson
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews Indonesia’s economic prospects and what these imply for a closer relationship with Canada. By posing the question “Is Indonesia the next China?,” the author suggests that Indonesia has the considerable economic potential envisaged by foreign investors, but conveys uncertainty as to whether Southeast Asia’s most populous country can make the changes necessary to realize that potential. A review of the economic record and comparison of China’s and Indonesia’s economic structures, endowments and institutions show major differences between the two countries. The paper further questions what it will take to realize Indonesia’s potential, finding the answers to be: human capital development; increased participation in the region’s global value chains; meeting the growing middle-class demand for modern services; raising productivity in agriculture and fishing; and increasing use of the Internet. Failure to make these changes will increase the chances of Indonesia’s growth in per capita incomes slowing and falling into the middle-income trap. Canada’s role will be to monitor closely how Indonesia tackles its five priorities at the same time as it responds to the opportunities to exploit Indonesia’s abundant natural resources, urbanization and its expanding consumer demand for modern services and educational opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Regulation
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia
  • Author: John Ravenhill
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper examines the security context of the Australia- Indonesia relationship. East Asia presents a fundamental paradox for scholars of international relations. It has arguably more sources of interstate tension than any other region of the developing world. However, it has experienced no signi cant interstate con ict since the end of the China-Vietnam war in 1979. After brie y reviewing the principal security challenges that East Asia faces, the paper then looks at the three categories of explanations for the long peace in the region: hegemony and balancing; institutions and elite socialization; and economic interdependence. By early 2016, East Asia appeared to be facing the most unsettled security environment it has experienced for four decades. The new sources of interstate tensions present challenges for the mechanisms that have previously maintained peace in the region. Washington’s “pivot” to Asia has brought the United States into a more direct policy of balancing against China than in the past — but its sustainability and medium-term consequences remain unclear. Meanwhile, regional institutions, despite growing in numbers, are seemingly incapable of effectively addressing the new security challenges. A need for better leadership and initiatives is evident, both within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the broader regional context. Finally, recent developments in the region and elsewhere have illustrated the challenges of using economic interdependence as a lever over unwelcome state behaviour.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia/Pacific