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Report on an International Seminar on Indonesian Politics

On April 16, 2018 the Oriental Institute organized an international seminar entitled After Soeharto: Twenty Years of Indonesia´s Democratic Transformation, held to assess two decades of development of the country since the downfall of Indonesia´s long-term autocratic ruler, Gen. Soeharto in May 1998.

The event was convened and chaired by the Institute´s Tomáš Petrů, while the keynote speaker was Prof. Henk Schulte Nordholt from the KITLV, Leiden. Professor Nordholt underlined that the changes triggered by Soeharto´s abdication had been quite unexpected, especially in the light of the massive overhaul of the country´s political system including the large decentralization program, reforms of the military and the police and the introduction of the regular electoral processes. Prof. Nordholt also remained cautiously optimistic regarding the political future of Indonesia, in spite of acknowledging the downsides of the young democracy, such as patronage nepotism and religious radicalism. Other speakers were Dr. Ward Berenschot (also KITLV), Dr. Christian von Lübke (Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut, Freiburg) and Dr. Martin Slama (Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences), who commented on issues ranging from decentralization, citizenship, patron-client relations, regional politics and elections and social media as a platform for Islamic piety.


25. 4. 2018