A mega coalition for accelerated development

Couverture ASE2020Gloria Truly ESTRELITA

Gabriel FACAL

The year 2019 has been particularly intense in Indonesia. The return of the political and civic debate reflected in the recent elections seems to give a fresh hope to democratic recovery. Nevertheless, after months of political tension, the presidential and legislative elections in April were followed by striking settlements in ministerial reshuffles in October, revealing the intricate strategies of the “progressive” presidential team in dealing with the legacies of the former regime. At the same time, the liberalism represented by the President took an authoritarian direction, with the repression of social movements and new draft laws threatening fundamental freedoms. On the economic issue, the government's major development program is successful; however, it fails in dealing with growing inequality, and many projects severely harm the environment. Thus, Indonesia's young democracy seems to hesitate between development driven by strong people’s demand and the restriction of individual freedoms, which stems from the religious conservatism and military culture inherited from the former regime.

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Keywords: Indonesia, Joko Widodo, authoritarian liberalism, infrastructures, environment