Description - Disintegrating Indonesia? by Tim Huxley
Following more than 30 years of enforced stability under Suharto's authoritarian New Order, since 1998 Indonesia - the world's fourth most populous state and largest Muslim country - has undergone a chaotic political transformation in circumstances of economic distress. Though a multi-party democracy has been established, the military remains politically powerful, and the economy is still dangerously enfeebled. Social dislocation is widespread. Democratisation has also given freer rein to previously pent-up impulses for self-determination in some peripheral provinces. East Timor's separation from Indonesia after international military intervention in 1999 has encouraged armed separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya which are rooted in cultural and religious particularism and resentment against human rights abuses by the Indonesian authorities and security forces. The success of either or both of these movements could further undermine Indonesia's political stability, but would not automatically lead to Indonesia's territorial disintegration, particularly if decentralisation initiatives succeed in ameliorating centre-periphery tensions.
The emergence of 'horizontal' conflicts also poses a serious threat to national cohesion and stability. Large-scale communal violence between religious and ethnic groups has erupted in Maluku, Sulawesi and Kalimantan. Islamic political movements have gained strength, especially in Java. Collectively, these problems potentially hold serious regional security implications, particularly in terms of major refugee outflows, infectious ethno-religious conflict and the disruption of maritime trade.
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(234mm x 156mm x 6mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Book Reviews - Disintegrating Indonesia? by Tim Huxley