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Indonesia Studies


The Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute promotes in-depth understanding of Indonesia through conferences, workshops, seminars, print and e-publications, and timely commentary in the international and local media. These serve as channels to inform scholars, policy-makers, journalists, the business community, diplomats and international organizations on pertinent developments in Indonesia today.

The programme is concerned with understanding the effects of political and economic reform in Indonesia following the end of the New Order era, especially with respect to the implementation of decentralization policies throughout the archipelagic nation. In addition, the programme is also paying special attention to the dynamics and implications of the Indonesian legislative and presidential elections in 2014.

The programme seeks to build and maintain institutional ties and scholarly exchange with academics, analysts, and centres involved in the study of contemporary Indonesia.


Programme Coordinator

Please contact the Assistant Coordinator, Siwage Dharma Negara ( siwage_dharma_negara@iseas.edu.sg ), for matters related to the Indonesia Studies Programme.


Current Researchers

  • Hui Yew-Foong
  • Siwage Dharma Negara
  • Ulla Fionna
  • Maxwell Lane
  • Andrew Carruthers
  • Deasy Simandjuntak
  • Charlotte Setijadi
  • Kathleen Azali
  • Pearlyn Pang

Past Affiliates

Taufik Abdullah Martin Panggabean Agung Wicaksono
Sulfikar Amir Anthony Reid Ian Wilson
Raden Alpha Amirrachman Reza Y Siregar Nugroho Wisnumurti
Adiwan Aritenang Iman Sugema Bernhard Platzdasch
Chatib Basri Rizal Sukma  Aris Ananta
Soedradjad Djiwandono Priyambudi Sulistiyanto  Alexander Arifianto
Richard Z Leirissa Eric Tagliacozzo  Evi Nurfidya Arifin
Audrey Kahin Thee Kian Wie  Maxensius Tri Sambodo
George McTurnan Kahin Ekawati S Wahyuni  Bantarto Bandoro
Okamoto Masaaki Donald Weatherbee  Jacqueline Wendy Baker
Endah Heliana Yopie Hambali Ni Putu Nala Krisdiani
Gwenael Njoto-Feillard    

Indonesia Forum 2015: New Government, New Vision, New Opportunities, 15 May 2015

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (now known as ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute) and the University of Michigan co-organised the one-day forum - Indonesia Forum 2015: New Government, New Vision, New Opportunities at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel Singapore on 15 May 2015. The Indonesia Forum marked the first time that two leading institutions with extensive research and networks in Southeast Asia are working together.  

Professor Dr Ir Indroyono Soesilo, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Republic of Indonesia and University of Michigan alumnus, delivered the keynote address on “Maritime Development in Indonesia: New Opportunities and Challenges” where he outlined the maritime issues facing Indonesia, and the policies being put into place to address these challenges.

Other distinguished speakers include Dr Chatib Basri, former Indonesian Finance Minister; Dr Ridwan Kamil, Mayor of Bandung; Mr Michael Dunne, Former President, General Motors Indonesia; and Mr Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, President Director, PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, Indonesia.

The forum was attended by over 150 participants, which included members of the business and finance community, diplomatic community, policymakers, civil servants and those interested in the political and socio-economic developments of Indonesia. Members of the Indonesian business community in Singapore were also present at the event.

Review of Indonesia Studies

The Review of Indonesia Studies is a premium publication that seeks to review the field of Indonesia studies and highlight emergent research on Indonesia. The publication will focus on contemporary Indonesia, especially research related to the political economy, domestic politics, and sociological trends of Indonesia. It will bring together some of the best scholarship on Indonesia from different hubs of Indonesia studies around the world and the region.

The Indonesian Elections 2014

This edited volume brings together original research to provide readers with a comprehensive account of the 2014 legislative and presidential elections. It offers crucial background information on the state of Indonesian politics leading to the elections, a thorough analysis of trends, institutions, and important actors associated with the campaign, and an interpretation of the outcomes, suggesting also their implications.

Re-mapping Indonesian Muslims’ Political Aspirations

This study asks the question of whether religious piety still seeks political expression in Indonesia. In doing so, it aims to understand the patterns and nuances of the actualisation of political Islamic aspirations among Indonesian Muslims. It investigates three main Muslim groups: the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, members and cadres of Muslim-based political parties, and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) members.



For upcoming seminars, please see the events page of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute website.

Seminars over the past years:

  • Dr John Ciorciari, “Southeast Asian Strategic Alignments in an Era of Rising Sino-American Competition,” 14 May 2015.
  • Dr Maxensius Sambodo, “Jokowi's Energy Policy: Evaluating the Past and Assessing Future Paths,” 28 April 2015.
  • Dr Maxwell Lane & Dr Ulla Fiona, “Indonesia under Jokowi: A Half-Year Assessment,” 14 Aoril 2015.
  • Professor Purwo Santoso, “Recentralisation under Joko Widodo’s Presidency?” 26 February 2015.
  • Professor Ian Coxhead, “Do Resource Export Booms Discourage Schooling?  Evidence from Indonesia,” 21 January 2015.
  • Dr Evi Nurvidya Arifin,Dr Aris Ananta, and Mrs Dwi Retno Wilujeng Wahyu Utami, “Uncovering Indonesia’s Ethnic Diversity:  Statistics at the National, Provincial, District Levels,” 18 November 2014.
  • Dr Ulla Fionna, Dr Alexander R Arifianto, and Dr Gwenael Njoto-Feillard “Assessing the Contemporary Political Aspirations of Indonesian Muslims,” 28 October 2014.
  • Mr Ainun Najib and Dr Rita Padawangi, “The Future of Net Activism in Indonesian Politics:  Lessons from Kawal Pemilu.org,” 14 October 2014.
  • Mr Sony B Harsono, “Indonesia in Transition:  Economic Challenges and Opportunities,” 18 September 2014.
  • Dr Hal Hill, “The Indonesian Economy during the SBY Decade:  A Balance Sheet,” 3 September 2014.
  • Dr Ulla Fionna, Dr Alexander R Arifianto, Dr Gwenael Njoto-Feillard, and Dr Maxensius Tri Sambodo, “Whither Indonesia: The Challenges of the New Administration,” 12 August 2014.
  • Dr Maxwell Lane, “The 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election:  An Assessment,” 16 July 2014.
  • Dr Kuskridho Ambardi, “Bloc Voting in Indonesia’s 2014 Presidential Election,” 4 July 2014.
  • Ahmad Najib Burhani & Sumanto Al Qurtuby, “Islam and the 2014 Indonesian Elections,” 5 June 2014.
  • Agung Wicaksono, “The Legacy of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Administration: Leadership, Governance and International Relations,” 16 May 2014.
  • Maxwell Lane, “Indonesia’s ‘Elektabilitas’ Election:  The Politics of Emptiness,” 23 April 2014.
  • Tony Day, "Wasted! Neoliberalization, Indonesia-style, and its Discontents as a Martial Arts Action Movie," 16 April 2014.
  • Siti Zuhro & Sukardi Rinakit, “Campaigning for Victory:  The Unfolding Drama of the 2014 Indonesian Legislative Election,” 3 April 2014.
  • Jan Breman, “Colonial Profit from Unfree Labour: Priangan System of Forced Coffee Cultivation,” 2 April 2014.
  • Burhanuddin Muhtadi, “The Indonesian Legislative Election 2014:  How Parties Standing Against Each Other,” 28 March 2014.
  • Masaaki Okamoto, Fumio Nagai, Kazuhiro Kagoya, Kenichi Nishimura & Yosuke Sunahara, “ISP Workshop: Quantitative Analysis of Local Governance in Southeast Asia:  A Preliminary Report on Local Elite Surveys in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia,” 14 February 2014.
  • Volker Gottowik, “When Sacred Centre becomes Periphery: Challenges to Multi-religiosity on Lombok, Indonesia,” 28 November 2013.
  • Aris Ananta, Evi Nurvidya & M Sairi Hasbullah, “Ethnic Mapping of Indonesia Based on the 2010 Population Census,” 19 November 2013.
  • Agus Widjojo, “Reform of the Indonesian Military (TNI) in the Context of Indonesia’s Democratic Transition,” 21 October 2013.
  • Richard Chauvel, “The West Papua Conflict in a Democratizing Indonesia,” 7 October 2013.
  • Ulla Fionna, “The Waning Prospects of Islamist Parties in Indonesia,” 30 August 2013.
  • Maxwell Lane, “Who will be President in 2014?  Short and Long-term Trends in Indonesian Politics,” 5 July 2013.
  • Donald Weatherbee, “Indonesia in ASEAN: A Crumbling Cornerstone?” 15 May 2013.
  • Okamoto Masaaki, “Institutionalized Politics of Constant Change in Metropolitan Jakarta,” 20 Mar 2013.
  • Maxwell Lane, “Indonesia:  Decentralization and its Discontents,” 28 Jan 2013.
  • Purwo Santoso, “Nurturing Asymmetrical Decentralization:  Taking ‘Unity in Diversity’ Seriously for a Governable Indonesia,” 30 Nov 2012.
  • Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, “Between Center and Periphery – Strategies and Tactics of the Jakarta  Election 2012”, 27 Sept 2012.
  • Yayan Ganda Hayat Mulyana, “Indonesia’s Foreign Policy Under the Yudhoyono Presidency,” 3 Aug 2012.



ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute has published research and analyses on Indonesia in various formats. Each edition of the bimonthly ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Monitor and the annual Southeast Asian Affairs covers Indonesia. Scholarship and research on Indonesia regularly appear in the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute journals Contemporary Southeast Asia, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies and SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia.


ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Perspective Issues

Titles on Indonesia include the following:

Max Lane The Politics of Widodo’s Prioritisation of Accelerated Infrastructure Construction (18 August 2015)

Gwenael Njoto-Feillard

Ripples  from  the  Middle  East: The Ideological Battle for the Identity of Islam in Indonesia (13 August 2015)

Deasy Simandjuntak

Bringing the (Central) State Back In: Governing Pemekaran in Indonesia (5 May 2015)

Ulla Fionna

Vote-buying in Indonesia’s 2014 Elections: The Other Side of the Coin (4 June 2014)

Maxensius Tri Sambodo

LPG Price Adjustments in Indonesia: An Unfinished Reform (14 May 2014)

Gwenael Njoto-Feillard

The Islamic Factor in the 2014 Indonesian Elections (9 May 2014)

Leo Suryadinata

An End to Discrimination for China and the Chinese in Indonesia?” (25 April 2014)

Maxwell Lane

Indonesia’s 2014 Legislative Elections: The Dilemmas of “Elektabilitas” Politics (23 April 2014)

Alexander Arifianto

Unpacking the Results of the 2014 Indonesian Legislative Elections (17 April 2014)

Alexander Arifianto, Ulla Fionna & Gwenael Njoto-Feillard

A Snapshot of the Campaigning in Indonesia’s 2014 Legislative Elections (3 April 2014)

Ulla Fionna & Alexander Arifianto

Getting to Know the Contestants of the 2014 Indonesian Parliamentary Elections (10 March 2014)

Alexander Arifianto

Is Indonesia Experiencing a 'Democratic Rollback'? (27 February 2014)

Ian Wilson

Resisting Democracy: Front Pembela Islam and Indonesia’s 2014 Elections” (24 February 2014)

John Lee

Strategic Distance is Favoured in China-Indonesia Ties (21 November 2013)

Ulla Fionna

Indonesian Presidential Election Forcing Rejuvenation of Parties (18 November 2013)

Maxwell Lane

Who will be Indonesian President in 2014? (18 July 2013)

Zhao Hong

China-Indonesia Economic Relations: Challenges and Prospects (4 July 2013)

Lee Poh Onn

No End in Sight to Haze Dilemma (24 June 2013)

Khor Yu Leng

Struggles for Sustainability In Palm Oil Industry Shows Results (1 April 2013)

Ulla Fionna

Indonesian Parties Struggle for Electability (21 March 2013)

Thanut Tritasavit

Indonesia Chairs APEC Again but Will 2013 be as Cogent as 1994? (3 December 2012)

Hui Yew-Foong & Ikrar Nusa Bakti

The Gubernatorial Race in Jakarta: Background and Implications (1 November 2012)


Trends in Southeast Asia

John Lee

China’s Engagement with Southeast Asia: Indonesia (29 December 2013)



ISEAS Publications has published a wide range of monographs edited volumes on Indonesia, including:

Some of these titles are available in PDF and hardcopies. For a more comprehensive list, please check our bookshop.

Photos by Erlin Goentoro (ayorek.org) and Josh Estey. Used with permission.