Why Indonesia’s Apparent Stability Under Jokowi Is a Sign of Its Stagnation

Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivers his State of the Nation address to parliament, Jakarta, Aug. 16, 2016 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivers his State of the Nation address to parliament, Jakarta, Aug. 16, 2016 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
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JAKARTA, Indonesia—Although political violence there is limited, Southeast Asia has become one of the tensest regions of the world, with a number of governments moving in authoritarian directions. In Thailand, the death of King Bhumibol, who unified the nation while backing the military junta, raises questions about whether anyone can replace him. The Philippines recently elected a populist authoritarian in Rodrigo Duterte, who is apparently determined to sabotage the country’s longstanding alliance with the United States and whose paramilitaries are executing Filipino citizens in the streets in a vigilante drug war. In Myanmar, power is hopelessly divided between longtime democracy […]

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