Is Indonesian Democracy In Decline?

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Via Zoom Webinar

  • Eve Warburton,
  • Tom Pepinsky

This event is part of Shorenstein APARC's winter webinar series "Asian Politics and Policy in a Time of Uncertainty."

In the 2010s, amid signs of rising illiberalism around the world, Indonesia seemed exceptional—an established democracy bucking the trend.  In 2019, however, at a conference in Canberra, experts on Indonesia from Australia, Asia, and the United States argued otherwise. Their variously skeptical views were recently published in a book alarmingly entitled Democracy in Indonesia: From Stagnation to Recession?  In this webinar, a co-editor of the volume will discuss its subtitle with an analyst of Indonesian politics who did not contribute to the book.


Eve Warburton 4X4
Eve Warburton is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Her research interests include democratic representation, identity, and the political economy of policymaking in young democracies, with a focus on Southeast Asia and especially Indonesia. In addition to Democracy in Indonesia (2020), her work has appeared in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Democratization, Electoral Studies, Pacific Affairs, the Journal of East Asian Studies, and as chapters in several books. She is currently working on her first book manuscript, Reclaiming What's Ours: The Business and Politics of Resource Nationalism in Indonesia. She received her doctorate in international studies from the Australian National University’s Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs in 2018.  Her master’s and undergraduate degrees are respectively from Columbia University and the University of Sydney.

Tom Pepinsky 4X4
Tom Pepinsky is Tisch University Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His fields are comparative politics and international political economy, with a focus on emerging markets and a special interest in Southeast Asia. His work on Indonesia includes, as co-editor, Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam (2018). He has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Democracy, Perspectives on Politics, and World Politics, among other venues, including an online platform, New Mandala: New Perspectives on Southeast Asia. He is an active co-founder of the Southeast Asia Research Group (, which showcases new research by young scholars on Southeast Asian politics, and he serves on the steering committee of the Association for Analytical Learning on Islam and Muslim Societies (  His PhD in political science is from Yale University.

Southeast Asia Program Director Don Emmerson, who has also worked on Indonesia, will moderate the discussion.