Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has made a successful transition to democracy. However, during the past few years the country has also been racked by Islamist terrorism, most notably the 2002 Bali bombings, and sectarian violence that have left thousands dead. While the two are not linked, they are the most notable trends in Indonesian political development.
This volume first analyses the newfound role of Islamist parties in Indonesian politics and explains how they are now shaping public policy. It then provides an in-depth analysis of the state of terrorism in Indonesia and strives to understand how Jemaah Islamiyah has reacted to the “War on Terror” and shifted its tactics and strategies to cope with the arrests and crackdowns. Also focusing on the various laskars, or militias, that are engaged in both sectarian violence and attempts to impose sharia law through vigilante actions, the author examines the degree to which these groups, overt and covert, legal and illegal, are able or willing to cooperate with one another.
Finally, the book concludes with policy implications for the Indonesian government, the neighboring ASEAN states and the Western world. This book will be of great interest to students of Indonesian politics, Asian studies, political violence and security studies in general.