Friday, June 19, 2009

Indonesia Rising: Democracy in the World's Largest Muslim Nation

We're in the midst of putting the finishing touches to an exciting new book on Indonesia - just in time for the Indonesian presidential elections (we hope!). The book will be titled Indonesia Rising: Islam, Democracy and the Rise of Indonesia as a Major Power. It will examine Indonesia’s journey towards democracy and describes the roles its leaders, elites and Constitution have played in building and rebuilding the nation through different perceptions and interpretations of democracy.

The author is Dr Nasir Tamara, an expert on Indonesian politics and development. He was educated in University of Paris, France where he received his MA in Political Sciences and, later, his PhD in Southeast Asian History and Anthropology. He was appointed a Fellow at Harvard University’s Centre for International Affairs under the late Professor Samuel Huntington and also at Oxford University’s Queen Elizabeth House. Dr Tamara has extensive experience in the media as founder and Deputy Chief Editor of Republika Daily, Chief Editor of Warta Ekonomi and Capital, foreign correspondent for Tempo Magazine and Sinar Harapan Daily and founder and CEO of Global TV in Jakarta.

The book will be edited by Tan Danfeng, one of our directors.

In the book, Dr Tamara will examine the incredible transformation in Indonesia's political system over the last decade. Who could have imagined circa 1997 that less than 13 years later, there would be a US-style TV debate by the presidential candidates, and the openness and vibrancy seen throughout this presidential election campaigning. As Hillary Clinton remarked recently on her visit to Indonesia as US Secretary of State, Indonesia has shown that
"Islam, democracy and modernity" can thrive together.

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