Restoring Indonesia’s Direct Regional Elections: Stability in a Divided Society

Memo #317

Indonesian President Pak Joko Widodo must fight to reinstate direct regional elections to maintain social stability.

By Matthew J. Bock – m.bock [at] and Geoffrey Macdonald – gpmacdonald [at]

Bock2Macdonald_Geoffrey_photoJoko Widodo, referred to as Jokowi, was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president on October 20, 2014. President Jokowi represents a new… Continue reading

Decentralized Governance and Local Leadership in Urbanizing Asia

Memo #255

By Michelle Ann Miller – arimam [at] and Tim Bunnell – geotgb [at]

The trend toward decentralized governance in twenty-first century urbanizing Asia has ushered in a critical role for local leadership. With around 1.5 billion people currently living in its… Continue reading

Child Trafficking and Local Protectionism in China

Memo # 187 – Child trafficking in China is an explosive issue. Although the precise scale of human trafficking in China is unknown, children are reported to account for about 40 per cent of the total victims – a twofold increase in less than a decade. We assume the demand for child forced labour comes from illegitimate actors. But the surprising and tragic truth is that local government entrepreneurialism taps on the opportunities offered by child forced labour. This is a key contributing factor to this development. Continue reading

Ten Years after Indonesia’s ‘Big Bang’

Memo #83 – 2011 marks a decade since the implementation of Indonesia’s democratic decentralization project (the ‘Big Bang’), the largest of its kind in the world. With the exception of Jakarta and three other provinces with special autonomy arrangements, most state powers and responsibilities were devolved to sub-provincial governments. Ten years ago, there was a nationwide reordering of the structures and processes of government and we can now evaluate the success of these policies. Continue reading