Jokowi’s challenges: Reforms and civil-military relations in Indonesia

31 October 2014

Until 1998, the Indonesian armed forces were granted an institutionalized « dual function » (dwifungsi) in state operations. Through this, they had a role in the country’s security, but also politics and economy. Since Suharto’s fall, the processes of democratization and decentralization have led the civilian ship to regain the upper hand. However, the armed forces have maintained some power of influence which may question the functionality of Indonesia’s democracy. The election of Jokowi in July 2014 paved the way to new reforms that his predecessor failed to implement. Jokowi’s relation to military staff will therefore be a major stake of his term, and its evolution will be pivotal in Indonesia’s capacity to raise to the challenge of its emergence.  

Crédit photo : entraînement d’un commando de Kopassus, les forces spéciales de l'armée de terre indonésienne (source : Flickr/ Licence Creative commons)