Indonesia

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan's surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. A period of sometimes unruly parliamentary democracy ended in 1957 when President Soekarno declared martial law and instituted "Guided Democracy." After an abortive coup in 1965 by alleged communist sympathizers, Soekarno was gradually eased from power. From 1967 until 1988, President Suharto ruled Indonesia with his "New Order" government. After rioting toppled Suharto in 1998, free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low intensity armed resistance in Papua by the separatist Free Papua Movement.

Navigating the Rise of Sunni-Shia Violent Sectarianism

A recent PEW Research Center report examined polls conducted between November 2011 and May 2012. It found that 52 percent of Muslims polled in Iraq, 44 percent in Afghanistan and 67 percent in Lebanon said Sunni-Shia tensions are a “very big or moderately big” problem in their country. The re-escalation of violence in Iraq this year likely would have increased the concern there if the polling were conducted today.

Use of Terrorist ‘Dropouts’ to Boost Defections: Dangerous Business

A former Singapore intelligence analyst examines government efforts to support terrorist group defectors in campaigns to de-radicalize others. She cautions that most such “dropouts” have merely adjusted their views rather than rejecting violence outright.

Terrorist “dropouts” from the ranks of militant organizations can be useful in coaxing others to defect, but authorities shouldn’t be fooled that former radicals completely changed their thinking, according to Susan Sim, vice president for Asia at the Soufan Group strategic consultancy.

Viola Gienger
Wed, 05/01/2013 - 12:51
Type of Article: 

Religion and Peacebuilding

The maturing field of religious peacebuilding faces challenges in integrating with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth, and working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions.

Summary

  • The field of religious peacebuilding has begun to move closer to the mainstream of conflict resolution practice and theory. The 2011 unrest in the Middle East and North Africa—the Arab Spring—reflects ongoing challenges and opportunities for the field.
Susan Hayward
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 17:01
Type of Article: 

Democratic Breakthroughs: The Ingredients of Successful Revolts

Although each revolution is different, each successful case of democratic breakthrough shares common domestic and international influences. This report examines 11 cases of past successes at removing autocratic regimes and establishing elections. It then applies its findings to the emerging revolutions of the Arab Spring.

Ray Salvatore Jennings

Summary

  • The cases of successful breakthrough examined in this study are the Soviet Union in 1991 and Russia in 1993, Poland in 1989, Serbia in 2000, Ukraine in 2004, Indonesia by 1999, Chile in 1988, and South Africa by 1996. Cases of failed and then ultimately successful democratic transition are Ghana by 2000, Mexico by 2000, South Korea by 1987, and Turkey by 1983. Finally, the cases of failed transition examined are Algeria in 1991, Iran in 1979, China in 1989, and Azerbaijan in 2005.
Fri, 07/27/2012 - 10:03
Type of Article: 

Eye on USIP's Religion and Peacemaking Center

Religion is often seen as the cause of strife around the globe, but in reality, it can provide the foundation for what helps to end conflict. USIP’s work, from Indonesia to Pakistan, demonstrates that religion can play a positive role in managing conflict. USIP’s David Smock, senior vice president for the Centers of Innovation, explores the issue in this brief question-and-answer.

Religion is often seen as the cause of strife around the globe, but in reality, it can provide the foundation for what helps to end conflict. USIP’s work, from Indonesia to Pakistan, demonstrates that religion can play a positive role in managing conflict.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 15:56
Type of Article: 

Donald Horowitz

Donald
Horowitz

Please submit all media inquiries to interviews@usip.org or call 202.429.3869.

For all other inquiries, please call 202.457.1700.

Project Focus: Constitutional Design for Severely Divided Societies

Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. Professor Horowitz is the author of six books, including The Courts and Social Policy (1977), which won the Louis Brownlow Award of the national Academy of Public Administration and A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991), which won the Ralph Bunch Prize of the American Political Science Association.

Role: 

Daniel Brumberg

Daniel
Brumberg
Special Advisor-Iran & North Africa

Please submit all media inquiries to interviews@usip.org or call 202.429.3869.

For all other inquiries, please call 202.457.1700.

Languages: Arabic, French, Hebrew

Daniel Brumberg is a special advisor for Iran & North Africa. He focuses on issues of democratization and political reform in the Middle East and wider Islamic world. He is also an associate professor at Georgetown University and a former senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment’s Democracy and Rule of Law Project (2003-04).

Role: 

Project on Conflict, Democracy and Security

Led by Daniel Brumberg, senior adviser to the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, this project examines the conditions surrounding political reform in unstable and/or divided societies, aiming to provide a guide for peaceful and inclusive democratic transformation.

For more than three years, USIP’s former Muslim World Initiative focused on problems of political reform and power sharing in the Arab world through an innovative Arab Political Oppositions Project.  The project highlighted the ways that leaders of political parties, nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and official bodies in the Arab world have --or have not -- mobilized support for a common vision of political reform.

Topics: 

Muslim World Initiative

Building trust and dialogue between political, social and religious leaders

This initiative, which drew to a close in 2009, was designed to help to mobilize moderates, marginalize militants, and bridge the U.S./Muslim-world divide.

Topics: 

Articles & Analysis

November 15, 2013

Sectarianism and extremist violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims have both increased to unexpected proportions since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the eruption of the Arab Spring, and the collapse of fragile states like Mali into conflict zones.

Our Work in the Field

Learn More

Publications

By:
Viola Gienger
A former Singapore intelligence analyst examines government efforts to support terrorist group defectors in campaigns to de-radicalize others. She cautions that most such “dropouts” have merely adjusted their views rather than rejecting violence outright.
The maturing field of religious peacebuilding faces challenges in integrating with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth, and working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions.