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Thursday, June 5, 2014

DEMOCRACY AND PLURALISM: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM INDONESIA?

Indonesia is often referred to as the largest country with Muslim population that had very minimum conflict. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for example, stated in 2009, “If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia.” What appears on surface, however, does not necessarily portray the long and bumpy road in managing the vast diversity in the country with more than 240 million people with more than 300 ethnic groups and various religions and faiths. Reform in 1998, in which BJ Habibie took an important role, opened up the road to democracy that allows various groups to form organizations where they could recruit and mobilize people. President BJ Habibie will discuss challenges, especially after the reform in 1998, and the future of democracy in Indonesia. Dr. Ing Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, or B.J. Habibie, is the third President of the Republic of Indonesia. He held the office during the crucial years of 1998 to 1999, after President Suharto stepped down amidst scenes of chaos following nationwide protests precipitating the fall of Suharto’s 32 year presidency. Key reforms undertaken by President Habibie include: abolishing restrictions on the formation of labor unions, releasing political detainees and opening up democratic space for the Indonesian people which included allowing for freedom of the press and establishments of political parties. B.J. Habibie now acts as advisor on the democratization of Indonesia, mainly through the work of a think tank he established in 1999, the Habibie Center. B.J. Habibie received his Doktor der Ingenieurwissenschaften degree in 1965 from the Technical University of Aachen in West German. Refreshments will be provided

  • Location:
    Littauer L-230, Gundle Family Classroom, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 John F.
  • Date:
    Thursday, June 5, 2014
  • Time:
    5:00 PM

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