Posts By Robin Bush
November 16, 2011
President Barack Obama will be the first U.S. president ever to attend an East Asia Summit (EAS), to be chaired by Indonesia in Bali on November 19. This summit comes at the end of a major Asia-Pacific tour for President Obama, beginning with APEC in Honolulu,a visit to Australia, and continuing on with the 19thASEAN Summit and EAS in Bali…
May 4, 2011
Much has already been said about the parallels between Indonesia’s transition to democracy in the late 1990s, and protests in Egypt that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February. Both are large, Muslim-majority countries, ruled for approximately three decades by authoritarian leaders…
April 27, 2011
This piece was originally published in East Asia Forum Quarterly.
Governance is Indonesia’s greatest challenge. In 1998, after 32 years of authoritarianism, Indonesians demanded a democratic system and got one. In the ensuing 13 years Indonesians have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to democratic values.
April 13, 2011
Many people naturally see religious leaders as spiritual guides, and are familiar with the charity work conducted by religious organizations. In Muslim countries, there is also familiarity with a political role for Muslim leaders. But there has been very little attention given to the potential (or the reality) of the role that Muslim leaders…
February 16, 2011
As the world watched in wonder the phenomenal events in Egypt over the past weeks, a few solitary voices were already urging analysts and policymakers to look not toward Iran, but rather toward Indonesia for historical precedent that might help us make sense of what’s happening, and importantly, what might be to come. The Carnegie Endowment’s Thomas Carothers, in The New Republic, reminded readers that in Indonesia, in 1998, a dictator of 32 years, firmly backed by the U.S., toppled in the face of a student-led popular movement – amid similar fears that extremist forces would fill the power void.
February 2, 2011
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (often nicknamed “SBY” here) cemented economic and political ties between Indonesia and India last week with his state visit to India. He was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day – an honor which has not been accorded to an Indonesian president since President Sukarno was the chief guest for India’s first Republic Day in 1950.
January 26, 2011
The Australian Government is to be congratulated on undertaking the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, in light of the upcoming massive expansion of the aid portfolio. The review panel was in Indonesia last week to seek input from a wide range of stakeholders – and I was invited to provide input to the panel…
November 10, 2010
Heavy rains greeted President Obama Tuesday afternoon as he arrived in Jakarta for his long-awaited, twice postponed “homecoming.” But the rain couldn’t dampen the excitement of Jakarta residents at the arrival of this highly popular U.S. president. Indonesians have a very personal sense of affection and pride for President Obama –largely due to his childhood [...]
March 17, 2010
President Barack Obama’s visit to Indonesia next week [Note from editor: President Obama's trip has been delayed to June 2010] is not just a return to a childhood home, but an opportunity for the United States and Indonesia to signal that their relationship – as with childhood friends who may have drifted apart in adolescence [...]
July 22, 2009
In the space of 10 minutes early last Friday morning, in a dreadful flash, Indonesia was pulled back to an era that most would prefer to forget. The two bomb attacks that took place within minutes of each other on Friday, July 17 at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta killed nine people [...]