Honna: Military Politics in Pandemic Indonesia

Special Issue: Pandemic Asia. 2020 July/August
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 15 | Number 5 | Article ID 5439 | Aug 01, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

Military Politics in Pandemic Indonesia

Jun Honna

Indonesia remains the country with the largest number of Covid-19 fatalities in Southeast Asia. Observers have focused on the political impact of President Joko Widodo’s crisis management. Many argue that the pandemic has exposed the country’s democratic decline. This article focuses on the military and analyzes how the army has instrumentalized the coronavirus crisis to boost its agenda. We look into four cases of active army lobbying aimed to expand its missions beyond national defense, arguing that the army has skillfully exploited the Covid-19 crisis to reverse some key post-Suharto military reforms.

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