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CIC Prince George: The Threat to Indonesian Democracy

December 4, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST

Prince George branch

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy, a G20 member with solid long-term macro fundamentals and strong economic potential. It also has an emerging economy and is the world’s third-largest democracy and fourth-most populous country. In terms of trade,Indonesia is Canada’s largest export market in the ASEAN region and bilateral trade andCanadian exports along with Canadian direct investment continues to expand. However, world order is currently characterized by looming threats to the democraticnorms of countries around the world, and Indonesia, a particularly young democracy, isno exception. This talk will explore how Indonesian parliamentary democracy died in the early 1960s, and how the reforms that were set in motion in the late 1990s are currently threatened by the growth of intolerance and the decline of forbearance. This talk will explore the challenges arrayed against Indonesia’s democracy, and the implications for Canadian-Indonesian foreign relations.

John Holmes worked as a civil servant for 39 years, with much of his career spent with Global Affairs Canada. Until September 2019, Holmes served as Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines,having taken up his assignment in September 2016. Prior to the Philippines, Holmes served as Canadian Ambassador to Turkey from 2012-2016, Ambassador to Indonesia from 2006-2009 and Ambassador to Jordan from 2003-2006. Holmes also served as non-resident Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Timor Leste and Iraq. In 2009, Holmes was appointed Canada’s first representative to the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN).

Dr. Mark S. Williams is Chair of Political Studies at Vancouver Island University, where he joined the faculty in 2013. He is the author of Indonesia, Islam, and the International Political Economy: Clash or Cooperation? Mark has published articles and book chapters on topics such as the politics of Indonesia, Canadian foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific, and international security issues, and is the editor of a forthcoming active-learning textbook on the politics of the Asia-Pacific with the University of Toronto Press. He is also interested in the politics of sport, and is the author of Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy: The Sport vs. Spectacle Divide


December 4, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST
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CIC Prince George