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Indonesia takes the center stage as it approaches the crucial 2024 Presidential Elections on February 14th, captivating global attention. It is the world’s largest Muslim-majority state, and with more than 200 million people eligible to vote it is the third-biggest democracy. This year’s elections come at a pivotal moment, as democracy faces challenges both within Indonesia and around the globe. Join the 7th Asia Academy, where one day ahead of the elections we are looking at Indonesia’s options and choices with speakers David Henley and Rizal Shidiq.

David Henley is Professor of Contemporary Indonesia Studies at Leiden University. He has published on a broad range of topics in relation to Southeast Asia, including nationalism, regionalism, and ethnicity; on environmental, demographic and agricultural history, economic development and finance, political institutions and ideology. His most recent research has been on the politics of religious sound in Indonesia, on Southeast Asian regional identity, and on cultures of the human body in Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Rizal Shidiq is a University Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He is an economist by training with primary fields in development economics and monetary theory, and secondary field public choice. His current research topics are on political connections in developing countries, religious intolerance, and democratic vulnerabilities. He has extensive knowledge on Indonesian economy and politics.


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