Civic space—the fundamental freedoms that allow people to gather, communicate, and take part in groups to influence society and politics—is the bedrock of any democracy. But it is increasingly vulnerable.
As President Joko Widodo looks ahead to his second-term inaugural next month, huge challenges lie ahead and some contradictions remain unresolved, including latent social cleavages, the evolving role of Islam in political life, and tough economic choices.
Joseph Bahout is a nonresident fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. His research focuses on political developments in Lebanon and Syria, regional spillover from the Syrian crisis, and identity politics across the region.
Kim Ghattas is a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she is focused on writing a book about the impact of the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the wider region since 1979.
Senior Fellow and Director Technology and International Affairs Program
Mike Nelson directs the Carnegie Endowment’s Technology and International Affairs Program, which studies the implications of emerging technologies, including digital technologies, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.
Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
Sarah Yerkes is a fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on Tunisia’s political, economic, and security developments as well as state-society relations in the Middle East and North Africa.
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