Transitional Justice from State to Civil Society: Democratization in Indonesia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transitional Justice from State to Civil Society

Democratization in Indonesia, 1st Edition

By Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem


224 pages

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Hardback: 9780367230593
pub: 2019-12-18
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This book is the first to offer an in-depth analysis of transitional justice as an unfinished agenda in Indonesia’s democracy.

Examining the implementation of transitional justice measures in post-authoritarian Indonesia, this book analyses the factors within the democratic transition that either facilitated or hindered the adoption and implementation of transitional justice measures. Furthermore, it contributes key insights from an extensive examination of ‘bottom-up’ approaches to transitional justice in Indonesia: through a range of case studies, civil society-led initiatives to truth-seeking and local reconciliation efforts. Based on extensive archival, legal and media research, as well as interviews with key actors in Indonesia’s democracy and human rights’ institutions, the book provides a significant contribution to current understandings of Indonesia’s democracy. Its analysis of the failure of state-centred transitional justice measures, and the role of civil society, also makes an important addition to comparative transitional justice studies.

It will be of considerable interest to scholars and activists in the fields of Transitional Justice and Politics, as well as in Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


List of Tables and Charts


1. Introduction: Transitional Justice in Post-Soeharto Indonesia

Transitional Justice: Emergence, Concepts and Trends around the Globe

Transitional Justice in Indonesia

Assessing Transitional Justice and the Implications for Democracy

Explaining Transitional Justice: The Nature of the Democratic Transition

Research Methods and Data Collection

Book Structure

2. Human Rights, Transitional Justice, and Political Transition in Indonesia

Human Rights under the New Order

The Politics and Periods of Transitional Justice in Post-Soeharto Indonesia

The Period of Momentous Change, 1998-2000

The Military in the Period of Momentous Change

The Period of Compromised Mechanisms, 2001-2009

The Military


3. Prosecutions in Cases of Past Human Rights Abuses: the East Timor and Tanjung Priok Trials


Impunity: the Legacy of the Past Repressive Regime

Establishing the Human Rights Courts

Trials on East Timor and Tanjung Priok

The Context: The 1999 East Timor Referendum and Crimes against Humanity

The Trials

The 1984 Tanjung Priok Killings

The Tanjung Priok Trials

Adoption and Implementation of Trials

Assessing Processes and Outcomes—Comparing the Two Trials


4. The Adoption and Annulment of the Law on Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Discourse on Truth and Reconciliation in the Early Years of Political Transition

Getting to a TRC

Truth versus Reconciliation

Debates on Amnesty

Evaluating the Processes and Outcomes of the Adoption of the TRC Law

Acknowledging the Limits of Restorative Justice

Transitional Justice and the Transplacement Nature of Democratisation

The Absence of a Truth Mechanism and its Implications for Indonesia’s Democracy *

The Absence of Political Judgement

The Absence of Deliberative Space to Reflect History and Moral Standards

Local TRCs


5. Human Rights Groups and Transitional Justice Initiatives


Human Rights Movements before Reformasi

Human Rights and the Transitional Justice Agenda during the Democratic Transition

Human Rights Groups, the New Political Elite, and Transitional Justice Agenda in the Early Transition

Transitional Justice from Below: Human Rights Strategies after Reformasi


6. Transitional Justice at Local Level: the Case of Palu, Central Sulawesi


The 1965 Mass Violence in Palu

SKP HAM, Victims’ Mobilisation, and Local Government Responses

Palu’s Reparation Program

Assessing Transitional Justice Initiatives in Palu

Conditions for Transitional Justice

Roles of NGOs and Victims

Local Political Dynamics and the Local Elite


7. Toward Post-Transitional Justice?

Reflecting on Transitional Justice from the Indonesian Experience

Transitional Justice and Democracy: Investigating the Impacts



About the Author

Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem is based in the Political Science Department, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jakarta, Indonesia.

About the Series

Transitional Justice

The study of transitional justice has emerged as one of the most diverse and intellectual exciting developments in the social sciences in the last two decades. From its origins in human rights activism and comparative political science the field is increasingly characterised by its geographic and disciplinary breadth. Routledge’s Transitional Justice series publishes innovative work across a range of disciplines working on transitional justice related topics: including law, sociology, criminology, psychology, anthropology, political science, development studies and international relations.

The series includes titles which address larger theoretical questions on transitional justice, including the intersection of notions such as justice, truth, accountability, impunity and the construction of transitional justice knowledge. It also contains critical and theoretically informed empirical work on the workings of institutions such as truth commissions, community based reconciliation, victim empowerment, ex-combatant demobilisation, or regional discussions on practical programmes in particular areas. Finally, the series covers the legal aspects of transitional justice; although, avoiding dry, overly technical or dull legal texts, it specialises in a style of legal scholarship that reflects the energy and vitality of this exciting field.

For further details on the series please contact the Series Editor.

Kieran McEvoy

Professor of Law and Transitional Justice

School of Law

Queens University Belfast


44 (0) 2890973873

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Courts
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / International
LAW / Government / State, Provincial & Municipal
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Corruption & Misconduct
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society