The Impact of Democratization and International Exposure on Indonesian Counter-terrorism Policy

Ali Abdullah Wibisono


This article explains the influence of international attention - represented by the United States - against Indonesia's policy of responding to terrorism in the reform era. The two main aspects of counter-terrorism serve as a barrier to this international concern, namely the aspect of counter-terrorism effectiveness and compliance aspects to human rights values. Because of the need to securitize the issue of terrorism in the era of democracy, the Indonesian government must adopt human rights values in the belief of the public and the international world. However, the use of human rights values is not done to ensure the preservation of human rights, but rather to justify exceptions in counter-terrorism. Furthermore, cooperation with the United States facilitates the strengthening of counter-terrorism coercive capability in the form of criminal justice system with special capacity in this field. The absence of pressure to seriously consider the protection of human rights in counter-terrorism is one of the contributors to the lack of institutional manifestation of Indonesian counter-terrorism characterized by the absence of a formal document explicitly articulating the counterterrorism strategy (objectives, measures of attainment and instrument) so as to counter Indonesian-terrorism is also absent from evaluation. In the meantime, direct assistance to the Indonesian police and military also made the government - executive and legislative - provide exceptional authorities to the security apparatus without accountability mechanisms in their implementation.

Keywords— counter-terrorism, policy, democracy, international exposure

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