In persistently developing a model for coexistence able to peacefully contain social unrest and radical Islamism, Indonesia has been able to emerge headstrong from years of difficult dictatorship and positively react to the late-nineties financial crisis. Although Indonesia has painted a bright and prosperous image of itself, it carries behind it a thick and oppressive shadow.
On May 23, 2017, hundreds of Isis-inspired terrorists swiftly gained control of Marawi City in Mindanao, the Philippines’ southernmost archipelago. The terrorist offensive came in response to the attempted arrest of Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, on behalf of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
We know Amitav Ghosh as a novelist. One of the greatest contemporary Indian writers, he is also a journalist and a scholar; his background as a social anthropologist is clearly visible in the rigour of the documentation behind all his novels. Ghosh also wrote extraordinary reportages and many prose pieces.
On the 27th of September, we lost Alfred Stepan, “one of the greatest scholars of comparative politics”, in the words of Seyla Benhabib; an outstanding political philosopher who has left a strong impression on the comparative studies of religions in democracies.
The history of borders – ancient, modern, colonial and so on – along with the tragedies of those straddling them, is nothing new. Every time there is a change of flag, the integration processes are further complicated, often resulting in unresolved identity issues, discontent, legals claims and conflicts.