Some of the developments in the management of religious life in the post-New Order Indonesia have been encouraging, some not at all. Although often discussed, very rarely this problem has been reviewed in terms of policing. This is quite unfortunate because since the separation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia (ABRI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) in 1999, the police has been gradually taking over the major role of maintaining security and public order.
This is what prompted the Center for the Study of Religion and Democracy (PUSAD), Paramadina Foundation, to carry out a research on the subject of religious conflicts policing. The present book, which is based on it, asked two main questions: why the policing of sectarian conflicts and conflicts over places of worship has been effective in some cases but has not been so in others? What explains the variation of policing success and failure in these conflicts?
This research was driven by an assumption that performance of the police in dealing with religious conflicts, as well as with all other matters, cannot be treated solely as the police problem. The failure or success of policing must be seen in the context of existing political structures of opportunities and constraints which influence the policing.