chapter  7
Lost in Transition? e Internet and Reformasi in Indonesia
Pages 22

Introduction e advent of the Internet as a global communications technology has opened historically unprecedented opportunities for the ow and crossfertilization of ideas within and across territorial boundaries, bringing promises of empowering people by giving civil society greater voice visà-vis the state, political elites, and private economic interests. From this optimistic view, the Internet advances freedom and democracy by opening the public sphere to their voice and cyberparticipation in political aairs. Examples of widespread political reform in East and Southeast Asia that are found to be greatly facilitated by Internet-based ows of information provide evidence for this view. An extreme case of this democracy-Internet connection is South Korea, which along with its fundamental political reforms at the end of the twentieth century began to identify its civil society as being composed of “Netizens”—Internet citizens (Cho 2002).