Sidney Jones

Sidney Jones is founder and senior adviser to the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict where she has focused on Islamist extremism, insurgency and conflict in Southeast Asia with a particular focus on Indonesia and the Philippines. 

From 2002 to 2013, Jones worked with the International Crisis Group, first as Southeast Asia project director, then from 2007 as senior adviser to the Asia program at a time when Crisis Group became known as the go-to authority for studies of Jemaah Islamiyah, linkages between Indonesian and Philippine extremists and ethno-nationalists conflicts in Aceh, Papua and Mindanao. Before joining Crisis Group, she worked for the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and New York (1977-84); Amnesty International in London as the Indonesia-Philippines-Pacific researcher (1985-88); and Human Rights Watch in New York as the Asia director (1989-2002).  

Jones has been a visiting fellow at Australian National University (1995) where she focused on labor migration of Indonesians to Malaysia; University of California at Berkeley (2012) where she looked at aspects of land conflicts in Indonesia; and Central European University in Budapest (2017) where she began to explore some of the differences between white power and Islamist extremism. 

She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She received an honorary doctorate in 2006 from the New School in New York. 

In addition to the reports produced for the International Crisis Group and IPAC, Jones is also the author of many journal articles, book chapters and media essays, including. Some of these include: 

  • “The Rise of Islamist Majoritarianism in Indonesia”, in Chiara Formichi, ed, The State of Religious Pluralism in Indonesia, Cornell University Press, (forthcoming)
  • “Manipulating Minorities and Majorities: Reflections on “Contentious Belonging”, in Greg Fealy and Ronit Ricci, editors, Contentious Belonging: The Place of Minorities in Indonesia, ISEAS, 2019. 
  • “Radicalisation in the Philippines: The Cotabato Cell of the ’East Asia Wilayah’”, Terrorism and Political Violence, 6 July 2018
  • “How ISIS has changed terrorism in Indonesia,” New York Times, 22 May 2018
  • “Has Marawi killed the Philippines Peace Process?” The Interpreter, (Lowy Institute), 29 August 2017
  • “How ISIS Got a Foothold in the Philippines,” New York Times, 4 June 2017
  • “Why Indonesian Extremists Are Gaining Ground,” The Interpreter (Lowy Institute),, 1 November 2016
  • “Islamist Civil Society and Violent Extremism in Indonesia: A Tactical Merger?” in Tim Lindsey and Helen Pausacker, eds, Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia, (Sydney, 2016).