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Many Votes, Little Voice: Indonesia's 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

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The recent Indonesian elections signalled relative stability in spite of the rise of contentious politics. To explain this, the article first discusses the way the incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration has handled the rise of Muslim populism sponsored by his political opponents. This has included a reliance on illiberal measures, the political adjustment and "triangulation" of his policies, and a revival of Indonesia's socio-religious and ethnic politics. Second, the article provides a longer historical perspective to show how the failure to restore the liberal parliamentary politics of the 1950s, and the inability to sustain the popular reforms of the mid-2000s that brought Jokowi to power, constitute more fundamental explanations both for the undermining of Indonesia's democracy and for the provisional political stability.
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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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