Indonesian Politics

Indonesia’s election and the return of ideological competition

Renewed rivalry between pluralists and Islamists coexists with catch-all patronage politics.

Standing for parliament, and against mining in Kalimantan

Some Indonesian politicians are taking on the industries which dominate politics in their regions. But can working in the system change much?

Polarisation in Indonesia: what if perception is reality?

Considering whether five years of Jokowi–Prabowo competition is dividing Indonesian society.

Indonesia’s real infrastructure challenge: getting people out of their cars

Road building is good for the economy overall but does little to solve the congestion that plagues Indonesia’s major provinces.

Campaigning in the shadow of Ahok in NTT

Fears of intolerant Islamic movements have intensified identity politics in Christian communities in the east.

Indonesia: How the polls are performing

There’s little reason not to expect a comfortable win for Jokowi, but difficulties in predicting legislative election results remain.

An anti-feminist wave in Indonesia’s election?

Socially conservative female candidates are making their mark in the 2019 legislative elections.

Jokowi and NU: the view from the pesantren

Islamic boarding schools are ground zero for Jokowi’s efforts to win over the Muslim grassroots. Ideology and patronage are both playing a part.

Indonesia’s bureaucracy is a campaign tool—but not for the president

Why attempts to mobilise the civil service in presidential elections aren’t likely to have much effect.

Jokowi and the preachers: an ambiguous pre-election relationship

Reflections on socio-religious developments and the political role of Indonesia’s Islamic preachers appealing to the middle class.

Indonesia’s elections in the periphery: a view from Maluku

The eastern islands showcase how national-level polarisation filters through to the grassroots, but also how the realities of decentralised power interfere with national-level political designs.

Weighing Jokowi’s infrastructure projects in Eastern Indonesia

Out in the east, there is a feeling that Sulawesi has received disproportionate attention from Jokowi.

How ‘moderate’ are Indonesian Muslims?

The numbers on how Indonesia stacks up in comparison to other Muslim-majority countries.

Who’s running on Islam in Indonesia?

A look at the religious rhetoric contained in parliamentary candidates’ campaign platforms.

The polarisation paradox in Indonesia’s 2019 elections

Social media may be making Indonesia seem more politically polarised than it is.

In defence of Jokowinomics

Jokowi's statist developmentalism isn't perfect, but it's a realistic response to the political economy barriers that have held up private investment in infrastructure.

The view from Papua on the 2019 elections

Voters are grateful for development projects, but aren’t giving Jokowi a pass for his human rights failures.

Questioning Prabowo’s alliance with Islamists

Disputes that mark this pragmatic alliance should worry Islamists that Prabowo may disregard their demands.

On the 2024 campaign trail with Sandi Uno

Prabowo Subianto’s running mate is playing the long game.

Fishing for votes in Indonesia

Fishers have become emblematic of the "wong cilik" this election, but their political engagement remains fragmented and localised.

Building a better infrastructure policy after Indonesia’s elections

Jokowi’s overreliance on state-owned enterprises has undesirable side-effects. But the private sector has its own problems.

Challenges to Countering Violent Extremism in Indonesia

The dominant counter-terrorism policy paradigm is unnecessary limiting, and sometimes counter-productive.

Q&A: Sandiaga Uno on economic policy

Prabowo Subianto's running mate talks to New Mandala.

What will Indonesian women win this election?

Women are central to grassroots campaigning, but what counts as "women's issues" is still hopelessly limited.