The 2012 Jakarta Elections: What Role did Ethnicity Play?

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 29 May 2013


Seminar Room B (Arndt Room), Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Sunny Tanuwidjaja (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb)


Indonesia Project
6125 5954

In this seminar, I present a manuscript intended for publication to the journal “Party Politics”. It focuses on the result of the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, and in particular discusses the importance of ethnicity in explaining the pattern of support for candidates.

Using municipality level data and focusing on the two strongest candidates, the paper shows that relative to other factors, ethnicity is the strongest variable in explaining the election results. This is despite the fact that Jakarta is a difficult case in which to observe ethnic voting because of its higher level of development compared to other provinces.

The conclusion of the continued importance of ethnicity in voting behaviour provides a challenge to existing scholarship which discounts the importance of ethnicity and religion in favour of the “rational-voters” argument. Thus, the result indicates that demography and choice structure continue to shape the behaviour of the Indonesian electorate.

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