Jokowi: from electoral sensation to presidential disappointment?

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

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Thursday 12 March 2015


Coombs Extension Room 1.04, Building #8, Fellows Road, ANU


Dr Marcus Mietzner, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU.


Indonesia Project
6125 5954

After riding on a wave of public euphoria in the 2014 campaign and preventing the neo-authoritarian populist Prabowo Subianto from claiming the presidency, Joko Widodo has rapidly arrived in the lowlands of day-to-day politics. Clearly, he has been unable to keep his promises of providing firmer leadership and making decisions free of oligarchic interventions. Indeed, he is engaged in constant struggles with the parties and figures that nominated him, frequently making him look despaired and disoriented. Very untypical for his populist character, he has also withdrawn into self-isolation in his Jakarta and Bogor palaces, avoiding open and unscripted discussions with citizens and supporters. In order to still appear decisive, he has opted for tough policies on executions of foreigners and sinking boats involved in illegal fishing. What explains this discrepancy between Jokowi, the mayor, governor and campaigner, on the one hand and Jokowi, the president, on the other? Is he losing control, or is he convinced that the low-income, uneducated and rural masses that voted for him will stick with him despite the turmoil in Jakarta?

In this seminar Dr Marcus Mietzner will evaluate Jokowi’s first few months in office and try to gauge what lies ahead.

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