Direct Elections, Patronage and the Failure of Party Cadre-ship: Dynastic Politics in Indonesia [pdf]

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With Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo’s son and son-in-law winning the December 2020 mayoral elections in Solo, Central Java, and Medan, North Sumatra, respectively, observers are wary of yet another challenge to the country’s democratic backsliding: the persistence of dynastic politics.

Seeing its persistence and pervasiveness, some observers are wary of what dynastic politics would mean to Indonesia’s democracy going forward, especially whether kin-based political succession would hinder democratic governance and perpetuate patronage/clientelism already rampant in local-level politics.

This paper seeks to understand which factors explain the persistence of dynastic politics in Indonesia. Moreover, with the recent trend of oligarchic influence in the national politics, the paper also aims at illustrating how dynastic politics could create a congruence of interests between local and national elites which in turn will extend the oligarchic pull in the local level.

Suggested Citation: Simandjuntak, Deasy (2021), “Direct Elections, Patronage, and the Failure of Party Cadre-ship: Dynastic Politics in Indonesia”, Bangkok: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia Regional Office.

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Product details
Date of Publication
21 July 2021
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

Introduction                                                                                                               1

Dynastic politics: how does it persist and

what makes it detrimental for democracy?                                                              2

Dynastic politics in Indonesia                                                                                    5

Underlying causes of dynastic politics in Indonesia                                                 8

Dynastic politics: detrimental to democracy                                                            10

Bibliography                                                                                                                 11

Author’s Profile                                                                                                          13