Fighting Illiberalism with Illiberalism: Islamist Populism and Demovratic Deconsilidation in Indonesia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The global rise of populist campaigns against democratic governments has revived the long-standing scholarly debate on how democracies can best defend themselves against anti-democratic challenges. While some view an aggressive militant democracy approach as the most effective option, others propose accommodation of populist actors and voters. Others again suggest a merging of the two paradigms. This article analyzes how the government of Indonesian President Jokowi has responded to the unprecedented Islamist-populist mobilization in the capital Jakarta in late 2016. Unsystematically mixing elements of all available options, Jokowi's administration pursued a criminalization strategy against populists that violated established legal norms, and launched vaguely targeted but patronage-oriented accommodation policies. As a result, the government's attempt to protect the democratic status quo from populist attacks turned into a threat to democracy itself. Indonesian democracy, I argue, is now in a slow but perceptible process of deconsolidation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-282pp
    JournalPacific Affairs
    Volume91
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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