Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or ‘Ahok’ as he is popularly known, is an anomaly in Indonesian politics. An ethnic Chinese in a land where his descendants have stayed away from political positions. A Christian in a majority-Muslim nation. A Sumatran, where the most prominent politicians in Indonesia are from the most populous island of Java. A man who speaks bluntly, curses regularly and gets visibly mad, leading former president Megawati Sukarnoputri to comment, ‘if only we had some magic tape to put [over his mouth]’.1 Yet despite all these traits, Ahok managed to become the governor of Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta. He did so because his predecessor, Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, was elected as Indonesia’s president in 2014. The pair were a product of Indonesia’s decentralisation policies, which allowed for direct election of local mayors and regents instead of them being hand-picked by political parties. They were selected as star performers with solid track records in their respective local political roles, and were nominated by major political parties to run for Jakarta governor (Jokowi, PDI Party) and vice-governor (Ahok, Gerindra party) in 2012. Despite being clear underdogs to the incumbents, they won. They did so with the help of many young, urban Indonesians with internet access, who used digital technologies as part of their campaign. Jokowi went on to ride this populist wave all the way to the presidency.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
    Number of pages172
    ISBN (Print)9781786600356
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this