Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia

Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia Abstract: Scholars of coalitional presidentialism have focused on the question of how presidents in multi-party systems manage to establish stable governments. Some authors have argued that in the case of Indonesia, post-authoritarian presidents have prioritized inclusivist alliance building, with all parties offered cabinet seats and other rewards in exchange for loyalty. However, as this article demonstrates, President Joko Widodo has opted for a more coercive approach: reactivating power tools not used since the days of Suharto’s autocracy, he intervened in the internal affairs of at least two opposition parties and eventually forced them to declare their support for his administration. This method, while designed to obstruct the anti-democratic agenda of the opposition, has in itself had detrimental effects on Indonesia’s democratic quality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia

Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, . 2 (2016), pp. 209–32 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2b © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia MARCUS MIETZNER Scholars of coalitional presidentialism have focused on the question of how presidents in multi-party systems manage to establish stable governments. Some authors have argued that in the case of Indonesia, post-authoritarian presidents have prioritized inclusivist alliance building, with all parties offered cabinet seats and other rewards in exchange for loyalty. However, as this article demonstrates, President Joko Widodo has opted for a more coercive approach: reactivating power tools t used since the days of Suharto’s autocracy, he intervened in the internal affairs of at least two parties and eventually forced them to declare their support for his administration. This method, while designed to obstruct the anti-democratic agenda of the , has in itself had detrimental effects on Indonesia’s democratic quality. Keywords: presidentialism, , Indonesia, democracy, parties. For many years, political scientists have asserted that presidentialism operating within a multi-party system is inherently unstable as presidents find it difficult to build reliable alliances with parties that control parliament.1 In most cases, the president’s own party falls short of holding a majority in the legislature, forcing him or Marcus Mietzner is Associate Professor, Department of Political and Social Change, The Australian National University. Postal address: Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Hedley Bull Building, Australian National University, 2601 Canberra ACT; email: marcus. mietzner@anu.edu.au. 02 Marcus-3P.indd 209 26/7/16 2:43 pm Marcus Mietzner her to rely on parties with questionable loyalties. This problem is made worse if the...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
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Abstract

Abstract: Scholars of coalitional presidentialism have focused on the question of how presidents in multi-party systems manage to establish stable governments. Some authors have argued that in the case of Indonesia, post-authoritarian presidents have prioritized inclusivist alliance building, with all parties offered cabinet seats and other rewards in exchange for loyalty. However, as this article demonstrates, President Joko Widodo has opted for a more coercive approach: reactivating power tools not used since the days of Suharto’s autocracy, he intervened in the internal affairs of at least two opposition parties and eventually forced them to declare their support for his administration. This method, while designed to obstruct the anti-democratic agenda of the opposition, has in itself had detrimental effects on Indonesia’s democratic quality.

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Aug 13, 2016

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