As the Dust Settles After the Elections: New Nuances in the Twin Axes of Indonesian Politics


About the Hybrid Seminar

Two axes of tension were revealed in 2023 during the lead-up to Indonesia’s presidential election campaign. The first relates to the political dynamics of personal ambition within the political establishment; the second relates to a dilemma faced by civil society in its relation to the political establishment. Neither the election campaign nor the actual election results have altered the dominant role of these two tensions. However, new nuances have been introduced.

A new three-way tension has emerged within the political establishment as separate trajectories of ambition surface among president-elect Prabowo Subianto, the outgoing president Joko Widodo and his family, and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), led by Megawati Sukarnoputri.

The attempt by the new Workers’ Party (Partai Buruh, PB) to emerge as a representative of some of the civil society constituency has failed, with the PB scoring a low vote. Furthermore, the tensions between those who see the PB as the kernel of an ideologically social democratic opposition force and those who see it as an alliance with elements in the political establishment have sharpened. Meanwhile, civil society organisations outside the PB have sustained their activity post-election. This seminar aims to elucidate the intersection between civil society and the mainstream forces outside of Prabowo’s coalition.

About the Speaker

Dr Maxwell Lane is a Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. He has worked as a journalist, a researcher in the Australian Parliament, a human rights activist, a lecturer, and teacher. His latest books are Indonesia Out of Exile: How Pramoedya’s Buru Quartet Killed a Dictatorship (Penguin 2023) and Saudara Berdiri di Pihak Yang Mana? Politik Seni Subversif Rendra (Djaman Baroe 2024). He is also the translator of several works by Pramoedya Ananta Toer and W.S. Rendra. Dr Lane frequently guest lectures at Gadjah Mada University and other universities in Indonesia.


This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Jul 23 2024


10:00 am - 11:15 am

More Info



ISEAS Seminar Room 2 / Webinar