Understanding Jokowi’s Leadership Amidst Covid-19 Crisis


About the Webinar

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo surged to the top of Indonesian politics on a high hope for change in the country. Six years into his presidency, the former furniture maker is facing his biggest test as leader of a country with the largest Muslim population in the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has adversely affected some of his flagship development programs, including the new capital and various other big infrastructure projects. Observers wonder if Jokowi would be bolder in delivering the reforms that Indonesia desperately needs, as the current crisis might open a rare opportunity. Yet, despite promising to build Indonesia into an Asian powerhouse, Jokowi’s development policy seems to lack a coherent framework.

This webinar will discuss findings from in-depth research on the personality and leadership style of Jokowi. The speakers will share their analysis of various contradictions embodied in the President’s governance of his administration, especially in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and pressure from the conservative groups. We will discuss some of the fundamental contradictions of modern Indonesia. And how Jokowi has been struggling to balance between democracy and authoritarianism, openness and protectionism, Islam and pluralism. Understanding Jokowi’s leadership style can help us understand more about the greatest challenges in modern Indonesia.

About the Speakers

Ben Bland is Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute and the author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia, which was published on September 1. His research spans politics, economics and diplomacy in Indonesia and across the region. Ben was previously an award-winning correspondent for the Financial Times in Indonesia, China and Vietnam. Ben’s first book, Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow, examined Hong Kong’s intensifying political conflict with Beijing. He has a BA in History from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Yanuar Nugroho, Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. He was former Deputy Chief of Staff at the Executive Office of the President (KSP) of the Republic of Indonesia (2015-2019). From 2012-2014 he was a Director and Expert Adviser to the Minister/Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP-PPP/UKP4). Yanuar is co-founder and adviser to the Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance, a Jakarta-based think tank. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow, after holding a fulltime academic post from 2004-2014, in Political Economy of Innovations and Social Change at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He sits in the UK’s Newton Fund/Prize, as well as in the Indonesia’s Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) reviewer committee. His research interests, academic supervision, and publication records revolve around innovation and social change, sustainability, civil society and third sector, knowledge dynamics, and informatics innovations for development.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link: https://zoom.us/signup
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speakers, 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.


Sep 21 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am