Webinar on “Jokowi’s Vision and Policies for Indonesia’s Economic Development: Laying the Foundations for Future Growth Acceleration?”


In this webinar, Dr Arief Ramayandi and Dr Siwage Dharma Negara discussed the challenges of laying the foundations for Jokowi’s vision, given the current Covid-19 crisis faced by the economy.


Webinar on “COVID-19 and the Islamic Umma in Indonesia”


In this webinar, Dr Ahmad Najib Burhani and Dr Syafiq Hasyim highlighted how the Muslim community in Indonesia responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the interactions of these responses with the government’s efforts to tackle the issue.


Webinar on “Indonesia’s Public Health Issues and Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic”


In this webinar, Dr Pandu Riono gives an update on the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, including key policy issues and challenges to strengthen Indonesia’s public health infrastructure capacity.


Seminar on “Youth Digital Participation in Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Movement”


In this seminar, Dr Yatun Sastramidjaja explores the role of digital media in keeping the anti-corruption movement going, expanding and developing it online long after the protest has receded, in a context where traditional movements are increasingly difficult to sustain.


Seminar on “Indonesian Military Reforms: A Reflection 20 Years Later”


In this seminar, General Agus Widjojo shared about the challenges to preserve the results of Indonesian military reform that have been championed for over 20 years.


Seminar on “Threats or Opportunities: Indonesian Elites’ Perception of a Rising China”


In this seminar, Mr Ardhitya Eduard Yeremia Lalisang addresses the Indonesian elite’s perception of rising China and the impact of these perceptions on Indonesia’s policy towards China.


Seminar on “The Trial of Fictions: Islam, Laws, and Literary Works”


In this seminar, Ms Okky Madasari examines and compares two controversial Indonesian short stories written five decades apart.


Markets for Votes in Indonesia: Partisans, Personal Networks, and Winning Margins



About the Seminar

How widespread is vote buying in Indonesia? Although there has been a burst of scholarly and non-scholarly writings on the topic in the last few years, little is known about how many voters receive material incentives from politicians. This research offers a systematic answer to fundamental questions about the intensity of vote buying at parliamentary and local executive elections in Indonesia. Using data from a nationally representative survey, it demonstrates that vote buying has become central to electoral mobilisation in Indonesia. One out of three Indonesians was personally exposed to vote buying in most recent national legislative election, making the country the site of the third-largest reported sum of exchange of money for votes in the world. This study argues that candidates and brokers actually intend to target partisan voters, but in reality they mostly distribute benefits to voters who are politically rather indifferent, but who are embedded in personal networks through which they are connected to the candidate. Given their reliance on personal networks, most candidates and brokers typically misidentify non-partisans as loyalists because they misinterpret personal connections as partisan leanings. If vote buying is so misdirected, why do candidates invest so heavily in it? This study found that offers of vote buying in legislative elections influenced the vote choice of an estimated ten percent of total respondents. In this seemingly low number, however, lies the key to vote buying’s attractiveness. That ten percent effect of vote buying is sufficient for many candidates to secure their seats, explaining why they still engage in vote buying despite high levels of leakage. By proposing that vote buying in Indonesia is a function of achieving narrow victory margins, the study explains how and why vote buying is so prevalent in Indonesia.

About the Speaker

Burhanuddin Muhtadi is a PhD candidate under the Australia Awards Scholarship in the Department of Political and Social Change, in the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, at ANU. He is a lecturer in “Election and Voting Behaviour” at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta. He is also an executive director of the Indikator Politik Indonesia and Director of Public Affairs at the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI). His research interests are voting behaviour, social movement, political Islam, and democracy. He also published his articles in the Asian Studies Review, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES), Asian Journal of Social Sciences, Asian Journal of Social Policy, Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, New Mandala, and East Asia Forum.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 11 April 2018.

Seminar: The Indonesia National Survey Project: Economy, Society and Politics



About the Seminar

A number of important changes that have been transforming Indonesia’s economy, society, and politics are shaping this country’s future trajectory of development and democratic consolidation. Against the backdrop of these key developments, the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute commissioned a nation-wide survey to enhance our understanding of public perceptions of economic, social, and political issues in Indonesia. The survey collects public opinion data in a wide range of areas, fielding questions on macroeconomic performance, economic policy, the state, political participation, political parties, infrastructure, Islam, ethnicity, and international relations. Data were drawn from a nationally representative sample of 1,600 respondents in all 34 provinces in Indonesia to ensure countrywide representation of opinions and attitudes. Conducted in the wake of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, where certain religious and ethnic fault-lines were accentuated, the findings of this survey provide important and useful data for understanding the recent cleavages in Indonesian politics and society.

About the Speakers

Diego Fossati is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and an Associate Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He studies voting behavior, democratization and development in low and middle-income countries, with an empirical concentration on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He was trained as a political scientist at Cornell University, where he earned a PhD in January 2016 with a dissertation on the politics of health insurance for the poor in decentralized Indonesia. His research has been published or is forthcoming in leading peer-reviewed international journals such as World Development, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of East Asian Studies and Contemporary Southeast Asia.

Hui Yew-Foong is Senior Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Associate Professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan University. His research interests include the Chinese overseas in Southeast Asia, religion and politics in Southeast Asia, decentralization in post-Suharto Indonesia, and heritage politics. Besides Singapore, he has conducted multi-sited field research in Indonesia, East Malaysia, China and Hong Kong. He is the author of Strangers at Home: History and Subjectivity among the Chinese Communities of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, co-author of Different Under God: A Survey of Church-Going Protestants in Singapore and co-editor of Citizens, Civil Society and Heritage-Making in Asia.

Siwage Dharma Negara is Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is currently an editorial member of Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Before joining ISEAS, he was a researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). His current research interests include development policy, regional connectivity, industrial and trade competitiveness with special focus on Indonesia. He received his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 6 September 2017.

Seminar: Christianity in an Era of Religious “Conservative Turn” in Indonesia: Is Religious Multiculturalism Possible?



About the Seminar

Christianity has experienced rapid growth in Indonesia in the past few decades. Such proliferation has raised anxiety among some Muslims who fear “Christianisation” due to aggressive proselytising by Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians in majority Muslim areas. This fear – whether real or phantom – has had material consequences, as exemplified by the massive rallies held by hard line Islamists in late 2016 that culminated in the imprisonment of the former Chinese Christian governor of Jakarta. Christians, on the other hand, have also perceived the rising “Islamization” in Indonesia as a menace. The reasons behind this “conservative turn” (Fealy 2006) are multiple and complex. The obvious ones are the opening of the public sphere in the process of post-Suharto democratization, the rising influence of puritanical forms of Islam from the Middle East, and other international factors such as the “war on the terror”. However, Fealy (2006) further argues that this rising conservatism could also be caused by a backlash towards the liberal movement within Islam in their attempt to reform Islam. What may be equally concerning is the concomitant reactionary conservative force within Christianity which works in tandem with the rising Islamic conservatism in Indonesia today.

In light of the current situation, this presentation explores the ways in which Christian Indonesians navigate the multicultural environment of otherness, and the treacherous waters of increasing religious intolerance. Upon giving an overview of the diversity within Indonesian Christianity, the paper discusses the tension and competition between Christianity and Islam, as well as among different denominations in negotiating plurality within Christianity. Finally, the paper examines the possibility of “religious multiculturalism” – a concept that involves an active state in protecting religious minorities and an incorporation of the inclusive Pancasila national ideology – as a framework to accommodate Indonesia’s multi-religiosity.

About the Speaker

Hoon Chang Yau is Director of the Centre for Advanced Research, and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Institute of Asian Studies, University of Brunei Darussalam. He is also currently Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusok Ishak Institute, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

In his previous appointment as Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Sing Lun Fellow at Singapore Management University, Dr Hoon was awarded the SMU Teaching Excellence Award (2012) and SMU Research Excellence Award (2014).

He is the author of the monograph, Chinese Identity in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Culture, Media and Politics (2008, Sussex Academic Press), which has translations in Chinese and Indonesian. He is the co-editor of Chinese Indonesians Reassessed: History, Religion and Belonging (Routledge, 2013), and Catalysts of Change: Ethnic Chinese Business in Asia (World Scientific, 2014). His articles have appeared in refereed journals including International Sociology, Asian Studies Review, South East Asia Research, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Ethnicity and Social Compass, among others.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 17 July 2017.