Coercing Loyalty: Coalitional Presidentialism and Party Politics in Jokowi’s Indonesia
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 38, Number 2, August 2016
- pp. 209-232
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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.