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Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia: Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots

Paperback - 30 March 2016
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How do politicians win elected office in democratic Indonesia? During the weeks leading to Indonesia's 2014 legislative election, a team of researchers fanned across the country to record campaign events, interview candidates and canvassers, and observe their interactions with voters. Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia presents the results. Through a series of ethnographic studies that span the country from Aceh in the far west to Papua in the east, the book provides unprecedented insight into grassroots electioneering, Indonesian style. It shows that in Indonesia's candidate-centred electoral system, relatively few candidates rely on parties to get elected. Instead, most build personal campaign teams, recruit grassroot vote brokers and reach out to constituents through informal social linkages ranging from religious, ethnic and kinship networks through to village sports clubs and women's associations. Above all, they distribute patronage - cash, goods and other material benefits - both to individual voters and to communities. Shining a new light on the scale and complexity of vote buying and the many uncertainties involved in this style of politics, Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia presents an unusually intimate portrait of how politics works in a patronage-based system.

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