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Jakarta Post

The rise, crumbling of reformist populism in Indonesia (Part 1 of 2)

  • Olle Törnquist


Kungshamn, Sweden   /   Tue, October 29, 2019   /  02:03 pm
The rise, crumbling of reformist populism in Indonesia (Part 1 of 2) Indonesia is the world’s third-largest nominal democracy, and the largest and temporarily most successful of the new democracies. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

Populism is often associated with nationalist mass mobilization against liberal internationalism. However, while this may be one outcome of populism, it does not equal populism. There is increasing scholarly agreement with Cas Mudde that the essence of populism is a thin ideology of “common people” and its “general will”, in contrast to established elites and their special interests. Populist politics, moreover, is rooted in the idea that the people is defined by common identity (often against an enemy) and the fancy for direct popular participation in public governance — i.e. non-mediated links between people and state, in contrast to residence-based citizenship and representative mediation between citizens and state by their own organizations. We may also specify the left-populist additions as Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic politics of posing &ldqu...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.