Indonesia Forum Seminar: Academics and Electoral Politics in Indonesia


Indonesia Forum Seminar:

Academics and Electoral Politics in Indonesia

Dave McRae and Robertus Robet

(Presentation by Dr Robertus Robet)

Monday 20 August 2018

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm AEST

Room 321, Asia Institute

Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne

All welcome, please register here.



Increasingly, academics are playing a prominent role in direct elections for executive office in Indonesia – typically as expert advisors or informal members of candidates’ campaign teams, but also occasionally as candidates. Their role in politics merits separate study to civil society activists, as many academics are public servants, and because academics do not self-evidently possess an agenda to advance. Focusing on the 2014 Indonesian presidential election and 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, we chart the role of academics in influencing the outcome of these elections and the policies of the resultant governments. We find that academics effectively have a foot in each of two camps, acting as public intellectuals to shape public opinion in favour of their desired outcomes, while also advising parties and candidates directly.

Short Bio

Dr Robertus Robet (@Republik_Baru) is the head of sociology at the State University of Jakarta (UNJ). He is the author of Pancasila and the New Politics of Citizenship, Human Rights Politics and Criticism of Indonesia’s Transition, The Political Animal, and Republicanism and Indonesianism: An Introduction, all published in Indonesian. His research into academics and electoral politics with Dr Dave McRae is funded by an ANU Indonesia Project Research grant. He was an informal advisor to Agus Yudhoyono in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election.