Religiosity and the prevalence of vote buying: a study of Indonesian Muslim legislative candidates

Event details

PSC Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 28 March 2017


PSC Reading Room 4.27, Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Ahmad Muhajir


Helen McMartin

Vote buying is an electoral problem in many countries. Systematic analyses have considered electoral arrangements, weak law enforcement, voter monitoring, socio-economic factors, cultural norms of gift-giving and reciprocity among other important explanations for this phenomenon. My study brings religiosity into the analyses. Based on in-depth interviews with 57 informants and a survey of 237 Muslim legislative candidates in Indonesia, I argue that religiosity is relevant in understanding vote buying. I found that the more religious candidates are less likely to engage in and justify the practice. This suggests that vote buying is not just about politico-economic considerations, but also moral and religious factors as well.

Ahmad Muhajir is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political and Social Change and is a lecturer at IAIN Antasari Banjarmasin, Indonesia.

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