The logic of money politics: its forms, determinants, actors and electoral outcomes in post-Suharto Indonesia

Event details

PSC Seminar

Date & time

Monday 18 November 2013


PSC Reading Room, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra


Burhanuddin Muhtadi


Allison Ley
+61 2 612 53097

Along with the rise of democratic regimes in the Third World, vote buying has become a key component of electoral mobilization in many young democracies. Indonesia is not an exception. In its current electoral politics, it is difficult to find an analysis, either in the mass-media or in the academic literature that does not mention vote buying. In the Indonesian context, vote buying is usually called a kind of €œmoney politics€ (politik uang). This study will use the definition of money politics that includes two dimensions. The first is election-specific €œretail strategy' of vote buying. The second is more €˜wholesale strategy' and often longer-term distributive politics aimed at mobilising support for electoral victory. The primary focus of this research is to discuss money politics in the nexus of politicians, parties, brokers and voters. It will look at variations in the pattern of money politics in different election settings (parliamentary and presidential elections as well as direct local elections). How do we account for variation in patterns of money politics in Indonesia? Why is the level of money politics higher in some geographical areas than in others? Why does its form vary across time or across place in the reliance on clientelist practices? Do different kinds of elections produce different forms and variations of money politics? This study aims to answer these queries by exploring the nexus linking these twin issues of change: the changes in the political institutions and the changes in the forms of money politics. In addition, this study also attempts to explore the €˜culture' of money politics among the Indonesian electorate that creates a social atmosphere conducive to money politics. Thus, it will look the forms, determinants, and mechanisms of money politics that account for variation in its pattern and its networks of distribution.


About the speaker

Burhanuddin Muhtadi is a PhD candidate under the Australia Awards Scholarship. He is a lecturer in €œElection and Voting Behaviour€ at Paramadina Graduate Schools and State Islamic University in Jakarta as well as a researcher at the Indonesia Survey Institute (Lembaga Survei Indonesia). He received his master from the Faculty of Asian Studies at the ANU specialising in Indonesian politics in 2008.

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