Populism in Indonesia and its Threats to Democracy
HARA, Abubakar Eby
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This paper discusses the emergence of populist movements in Indonesia and its influence on Indonesian democracy. As in some democratic countries, populism also becomes one of Indonesia's political traits. Although not exactly the same as the general models of populism in the West, Indonesian populist figures such as Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto have enough political appeal. Both use populist style in 2014 presidential election. Another less known populist movement is Islamic populism that has long historical roots and sticking to the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial election. In contrast to the extreme right and left populists in Europe and Latin America, the Indonesian populist tradition is new, not yet having a clear program and divided. In this context, populism has not threatened democracy even it can channel people direct interests. Nevertheless, in the long run the potential threat of populism to democracy cannot be underestimated primarily because of the authoritarianism tendency in populist figures to challenge democracy principles. Similarly, massive populist campaigns can strengthen the formation of group identity that disrupts the social relations in society.