The 2014 Indonesian general election and beyond: Melting “Frozen” cleavages
Patriadi, Himawan Bayu
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This study investigates Lipset-Rokkan’s ‘‘freezing hypothesis’’ based on the contemporary Indonesia cleavages by analyzing the 2014 election together with the previous elections. This study found the endured cleavages are ethnic and aliran (literally, ‘‘stream’’), which consist of the competing abangan (nominal Muslim) and santri (devout Muslim) cleavages. Both had been ‘‘frozen,’’ or existed latantly, during the New Order, but they revived afterwards. However, the ethnic cleavage arguably has been ‘‘melted’’ faster than the aliran one as the former seems to be more vulnerable to other political appeals. The aliran, in contrast, is somewhat callous due to its complex basis. This paper also suggests that, because the strength of any individual cleavage may vary from one region to another, capturing the empirically existing cleavages better may require going to regional or district levels instead of being solely reliant on a national-level study. This study underscores that the cleavages in the form of ethnicity and aliran cannot simply be abandoned in the elections in Indonesia. It is even suggested that the aliran may be one of the dimensions of the endogeneity of voters’ religio-political identity.