Elections, Primordialism and Intolerance in Indonesia


Elections, Primordialism and Intolerance in Indonesia

Room 920, Level 9
185 Pelham Street


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T: 03 8344 6847


Indonesia was built on the premise of pluralism, as enshrined in the state ideology, Pancasila, but tension over the relationship between religion and the state has always been present. Recently, ‘othering’ along primordial lines has become a prominent part of political discourse. During the 2017 Jakarta elections, the country saw divisive public debates and mobilisation, anchored in the intersection of politics and faith, driven by intolerance and primordialism. Having ignored the issue for decades, most Indonesians were caught off guard. Why did this happen, and what does it mean for Indonesian democracy? In this seminar, Dr Hamid asks what has allowed religious intolerance to take centre stage in Indonesia’s electoral democracy.


  • Dr Sandra Hamid
    Dr Sandra Hamid, Country Representative