Political Representation in Indonesia: The Emergence of the Innovative Technocrats 2018060680, 9781138480308, 9781351063227, 9781351063203

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Political Representation in Indonesia: The Emergence of the Innovative Technocrats
 2018060680, 9781138480308, 9781351063227, 9781351063203

Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Page
List of abbreviations and key terms
1 Ideas, narratives and political representation
2 Tools for analysing political representation
3 The first innovative technocrat
4 The expanding repertoire
5 Innovation
6 Ideational power and Indonesian politics
7 The innovative technocrats in context

Citation preview

Political Representation in Indonesia

This book analyses the transformation of political representation in contemporary Indonesia to argue the need to better understand how political representatives use claims to engage in storytelling about themselves and the community they represent. By adopting a new approach that focuses on the cultural and performative aspects of representation and draws on a substantive evidence base of representative claims, this book examines common narratives developed by Joko Widodo, Tri Rismaharini, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah. Through this analysis, the book highlights two key foundations of their claims: technocratic focus and innovative engagement. This study considers how the ideational power generated through the representative claim-making of these leaders interacts and competes with other forms of power. Moreover, the author emphasises the success of the representative claims developed by the innovative technocrats, while noting the impact their emergence has had on the broader context of Indonesian politics. An empirical monograph on new and upcoming leaders in Indonesia, this book will be of interest to scholars of democracy and democratisation and political change in general, and Southeast Asian politics and Indonesian politics in particular. Michael Hatherell is Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies at Deakin University, Australia, and is currently on secondment at the Australian Defence College, Canberra ACT, Australia.

Rethinking Southeast Asia Edited by Duncan McCargo University of Leeds, UK

Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly changing region which continues to defy predictions and challenge formulaic understandings. This series publishes cuttingedge work on the region, providing a venue for books that are readable, topical, interdisciplinary and critical of conventional views. It aims to communicate the energy, contestations and ambiguities that make Southeast Asia both consistently fascinating and sometimes potentially disturbing. This series comprises two strands: Titles which address the needs of students and teachers, published in both hardback and paperback. Titles include: Rethinking Vietnam Duncan McCargo Rethinking Southeast Asia is also a forum for innovative new research intended for a more specialist readership, published in hardback only. Titles include: Civil Society in the Philippines Theoretical, Methodological and Policy Debates Gerard Clarke Politics and Governance in Indonesia The Police in the Era of Reformasi Muradi Transnational Islamic Actors and Indonesia’s Foreign Policy Transcending the State Delphine Alles Political Representation in Indonesia The Emergence of the Innovative Technocrats Michael Hatherell For more information about this series, please visit: www.routledge.com/RethinkingSoutheast-Asia/book-series/RSEA

Political Representation in Indonesia The Emergence of the Innovative Technocrats Michael Hatherell

First published 2019 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 Michael Hatherell The right of Michael Hatherell to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Hatherell, Michael, author. Title: Political representation in Indonesia : the emergence of the innovative technocrats / Michael Hatherell. Description: Edition: 1 | Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2019. | Series: Rethinking Southeast Asia Identifiers: LCCN 2018060680 | ISBN 9781138480308 (hardback) | ISBN 9781351063227 (ebook) | ISBN 9781351063203 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Political leadership—Indonesia. | Representative government and representation—Indonesia. | Political culture— Indonesia. | Indonesia—Politics and government—21st century. Classification: LCC JQ776 .H38 2019 | DDC 320.9598—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018060680 ISBN: 978-1-138-48030-8 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-351-06322-7 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC


Acknowledgements List of abbreviations and key terms

vi viii


Ideas, narratives and political representation



Tools for analysing political representation



The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi



The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok



Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah



Ideational power and Indonesian politics



The innovative technocrats in context





This book would not be possible without the support and kindness of a large number of people. This is particularly true since this project began during the writing of my PhD dissertation between 2011 and 2015. I am indebted, firstly, to my Indonesian lecturer, Alistair Welsh, who later became a mentor, a co-publisher and a good friend. I would not have developed an interest in Indonesian language, culture and politics without the role that Alistair has played in my life over a long period of time. I have also benefitted from the inspiration and guidance of a number of academics at Deakin University, including Greg Barton, Damien Kingsbury, Andrew Vandenberg, Chengxin Pan and David Hundt. More broadly, I have been lucky to have the support of a wonderful faculty and school. I would like to acknowledge in particular the opportunities afforded to me by Matthew Clarke and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Some of the field work for this book was also kindly supported by research grants from the Faculty of Arts and Education. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate to work for Deakin at the Australian Defence College in Canberra. I wish to thank all of the staff and students at the college. Several cohorts of master’s students from Australia and overseas, in particular, have inspired me with their curiosity and dedication to their research. In particular, I would like to thank Andrew Cosh for his support, Lacy Pejcinovic for her encouragement and Jia Guan for her valuable friendship. I am also very thankful for the comradery and assistance of many fellow students during the completion of my PhD. These friends include Petra Brown, who made the beginning of the journey so much easier, and John Bourdouvalis, who saw me through the last stages. Belinda Townsend, Gin Gin Gustine and Achala Abeykoon provided encouragement at key points in the journey. The friendship and support of Meylani Yo was very important during some difficult PhD years, and her intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm were a constant inspiration. More recently, I have been lucky to have the support and friendship of a number of amazing people. Danielle Chubb has not only been an amazing friend but also pushed me to make the most of the opportunities that I have. Natalie Sambhi has made the long hours of writing and editing much easier through our regular ‘shut up and write’ sessions and her boundless energy and enthusiasm. Inriyani Takesan too has provided important support and engaging discussions, while

Acknowledgements vii Carly Gordyn helped to develop some important ideas that contributed towards this book. I was lucky to initially get to know Indonesia alongside my great friend James Murphy. Anyone who studies Indonesian society or politics can attest to the warmth and enthusiastic support to which foreign researchers are usually subject. I am greatly indebted to a number of hosts, discussants and local experts in Indonesia. I wish to thank Gin Gin Gustine and Agung Koswara in Bandung; Badrus Sholeh and the team at Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta; Robbie Peters, Kathleen Azali and the C2O Library in Surabaya; Vony Bittikaka; Andi Luhur Prianto; Ahmad Harakan and the Department of Political Science and Government at Universitas Muhammadiyah in Makassar; Indah Putri and the amazing WikiDPR team; and Elcid Lee, Jonatan Lassa and the team at the Institute of Resources Governance and Social Change in Kupang. I am also greatly indebted to Heni Zaenudin in Bandung for her constant support, expertise and for our energetic but respectful political debates! I would not have made it this far without the support of my family. My parents have had a significant impact on me throughout my life. From my father, Barry, I have learnt the importance of hard work and always saying yes to opportunities that come along. From my mother, Alison, I developed my curiosity about the world and my love of books. I would not be where I am today without their love and encouragement. I am also lucky to have two amazing siblings, Robbie and Amelia, and a wonderful sister-in-law, Estelle. Though I am now geographically separated from them, we still maintain a close bond that means the world to me. The members of my larger family are too numerous to name here, but they have provided encouragement and support along the way. I would like to especially acknowledge the impact of my grandfather Kevin and my grandmother Betty, who from my early years taught me the value of storytelling. This book would not have been possible without the support of Esi, who has constantly encouraged me to follow my dreams even when this meant significant sacrifices. I am not sure I can repay her patience and encouragement during this period, but I will do my best. This book is most of all dedicated to my son, Aiden. Watching him grow and explore the world makes all the effort of research and writing worthwhile.

Abbreviations and key terms

Aliran – Traditional ‘streams’ within Indonesian society based on religious, cultural and political cleavages Baju Kotak-Kotak – The chequered shirt made famous by Jokowi Blusukan – Impromptu visits to the community Bupati – District head of a kabupaten Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD) – Regional Representative Council Dewan Perwakilan Raykat Daerah (DPRD) – Regional People’s Representative Council Front Pembela Islam (FPI) – The Islamic Defenders Front Gubernur – Governor of a Province (propinsi) Halus – Javanese term suggesting something that is smooth or refined, now commonly used in Indonesia discourse Kabupaten – A political district below the province (propinsi) level Kecamatan – A political district below the kabupaten level Kasar – Javanese term suggesting something that is coarse, abrupt or rude, now commonly used in Indonesian discourse Kebersihan – Cleanliness. Usually used in a political context to suggest being clean of corruption Kebocoran – Leaks. Regularly used by Prabowo in claims about Indonesia’s supposed leaks of resources overseas Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) – The General Election Commission Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia – The United Confederation of Indonesian Workers Mufakat – A unanimous decision arrived at through consultation and discussion, employed in some village contexts in Indonesia and now within some formal political settings Musyawarah – A process of dialogue and negotiation leading to a unanimous decision (mufakat) Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) – A large and moderate Muslim association in Indonesia Nguwonke Wong – A Javanese term referring to the idea of ‘humanising’ others Pancasila – The national ideology of Indonesia Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP) – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Partai Demokrat (PD) – The Democrat Party

Abbreviations and key terms ix Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra) – The Great Indonesia Movement Party Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura) – The People’s Conscience Party Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) – The Prosperous Justice Party Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) – The National Awakening Party Partai Nasional Demokrat (Nasdem) – The National Demokrat Party Partai Nasional Indonesia – The Indonesian National Party Partai Persatuan Indonesia (Perindo) – The United Indonesia Party Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) – The United Development Party Pencitraan – The act of managing or protecting one’s image Pembangunan – Development Pemilihan Kepala Daerah (Pilkada) – Election for a local or regional leader Pesantren – An Islamic institution providing religious education, typically to students who live within the pesantren environment Propinsi – Province Reformasi – The reform movement that began in Indonesia in 1998 Ruang Publik Terpadu Ramah Anak (RPTRA) – Combined Child Friendly Public Area Ruang Terbuka Hijau – Open green space Santun – Polite Sederhana – Simple or plain. The noun form ‘kesederhanaan’ refers to simplicity or plainness Taman – Park Tegas – Strong, assertive Walikota – Mayor Wong Cilik – The ‘little people’. Used to refer to the everyday people or lower classes


Ideas, narratives and political representation

Introduction Ahok once asked some members of the community to understand that his firmness was necessary to make Jakarta a better city. Evictions, Ahok continued, were a way of tidying up the city. Once again Ahok used a hypothetical example to make it easier for the audience to grasp his message. ‘Evictions are a means of cleaning up the city. Like my mother, she used a ranting bunga [similar to a bundle of sticks], she struck my feet until they were red’, Ahok explained. He continued so that the reporters would know that his mother was not a monster, but rather a woman who truly loved her children. ‘The person who treated my feet . . . yes that was my mother too’, he continued, ‘this is how government functions, sometimes we strike, but the aim is to benefit the people of Jakarta’. (Panggabean 2016, p. 277)

Political representation matters a great deal to the functioning of modern democratic states. Whatever our views might be on the merit of representation as a means of political deliberation and decision making, political representatives compete for and practice power in states around the globe. This is true of Indonesia, a nation that began a process of democratisation, or reformasi (reform), in 1998 and whose politics remain dynamic and contentious. A diverse set of representatives now operate within Indonesia’s political landscape, including political parties, members of legislative bodies, local and regional executives, government ministers and the nation’s president. Beyond formal politics, civil society itself is host to an array of cross-cutting claims to represent particular sections of the community. To truly understand the functioning and future of Indonesian politics, it is essential to grasp the impact of political representation and the role played by political representatives. This is particularly true of a cast of Indonesian representatives who have emerged at the local and regional level. These leaders, including Joko Widodo, Tri Rismaharini, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah, have developed national profiles and experienced remarkable levels of political success. This success has been explained on a case by case basis, though most of this analysis has unsurprisingly focused on Joko Widodo (better known as


Ideas, narratives and political representation

‘Jokowi’), who is the most prominent of these leaders. Jokowi’s ‘whirlwind rise’ (Sebastian et al. 2014, p. 54) from small-city mayor, to governor of the capital city Jakarta and then to president of Indonesia is one of the most important stories of the post-reformasi era. His emergence, and that of other popular local leaders, has been analysed by a number of authors (see, for instance, Van Klinken 2009; Aspinall 2013; Mietzner 2015; Tapsell 2017) – but an important component is largely missing from our existing analysis. This book is based on the idea that political representation is about more than just formal rules, institutions or the structural and material divides that shape a society and political competition. Instead, political representatives must also operate within an ideational environment. They must make claims about themselves, the world around them and their audience. Successful representatives often develop these claims into stories or narratives that connect with their audience, for humans are a species that uses narratives to understand and define their political world. As Hardy (1968, p. 5) argues, humans ‘dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate and live by narrative’. Embedded within arguments such as this is the idea that stories and narratives are not just present but occupy an important role in human communities. Tilly (2002, p. 27), for instance, argues that stories ‘do essential work in social life, cementing people’s commitments to common projects, helping people make sense of what is going on, channelling collective decisions and judgments, spurring people to action they would otherwise be reluctant to pursue’. Bottici (2007, p. 132) similarly notes that the complexity of modern societies, the rapid change that they have undergone by transcending the individual’s space of experience, has rendered more acute the need for a symbolic mediation of political experience. Complex and vast political phenomena that transcend the individual’s horizon of experience need to be imagined even more in order to be experienced. The concept of political myth points to the fact that this imaginary mediation can also take the form of a narrative that coagulates and reproduces significance, that is, the form of a myth. This characteristic of human nature has always informed to some extent the role played by political representatives. Some of histories’ most well-known political leaders are remembered for their ability to craft narratives that bring societies together to achieve important endeavours. Within the Western political tradition alone, figures like Pericles, Cicero, Napoleon, Churchill and John F. Kennedy were leaders who, as formal or informal representatives, presented narratives aimed at developing consensus around goals that they believed were important for their polity. Within Indonesian history, key figures like former presidents Sukarno and Suharto were notable not only because of their political tactics and policy decisions but also because of the stories they told about themselves and the Indonesia that they imagined.

Ideas, narratives and political representation 3 Beyond some of the lofty goals and political projects pursued by these leaders, it is important to also be aware that the claims made by representatives are political in nature. They may serve a purpose for the polity or society in question, but these are also claims with the aim of presenting oneself as a ‘good’ representative. And representatives must make their claims in a highly contested space, where different claims are produced, tested and assessed. This space is an intersubjective one, where individuals and groups bring their own judgements to the claims that representatives make. As Mayer (2014, pp. 63–64) argues, Meaning is not simply located in the text; it is also produced in the minds of those who read or hear it. Stories are told by a narrator to an audience. . . . Audiences come to a story with expectations, assumptions, worldviews, tastes, and prior narratives. The opening passage of this chapter is, therefore, one example of a claim put forward by a political representative. In this case, the former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is better known simply as ‘Ahok’, draws on a simple narrative to explain a controversial policy decision. Ahok’s narrative evokes the relationship between parent and child to discuss the political decision and Ahok’s own approach. This is a story with characters and a relationship that resonates with the audience, and a simple moral about the value of tough love. This simple narrative, like many others, operates in an ideational space where it can be told, interpreted, recounted, accepted, rejected or even borrowed by others. It is a story that takes place in a particular context that is shaped by cultural, structural and institutional factors, but stories such as these, and the broader competition between different narrative and ideas, can in themselves inform important political outcomes. Would-be representatives who can present compelling narratives about themselves and the world they seek to represent can generate ideational power. This form of power stands distinct from other sources of power, such as material wealth and the authority provided by institutions. Carstensen and Schmidt (2016, p. 320) define ideational power as ‘the capacity of actors (whether individual or collective) to influence actors’ normative and cognitive beliefs through the use of ideational elements’. In this way, ideational power is ‘not primarily about manipulating people into recognizing their “real interests”, but rather about persuading other agents about one’s understanding of an issue based on available intersubjectively held ideas’ (Carstensen & Schmidt 2016, p. 325). For formal political representatives, ideational power can offer important advantages in expanding their profile, maintaining the support of the public and a sense of legitimacy in their leadership and, ultimately, experiencing success in electoral contests that bestow other forms of power. In exploring the way representation is understood, this book presents an interpretive analysis of political representation in Indonesia, and particularly focuses on a set of very successful local and regional leaders. I do not intend to argue, though, that the impact of ideas and narratives in a political setting like


Ideas, narratives and political representation

Indonesia can be simply separated from its structural and institutional reality. Indeed, ideational elements can operate only within the broader political environment that is shaped by structural and institutional factors. On the other hand, I also do not see ideational elements as being simply cynical rhetorical devices used by otherwise powerful actors to maintain their power. Whatever purpose representative claims might serve, they are an important part of political life, and by understanding the internal structure of representative narratives, we can also learn more about their relationship to the broader character of the society and political system.

The main argument This book argues that our analysis of political representation in contemporary Indonesia must account for the emergence of a group of leaders labelled here as the ‘innovative technocrats’. These political leaders have already begun to shape our understanding of Indonesian politics through their successes as local, regional and even national leaders. The most well-known is Jokowi, who began his political career as a local mayor in the Central Java city of Solo, before becoming governor of Jakarta and, finally, president of Indonesia. Other innovative technocrats include Tri Rismaharini, the mayor of Surabaya; the aforementioned Ahok, the former governor of Jakarta; Ridwan Kamil, the former mayor of Bandung and recently elected governor of West Java; and Nurdin Abdullah, the former regent of Bantaeng and recently elected governor of South Sulawesi. Other figures, too, have increasingly drawn on the same ideas and claims, but these leaders stand out because of their ability to translate their representative claims into substantial levels of ideational power. The main argument of this book is not that these leaders have impacted contemporary Indonesian politics – that much is already known. Instead, I argue that our approach to understanding these representatives as a political phenomenon in Indonesia must take into account the importance of their common form of representative claim-making. Throughout this book, I argue that despite some differences in character and style, these innovative technocrats share a very distinct approach to presenting representative claims and using these claims to construct broader narratives. This approach is built upon two foundations – ‘technocratic focus’ and ‘innovative engagement’. In employing technocratic focus, these leaders present themselves as technical experts, reluctantly called upon to assist their community through the application of their skills. Extending upon this story, the innovative technocrats construct a narrative around the achievement of visible improvements to the lived environment and the lives of citizens. As part of this narrative, these representatives claim to build upon smaller successes and to scale these up to larger problems. In employing innovative engagement, the leaders explored in this book present themselves as engaging with the community directly in innovative ways. These claims have included new ideas like Jokowi’s use of blusukan (impromptu visits to the community), open offices and the creative use of social media.

Ideas, narratives and political representation 5 In employing these two forms of representative claim-making, the innovative technocrats have together formed a repertoire of representation. A representative repertoire, as this study argues, is a common pattern of representative claimmaking that has become embedded within a particular intersubjective context. This repertoire, which could be described as the innovative technocrat repertoire, has increasingly shaped the way in which political representation is understood in Indonesia, and particularly the meaning of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ representation. As a repertoire operating at an intersubjective level within Indonesia society, it is available for other would-be claimants to draw upon, as well as members of the public as a means of assessing the representative claims of different political leaders. We also have evidence of established innovative technocrats themselves shaping and being shaped by this broader repertoire over time. Of course, identifying a representative repertoire does not in itself mean that it alone will shape the nature of political competition in a country like Indonesia. The strong institutional position of Indonesia’s national political parties, the oligarchic nature of Indonesian politics (Winters 2013; Hadiz & Robison 2013), continued practices of corruption and collusion (Aspinall & Van Klinken 2011) and power struggles between different institutions (Mietzner 2016) might suggest that popular local and regional leaders are more interesting than consequential. A number of analysts have argued that oligarchic or ‘patronage democracy’ has become the defining feature of post-reformasi politics, and even the most prominent of the politicians that this book focuses on, Jokowi, has needed to deal with this political reality as president. Indeed, Jokowi’s efforts to assert his power as president, including his intervention in the affairs of other political parties, demonstrates the futility of relying solely on ideational power (Mietzner 2016, p. 227). More recently, some observers have argued that Jokowi as president has taken an ‘authoritarian turn’ (Power 2018), further highlighting that leaders never rely on ideas alone to maintain their authority. This book does not ignore these realities. Nor does it offer praise or criticism of the innovative technocrats as political representatives. That is a task for the Indonesian public and not this researcher. Instead, the book aims to understand the common narrative that these leaders present to the public. The book concludes by arguing that the ideational power these leaders have formed is important in understanding the future of Indonesian politics. By employing this emerging form of claim-making, the innovative technocrats have challenged other political actors and even competed with other political narratives. As such, we should expect the innovative technocrats to continue impacting the nature of Indonesian politics in important ways.

Why study representation? The notion of focusing a study on political representation may initially seem at odds with the ‘deliberative turn’ in democratic theory. Much of the literature over the last 30 years has focused on the weaknesses of established liberal democratic political systems, or moved beyond representation to focus on the


Ideas, narratives and political representation

potential for direct or deliberative forms of decision making to occupy the perceived democratic deficit (see for instance Cohen 1989; Elster 1998; Dryzek 2002; Fishkin 2011). Benjamin Barber (1984, p. 132), for instance, has argued that representation ‘is incompatible with freedom . . . representation is incompatible with equality . . . representation, finally, is incompatible with social justice’. Tormey (2006), similarly, has argued that there is a need to go ‘beyond representation’ and that we are now living in a ‘post-representation’ political context. Central to this body of scholarship are arguments that recent trends, such as the dwindling membership of political parties, apathy regarding formal political processes in many nations and the emergence of populist alternatives, are evidence of both an empirical change in the nature of representative politics, as well as a normative imperative to consider alternatives to representation. To some extent, this is echoed in John Keane’s The Life and Death of Democracy (2009), where he postulates the emergence of ‘monitory democracy’: a new form of democratic governance that surrounds formal electoral representation with an array of community organisations and NGOs designed to monitor the work of these formal institutions. The emergence of populist leaders in Asia, Europe and the United States has also been perceived as a challenge to the way in which we understand representative politics, particularly in the wake of Donald Trump’s successful election as president of the United States. There is immense value to this scholarship, as traditional conceptions of representation are no doubt overly narrow and have often failed to critique the weaknesses of representative government. The changing nature of democratic societies that Keane and others have noted is difficult to refute. It makes sense, as Laycock (2004, p. xv) argues, that representation as a concept has received less attention from normative studies of democracy, as ‘some of this inattention can be accounted for in terms of the perception and reality of widespread representational failures in Western polities’. However, extending the critique of existing representative politics to argue that we can or should move ‘beyond representation’ is, in my view, a flawed assumption. This is particularly evident once political representation is divorced from its institutional embodiment and considered as practices that are constitutive of politics itself. The act of creating and sharing representations is an unavoidable reality of human interaction, including politics. Drawing on philosophical arguments made by Derrida, Thomassen (2007, p. 111) has argued that ‘representation is constitutive, by which I mean that there is no politics or experience outside representation, which can, then, not be opposed to some true or authentic presence’. Human interaction is replete with the making of representations; political communities, ideas and arguments are constructed by representation of one form or another, meaning that even without formal representative institutions, representation continues to take place. Leaving aside formal political representation, Phillip Drake’s analysis (2017) of representations of the Lapindo mud volcano disaster in Indonesia demonstrates the way in which individuals and communities make representations of themselves and their environment, with political implications. For Thomassen

Ideas, narratives and political representation 7 (2007, p. 112), this means that ‘there is no way “beyond representation”, and representation is not a second best’. This is a point also taken up by Urbinati (2000, p. 759) when she argues, When we express our dissatisfaction with the way in which we are represented, we implicitly allude to some ideal of representation. As for the character of democratic politics, focus on deliberation allows us to perceive participation and representation not as two alternative forms of democracy but as related forms constituting the continuum of political action in modern democracies. If representation and participation are understood as related forms of political action rather than as opposing foundations on which political systems can be built, then the distinction between ‘direct and indirect politics’ becomes ‘a promising path of interpretation: it frames the institutional and sociocultural space within which the various components of political action – from opinions and will formation to decision making – take shape’ (Urbinati 2000, p. 759). Urbinati further develops these points to suggest that acts of representation, as a form of indirect politics and of advocacy, have a quality that can be beneficial to democracy. These arguments become clearer once applied to concrete examples of political interaction. As Plotke (1997) has so convincingly argued, attempts to make democracy more participatory do not necessarily exclude practices of representation; indeed, representation (at least in an informal sense) is almost unavoidable. Plotke (1997, pp. 25–26) provides a hypothetical participatory forum to discuss the continued presence of representation as practices: At this meeting of (say) one thousand people, who gets to talk first? And last? Imagine an open floor . . . when an agenda for deliberation is shaped. Presume a long evening meeting of 2.5 hours. Interventions average three minutes, including applause and pauses between speakers. Fifty speakers get the floor. . . . Are the other 960 members of the assembly participants or highly interested spectators at a political event? If ‘direct’ means more than being physically present, in what sense would this 96% of the assembly be engaged in strong or direct democracy? A similar distinction is presented by Hansen (1991) in Athenian democracy between ‘wholly active citizens’, who spoke and proposed motions; ‘standing participants’, who attended assemblies and voted but did not speak; and ‘passive citizens’, who did not attend the assembly. Thus, even where formal forms of representation (such as committees or elected leaders) are not present, a form of representation still occurs; some speak more often or louder than others, children are represented by their parents and some members of the community defer to others that, they believe, argue strongly for the position they themselves hold. Put simply, we can do away with the formal elements of representation, but representation as a political practice is unavoidable.


Ideas, narratives and political representation

If ‘representation is ubiquitous, there can be no democracy or politics without representation’, meaning that the distinction between representation institutions and new ‘institutional forms of so-called “direct democracy”’ is not as significant as thought: ‘Both are inevitably representative’ (Lievens 2014, p. 4). Critiques of contemporary electoral democracies do, however, suggest the need to separate the practice of representation from the institutional embodiment of representation. Representative political systems that actively subdue opportunities for participation and engagement warrant critique. At the same time, it is important to recognise the continued existence of practices of representation that are not necessarily unnatural or a detrimental aspect of democracy. Of course, in the context of Indonesian politics, the adoption of formal representative political institutions at all levels of government means that studying the way in which political representation is conducted is important. Yet there is more at stake here than simply measuring the effectiveness of purportedly representative institutions. By focusing on the ideational elements of representative claim-making, we are better able to explore how practices and shared understanding of representation impact the nature of a polity like Indonesia.

Representative claims and repertoires As the previous sections have suggested, this book is based on a constructivist foundation – that is, the way in which societies and individual humans construct a shared understanding of politics is consequential. Politics is, according to this approach, not a discoverable entity waiting to be scientifically analysed by the objective observer, but instead is created through human interaction. It follows, therefore, that political representation, or the notion that one human or group of individuals can act politically on behalf of others, emerges because of the way in which individuals and societies collectively understand it. It is important then to assess the form this understanding takes and how it is contested. As argued previously, ideas and narratives play an important role in shaping human understanding and perspective. As Mayer (2014, p. 65) argues, the extent to which we are biologically wired for narrative has long fascinated those who have observed the ubiquity of storytelling. Scholars of mythology and folklore, most prominently Joseph Campbell, fascinated with the psychology of Freud and, especially, Jung, saw in the common structures of myth a reflection of the fundamental structure of the human mind. This aspect of human nature has important implications for how we understand politics and political representation. There are, of course, objective material and institutional realities that shape the possibilities and resonance of different ideas, and restrict who may be in a position to present narratives to an audience. Yet, as Miller (2012, p. 7) argues, None of us language users adopt a totally impartial, unbiased, objective view that is narrative free. Public policy discourse, a political contest over

Ideas, narratives and political representation 9 symbolizations, brings identities, feelings, and cultural ideography into the picture. Different narratives generate different sets of relevant facts. This means that even where our interests seem to have a gravitational pull on our political decisions, ideas and narratives are still present, and what may seem objective or rational to one individual is not so to another. We need, then, a framework for understanding the way in which ideas or narratives are presented by would-be representatives to an audience. In this regard, this book benefits significantly from the foundation provided by the work of Michael Saward (2006, 2008a, 2008b, 2010), who has explored the way in which representatives engage in meaning-making claims about themselves and their societies. While Saward is not the only author to present an argument for approaching political representation in this way (see, for example, Rehfeld 2006), his work has been the most influential, as evidenced by the engagement of other scholars with his ideas. Disch (2012, p. 118), for instance, notes, His very phrase ‘representative claim’ is having a nearly revolutionary effect on the way political theorists think and speak about political representation. It has brought to the fore that political representation is a creative activity and has directed political theorists to the tools of rhetorical analysis for understanding it. Saward is, thus, the first theorist in over 50 years to achieve conceptual innovations in the normative analysis of representative politics. Saward’s concept of the representative claim is useful for the purposes of this book because it sees representation as an ongoing and dynamic phenomenon which is not tied simply to formal positions, institutions or titles and is not simply ‘a static fact of electoral politics’ (Saward 2010, p. 3). Instead, it seeks to understand ‘what representation does, rather than what it is; to explore the effects of its invocation rather than its institutional embodiment; to stress its dynamic character rather than its correctly understood forms or types’ (Saward 2010, p. 4). This approach to representation allows us to explore the way in which representatives use different ideas about themselves and their world in order to appeal to their desired audience. More practically, Saward (2010, p. 38) describes the concept of the representative claim, which is a claim to represent or to know what represents the interests of someone or something. It is a claim; it may or may not be a well-founded claim. I could claim, for example, to represent the interests of a person or a group of people or of animals. I could claim to stand for or embody the true character of a country or a region . . . moreover, all of these claims are directed to an audience, which might consist of a large or small, proximate or dispersed, or self-aware or disparate set of people. By focusing on the meaning attached to the making and assessment of representative claims, this approach rejects the notion that ‘representativeness’ can be adequately defined by the researcher and then scientifically measured. Instead,


Ideas, narratives and political representation

this approach is interested in the ideas and understandings that inform the way in which would-be representatives claim to be representative (and crucially, how they claim to be ‘good’ representatives), and the similar basis by which audiences of those claims make their assessment. The audience – those citizens and societies that are ‘represented’ – become the main assessors of representative claims, and the researcher thus plays a second-order role in seeking to understand the basis of their assessments. Importantly, if we approach political representation in this way, we are able to consider the role ideational elements play in shaping the political world. We are able to appreciate the role of political performances, the narratives or stories that representatives shape and the way in which these narratives construct the understanding of political constituencies. Effectively, this means that constituencies do not precede acts of political representation but are, rather, figured by them so as to solicit them into being in relationship with a particular representative. Political representation is not literal and mimetic; it has an inescapably figurative element. Viewing political representation as possessing inescapable figurative elements means paying attention to the constitutive and creative aspects of representation. (Disch 2012, p. 115) The application of a constructivist approach to the study of political representation may not be the preferred method of analysis for some scholars. Yet, the motive for doing so is not to sink political analysis into the depths of post-modernism, but instead to recognise the role of ideas, norms, knowledge, culture and argument in politics alongside ‘stressing in particular the role of collectively held or “intersubjective” ideas and understandings on social life’ (Finnemore & Sikkink 2001, p. 392). Saward (2010, p. 39) similarly argues that the representative claim concept is less about pinning down meaning, more about asking how meanings are generated and contested; or, again, how something absent is rendered as present. How is the impression of presence constructed, defended, and contested? What determines the success or failure of the effort to construct such an impression? The concept of the representative claim is an important starting point for the theoretical framework used in this study. Yet if representative claims are as common as Saward suggests, and if the process of claim-making is dynamic, then how are we to make sense of a large number of claims in a given political system? This is particularly problematic in a study such as this, which applies a broad-brush approach to representative practices in the world’s third most populous democracy. It is clearly crucial to develop a conceptual framework that allows for systematic analysis of claim-making in a given social and political context. The potential for this type of framework is present in Saward’s work. In outlining the representative claim, Saward hints at different ways in which claim-making

Ideas, narratives and political representation 11 may lead to patterns of claims. For example, Saward (2010, pp. 43–44) uses the term ‘repertoire’ when he argues that ‘the cultural availability of notions such as trusteeship or stewardship can be invoked to the claimant’s advantage. These resources are culturally recognized repertoires for claim-making performances’. I argue that we can follow this lead, and build upon the concept of the representative claim by interrogating the way in which ongoing processes of representative claim-making in a given social and political context lead to the formation of ‘repertoires of representation’ (Hatherell 2014, pp. 3–5). While individual acts may be described as claims, and these claims often present a broader narrative about the representative and their world, claim-makers do not simply employ randomly chosen claims. Instead, they refer to established or socially embedded expectations or experiences. The same is true of the audience of a representative claim, who rely on expectations developed over time to assess the way in which representation is claimed. As such, individual acts of claim-making and claim assessment can group together into established repertoires of representation – that is, established ways of making and assessing representative claims or narratives. Charles Tilly has previously elaborated on the theatrical metaphor of repertoires in analysing contentious claims, but I argue that the concept is just as useful for the analysis of political representation. Tilly (2006, p. 35) suggests, Once we look closely at collective claim-making, we can see that particular instances improvise on shared scripts [constituting performances] linking at least two actors, a claimant and an object of claims. Innovation occurs incessantly on the small scale, but effective claims depend on a recognizable relation to their setting, to relations between the parties, and to previous uses of the claim-making form. . . . Performances clump into repertoires of claimmaking routines . . . the theatrical metaphor calls attention to the clustered, learned, yet improvisational character of people’s interactions as they make and receive each other’s claims. Crucially, as ‘similar groups generally have similar repertoires, we can speak more loosely of a general repertoire that is available for contention to the population of a time and place’ (Tilly 1986, p. 4). While contentious claims and representative claims are different in some ways, this metaphor, I argue, is similarly applicable to the act of representative claim-making. It would be illogical to suggest that a would-be representative operates in an environment devoid of prior expectations and understandings of what it means to ‘represent’. Members of society, similarly, are exposed over time to different practices, ideas and claims. In this environment, would-be representatives learn to make representative claims based on shared scripts emerging from the historical, cultural, social and political context. Representative claim-makers have their own life experience: they are exposed to representative claims throughout their lives and experience the way in which communities assess and seek to understand representative claims. Representative claim-making is a necessarily public process, especially in the modern digital world, and thus successful practices are likely to be drawn on by other claimants.


Ideas, narratives and political representation

While the idea of a repertoire calls to our attention the importance of the sharing of ideas, it is clear that innovation is also important as a way of providing ‘creative modifications or extensions of familiar routines’ (McAdam et al. 2001, p. 49). Representatives develop their own styles of leadership and innovate on old ones. We may consider, for example, the way that new social media has been adopted by would-be representatives, requiring a new approach to traditional forms of claim-making. Or, the way that political parties seek to innovate on failing practices of grass-roots engagement – this too can lead to improvised claims made by the party to assert that it as a collective body provides ‘good’ representation. Cross and Gauja (2014, p. 612) for instance, note that political parties in Australia have attempted a number of new practices to engage members, including online policy forums and branches based on policy issues rather than geography. Thus while claim-makers are likely to borrow on shared cultural scripts, they also play a role in innovating and reshaping those scripts. The concept of the representative claim helps us to understand the basic elements of political storytelling that representatives engage in. The concept of the repertoire is useful in understanding how patterns of representative claims form within a given political context and are then available to other representative claim-makers and their audiences. Repertoires themselves may see particular forms of representative claim-making form around cultural, social or religious norms or ideas, but there is also a role for creativity on the part of representatives to develop new claims and narratives. Chapter 2 will explore in more detail how we might analyse these claims within the context of Indonesian politics.

Representation, political stories and Indonesian politics In adopting this approach to the study of political representation, it is worth acknowledging the role of political stories and representative claims in Indonesia’s own history. The analysis presented in this book considers some contemporary trends, but these trends are also part of the broader trajectory of ideas about politics and leadership in Indonesia. Indeed, the development of Indonesia as a nation state has itself been tied up in political storytelling and representative claim-making. As Budiman (2014, p. 191) argues, the establishment of the Indonesian nation state ‘involved the process of augmenting the people’s imagination with concepts beyond territorial claims and their previous cultures, and having a national scope’. Through this process, ‘virtually all the major ethnolinguistic groups were, by the end of the colonial period, accustomed to the idea that there was an archipelagic stage on which they had parts to play’ (Anderson 2016, p. 132). Yet the development of the story of the Indonesian nation is also bound up in the generation of meaning by prominent political actors through their representative claims. These claims generated important ideas about Indonesia, but they also possessed distinct political purpose in establishing the position of key leaders (or that of their organisation) as representatives of the nation and its people. The story of the development of Indonesian national identity, particularly in the first half of the 20th century, is impossible to separate from the claims of different political

Ideas, narratives and political representation 13 organisations to best represent the true nature of this emerging nation. Elson (2008, p. 52), for instance, notes that within the emerging movement of the time, there developed amongst leaders the notion of the leader as vicarious diviner and interpreter of the people’s real sentiments, that through empathy with and sympathy for the masses, leaders could discern their real will and real needs, and that the people’s role was simply to support and obey. Figures like Tan Malaka, Agus Salim, Sutan Syahrir, Mohammad Hatta and Sukarno were not only key leaders in the growing independence movement: they were representative claim-makers who made claims about their own legitimacy and that of organisations they led to ‘stand in’ for all or part of the people of what was now being described as Indonesia. In adopting Saward’s approach to understanding representative claims, we open up the possibility that non-elected leaders can make assertions about their representativeness in a political sense. We can consider, for instance, how a complex web of political figures and organisations contested the meaning of the independence movement and of Indonesia itself, but also engaged in dynamic representative claim-making regarding their own place within these social constructs. Elson (2008, p. 84) notes, for instance, that Muslim politicians of this era ‘could never achieve the political centrality they so eagerly sought and spent their efforts in the impossible task of framing nationalist ideals through Islamic discourse and seeking thereby to diminish the attraction of nonreligiously based nationalism’. During his political life, Indonesia’s independence hero and first president, Sukarno, provided ample evidence of the combination of grand political narrative and representative claim-making. During the revolutionary struggle against the Dutch and through the Japanese occupation, Sukarno’s romantic nationalism led to the development of a ‘three-stage concept of Indonesian history for use in their struggle’ (van Klinken 2005, p. 234). This conceptualisation (or political story) was based on the notion of a ‘bounteous past’, a present period of struggle and the promise of a better future (van Klinken 2005, p. 234). This is just one example of Sukarno’s contribution to the mythology of the Indonesian nation, but it is also tied up in Sukarno’s own representative claims. Embedded within these stories is the idea that an Indonesian nation whose people desire to move from the difficult present to a better future need a leader like Sukarno who can clearly identify the problems and pursue the hard solutions. This was very much the claim that Sukarno repeatedly made through the mid to late 1950s when he argued that the institutional design of the political system was not suitable for Indonesia’s context. In a speech in 1957, Sukarno declared (in Elson 2008, p. 181) that every cabinet in this period of eleven years, my brothers and sisters, has experienced difficulties of this kind. A lack of authority and always facing strong opposition so that not one Cabinet is able to last for any length of time . . . for eleven long years we have tried to overcome those difficulties with complete integrity of heart, with complete sincerity of heart, but every time we have


Ideas, narratives and political representation precisely the same experience. Because of this, brothers and sisters, I ponder why we always have these experiences, these unpleasant experiences? And I finally arrive at the conviction that we have used a wrong system, a wrong style of governance, a style which we call Western democracy.

In this and other examples of discourse, Sukarno both presented a narrative about the path of politics in Indonesia, while making claims about his own place as a representative. In this case, the narrative he presents of instability in Indonesian politics led to the establishment of a stronger role for Sukarno as president under a new ‘Guided Democracy’. Sukarno’s message was that ‘Indonesia could achieve its promised greatness if Sukarno defined and led its search for identity’ (Elson 2008, p. 199). Beyond internal political concerns, Sukarno also presented elements of a populist narrative that focused on the external threats to Indonesia through ‘neocolonialism’ (Legge 2003, p. 357) while presenting himself as the strong and visionary leader needed to address Indonesia’s difficult geopolitical context. Indonesia’s next president, Suharto, also tied a vision of Indonesia to his own role as a representative. Replacing Sukarno following the period of mass killings in the mid-1960s and the destruction of the political left, Suharto defined Indonesia’s main problem as being the ‘many colliding visions of “Indonesia”’ and argued that competition should involve ‘managed contests over means rather than over ideologies and ultimate ends, and [should be] technocratic in impulse’ (Elson 2008, p. 247). Of course, this new approach was tied to representative claims about Suharto’s leadership of Indonesia and his ability not only to identify the most pressing problems but also to solve them. The key message of his regime was focused on pembangunan (development), which became a ‘numbingly recurring theme in the multitude of speeches he delivered . . . in his hands, the task of development assumed heroic proportions’ (Elson 2001, p. 175). In time, this narrative led to the notion of Suharto as Bapak Pembangunan (the father of development), a characterisation that continues in the public imagination until now. Suharto’s government certainly pursued substantive policy approaches that were different to those of the Sukarno era, but there was also a shift in the story that the most influential political leader of the nation told about the nation and its leadership. Pembangunan became an ‘enduring, crucial rubric for legitimizing New Order social, political, and economic policies, and for its moves to subdue resistance to decisions’ (Errington 1998, pp. 58–59). The Suharto regime came to an end in 1998, with Suharto stepping down from office on the 21st of May. His resignation followed the impacts of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and a growing movement calling for reformasi (reform). This moment in Indonesian history was important as it saw the beginning of a period of democratisation, the reform of many key national political institutions as well as the creation of others. The decentralisation of power to regional and particularly local governments is important in the context of this book and will be discussed further in Chapter 3. Yet while there is a very well-developed literature on the nature of Indonesia’s post-reformasi politics, the fall of Suharto also meant the end of Suharto’s political story – or at least his own telling of it.

Ideas, narratives and political representation 15 In the absence of the national political story of pembangunan, post-reformasi Indonesian politics has seen a dynamic and expanded set of representative claims and claim-makers. Indonesia has been led by five presidents during this period – BJ Habibie (1998–1999), Abdurrahman Wahid (1999–2001), Megawati Sukarnoputri (2001–2004), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004–2014) and Jokowi (2014–). Some of Indonesia’s most prominent national politicians have competed in intense presidential elections, with numerous televised debates and competitive campaigns. Yet the breakdown of Suharto’s highly centralised authoritarian political order has seen new claim-makers making public representative claims at all levels of Indonesian politics. Many new political parties have emerged with their own set of elected members and leaders. Direct elections for local and regional positions have led to thousands of representative claim-makers at these levels. And greater political freedom more generally has meant that a wider range of non-elected individuals and organisations can make claims to represent the political interests of specific sets of citizens. Indonesia now possesses a highly competitive, if sometimes messy and often imperfect, political system. This book argues, however, that the innovative technocrats have offered the most important form of political storytelling since the beginning of reformasi. The form of claim-making charted in this book has emerged over the past decade to significantly impact not only the fate of individual claimants but also the way in which politics is understood. A brief period of politik aliran (politics shaped by aliran – ‘streams’) characterised the early years of reformasi, seeing political parties directly relating to specific socio-economic and religious sections of society. As Chapter 3 notes, the influence of politik aliran has significantly reduced since 1999 and has left Indonesian politics with somewhat of an ideational vacuum. Intriguingly, Aspinall (2011, p. 312) argues that with the deterioration of aliran as a means of understanding the organisation of Indonesian politics, ‘scholars of Indonesian politics have yet to develop a method to characterize the fundamental ordering principles of the new post-Suharto politics’. Aspinall’s argument is about more than just the role of ideas, and more recent analysis has stressed the impact of money politics, patronage and the political manipulation of social media. Yet in seeking to understand the ‘fundamental ordering principles’ of Indonesia’s contemporary and future politics, there is great value in also understanding the role of influential political stories. This book charts what I see as the most significant form of political storytelling in contemporary Indonesia.

Chapter overview This book is made up of seven chapters. Chapter 2 further unpacks the approach of the book in applying an ideational lens. Here, I explore the nature of a representative claim and the relationship between makers, subjects, objects and audiences of claims. This chapter also considers what ‘ideational elements’ (Parsons 2007) might make up the type of claims that political actors apply. Finally, it connects the making of representative claims to the notion of ideational power.


Ideas, narratives and political representation

Chapter 3 charts the beginning of the innovative technocrat repertoire. It begins by noting important elements of the political context in Indonesia that make the two elements of the innovative technocrat repertoire so appealing. It then turns to the important role played by Jokowi as mayor of Solo, governor of Jakarta and, ultimately, as president. The foundations of this very particular political story provided by Jokowi are explained, offering a framework for exploring the claims of the other leaders in the remainder of the book. Chapter 4 follows the development of the repertoire by considering the emergence of Ahok as deputy governor and eventual governor of Jakarta, and Tri Rismaharini, better known simply as ‘Risma’, the mayor of Surabaya. Ahok’s connection to Jokowi and the similarities in their approach to political representation are quite clear, while Risma has also applied the two key elements of the innovative technocrat approach. Yet Ahok and Risma have also demonstrated some unique twists on the narrative – particularly the use of anger and a more confrontational approach to perceived inefficiencies and corruption. These cases demonstrate the dynamic nature of the repertoire and how different personalities are able to adapt the ideas to match their own style. Chapter 5 focuses on the next generation of innovative technocrats: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah. These two leaders both had success as local leaders – Ridwan Kamil as mayor of the large city of Bandung and Nurdin Abdullah as the regent of the small region of Bantaeng in Sulawesi. While drawing on the same foundation, both of these leaders have crafted a narrative through their claimmaking that fits their particular contexts. Ridwan Kamil has used social media, romance and humour to supplement his engagement with the public, while Nurdin Abdullah has leaned on foreign investment and its importance to a small and underdeveloped region like Bantaeng. Both leaders were successful in winning gubernatorial races in mid-2018. Chapter 6 assesses how the ideational power developed by the innovative technocrats can be understood alongside our structural and institutional understanding of Indonesian politics. It begins by noting the common features of the repertoire and the way in which the ideational power developed by the innovative technocrats has led to their political success. This chapter then considers how ideational explanations might complement our understanding of the structural constraints of Indonesian politics, including the so-called oligarchic nature of Indonesian politics. The chapter concludes with an example of the relationship between institutional design and the opportunity to present important narratives, with implications for how we understand the differences between Indonesia’s political parties and innovative local leaders. Chapter 7 concludes the study by considering what the analysis in the book might tell us about Indonesian politics and broader political dynamics beyond Indonesia. Here I argue that the narrative presented by the innovative technocrats has played an important role in contemporary Indonesian politics, but that it is likely to face continued contestation by other political forces. A brief case study of Ahok’s loss in the 2017 gubernatorial race and subsequent blasphemy conviction is presented, and while the details of this case are unique, it still provides

Ideas, narratives and political representation 17 some important lessons for the future trajectory of the repertoire and other narratives within Indonesian politics. This chapter, and the book as a whole, concludes by suggesting that analysing claims and narratives developed by political representatives has value beyond just Indonesia, and that we can do more to understand how different representative stories are shared and contested even beyond borders.

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Tools for analysing political representation

Introduction Homo sapiens is a storytelling animal, that thinks in stories rather than in numbers or graphs, and believes that the universe itself works like a story, replete with heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions, climaxes and happy endings. (Yuval Noah Harari 2018, p. 269)

The previous chapter has argued that our analysis of political representation should take into account the role played by ideas, claims and narratives. Political representatives develop meaning through representative claims, as Saward has highlighted, and these claims can develop into broader patterns or repertoires within a given society and political system. Understanding that claims and repertoires are there in the social world, however, is still one step removed from finding and assessing these features of political representation. This chapter explores what ideational elements a representative claim might include and outlines how these were collected for the purposes of this study. It then discusses the process of analysing these claims to uncover patterns within contemporary Indonesian politics. Finally, this chapter points to the connection between representative claims and ideational power, which the book will return to in Chapter 6.

The representative claim and ideational elements Saward’s conceptual work goes beyond simply identifying the presence of representative claims. Instead, Saward is interested in exploring how they operate between representatives and relevant audiences. Saward’s elaboration of a claim is as follows: [The representative] (maker) offers himself or herself (subject) as the embodiment of constituency interests (object) to that constituency (audience). The object involves a selective portrayal of constituency interests. (Saward 2010, p. 54)

Tools for analysing political representation 21 While the maker and subject of the claim may often be the same individual, the conceptual divide between the two is very important in understanding the different ways in which claims are generated. Representative claims might, in practice, be the work of a wide range of individuals, including the representative themselves, their staff, or hired marketing consultants. An advertisement, online video or Instagram post may be developed by a claimant’s team, while a claimant’s performance in a debate is likely to have been shaped by input and advice from key advisers. A political biography produced by a writer with a close relationship to the representative might also constitute a rich source of such claims. A little later in this chapter, the relationship between the claimant and the media will also be explored, and this relationship is also relevant to the way that claims reach the public. In short, separating the maker and the subject of the claim means that we can accept the practical realities of political campaigning, while still retaining our core interest in what is being claimed about the subject. Claims might be the work of more than just the claimant themselves, but the different ways in which claims are generated matters little to our understanding of the meaning generated. In 2014, for instance, presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto hired American campaign consultant Rob Allyn to work on his campaign (Tempo.co 5 July 2014). This decision and the contribution of Allyn to the campaign may be of interest for understanding some important factors, but we do not need to assess the relationship between Prabowo and his advisers to understand the narrative Prabowo was presenting during the campaign about himself as a leader and Indonesia as the nation he claimed suited to lead. Equally, whether Jokowi composes his own tweets or they are prepared by members of his team does not change the fact that these tweets present a story about Jokowi as a representative. There are practical implications of each of these factors: having more resources and a bigger team of advisers might help a claimant to present better claims (though this is certainly not always the case). On the other hand, the perception of a large retinue of advisers might impact how some members of the audience perceive the authenticity of the representative’s narrative. Either way, separating the maker from the subject of the claim keeps our focus on the message and not the messenger. More importantly, this separation also reminds us that the subject of the claim is in itself constructed. The subject may at first glance appear to be the representative claim-maker themselves, but all representative claims are based on a particular version of the subject. Makers of claims seek to promote particular qualities that might be considered attractive (for example piety, honesty or intelligence) while hiding or downplaying other qualities that are less so (for instance a Machiavellian nature or corrupt behaviour). This, in itself, makes evident the performative nature of representative claim-making – like a theatrical actor, representatives bring out some character traits and hide others. This element of claim-making is, of course, hardly a surprise – most television or film political dramas operate on the basis that politicians and their teams are engaged in a constant struggle to shape messages and present their candidate in the best light. It would be wrong, however, to consider this practice to be limited to formal politics. Human beings


Tools for analysing political representation

are constantly engaged in creatively portraying different images of themselves throughout their lives – and even generating narratives in order to make sense of their own life (see for instance Moloney & Walker 2007). As such, this aspect of representative claim-making is best seen as an extension of human nature rather than an isolated form of political behaviour. In this respect, the subject of a representative claim is like a character in a political story. Just like in any other form of storytelling, characters must resonate with the audience. Political storytelling takes place in a contested space, and sometimes it is difficult to develop a compelling character to which the audience can connect. As Polletta (2015, p. 43) argues, Certainly, characters may be more or less sharply rendered. . . . Characters should be nuanced enough that they seem realistic but not so nuanced that they seem idiosyncratic. They should seem up to date, and their concerns and priorities should resemble those of audiences. The connection between the character and the moral message he or she conveys should be clear. At the same time, audiences resist being hit over the head with the moral of the story. The moral should be clear but not too obvious. Each of these things takes rhetorical skill. A representative claim not only brings into being a version of the subject but also the object of the claim. Here too Saward separates the object and the audience, pointing out that the object of the claim is the claimant’s version of the audience. In this way, would-be representatives have to make claims, about themselves and their would-be constituencies, and use these claims in order to try to impose, or encourage a belief in, a particular set of ‘interests’ as an unavoidable precondition of speaking for those interests. In this sense, representation is as much constitutive as reflective of facts about interests and capacities. (Saward 2010, pp. 44–45) To make a representative claim is to make a claim about the audience themselves and what is important to them. Consider, for instance, a billboard message seen in the city of Bogor in Indonesia: ‘kami merindukan wakil yang sederhana’ (‘we miss representatives who are simple or average’) (Research Notes 2013). This brief claim is a very common one in Indonesia and is usually presented beside the photos of candidates for office (as it was in this case). In this very basic claim, the makers (the candidates and perhaps their team) present a version of the subject (the two candidates who apparently are ‘sederhana’). While the audience of the claim is the people who see it, this claim is presenting a particular version of the audience – a community who misses representatives who are average citizens like them and not elite and out of touch. Accepting the claim about the subject as sederhana and therefore a good representative necessarily means accepting the notion that this is something that truly matters to the community. This example

Tools for analysing political representation 23 is a very simple claim of five words and accompanying images, but it presents meaning about subject and object that it hopes resonates with the audience and how they feel. There is, then, an important assumption in this approach to assessing the work of representatives. Interests and facts are not just present waiting for would-be representatives to identify them and then accurately repeat them back to the audience. Instead, the representative plays an important role in defining the interests that the represented supposedly have, what should be done about them and why they as the representative claimant are fit for the task. Plotke (1997, p. 29) identifies this dynamic when he argues that ‘political representation includes a substantial role for the judgement of the representative in choosing how to act as a responsive agent. The preferences of the person being represented are subject to interpretation – making them clear requires dialogue’. In making this assumption about representation, we need to accept that no would-be representative, including an elected one, can fully achieve ‘representation’, or be fully representative. Facts may be facts, but claims are contestable and contested; there is no claim to be representative of a certain group that does not leave space for its contestation or rejection by the wouldbe audience or constituency, or by other political actors. (Saward 2010, p. 45) This approach to analysing political representation also means rejecting the notion that the external observer can objectively assess the quality of a representative claim. To have an interest in claim-making means observing these claims as an audience would and seeking to understand the nature of claims that have some resonance with the audience. Rehfeld (2006, p. 2) makes this point when he argues, Political representation . . . results from an audience’s judgment that some individual, rather than some other, stands in for a group in order to perform a specific function. The audience uses a set of ‘rules of recognition’ to judge whether a claimant is a representative in any particular case. While Severs (2012, p. 173) similarly observes, The intricate interplay of claims’ production and their reception is bound to generate diverging interpretations among audiences. How the absent thing is made present and who considers it so will inevitably give way to diverging interpretations of ‘what is going on’ within a particular claim. Allowing the audience of representative claims to act as the ultimate judge has several clear advantages. Firstly, the audience of claims are collectively in a better position to judge claims. Living within the environment in which the representative claim is made, as well as understanding the local historical and social context


Tools for analysing political representation

places the audience itself in a potentially beneficial position to assess a claim to be representative. Secondly, and more importantly, the extent to which a community audience feels well or poorly represented is politically more relevant than the views of the outside observer. If, for example, the political scientist studies representation in a district and believes that the quality of representation is high, while the members of society in that district view representation there as highly flawed – which is the more important political phenomenon? How can a representative be a ‘good’ representative without a fair degree of acceptance by the represented? To take this further, if we believe that the quality of representation can impact the legitimacy and stability of democratic societies and political systems, then we are inevitably interested in how the represented view their representatives, and not simply the views of an external observer. This perspective rejects the notion of the irrational voter, because this notion in itself takes for granted that there is one objective way in which voters should understand their interests and how they want to be represented. This is not to say that audiences always have perfect information or that the political and social context allows them to make a fair judgement of representative claims. Saward (2010, p. 145) argues that ‘provisionally acceptable claims to democratic legitimacy across society are those for which there is evidence of sufficient acceptance of claims by appropriate constituencies under reasonable conditions of judgment’. This means that, while it is not the role of political theorists to make first-order judgments about democratic legitimacy of representative claims using some set of substantive or even presumptively universal criteria . . . this does not mean that theorists should have nothing to say on the matter – far from it. There is a critical (and varied and complex) second-order role, interpreting the judgments that the appropriate people do make about representative claims and examining the conditions that have enabled those judgments. (Saward 2010, p. 146) Hence while the judgement of the audience is of primary importance, it is crucial to put this judgement in the perspective of local conditions and to take into account such matters as material inequality, the freedom of information, cultural factors and access to various forms of power. This is especially important, as the idea of representative claim-making and claim reception is intended to help us to understand the politics of representation across varied cultures and contexts. Who may be likely to make claims, the materials out of which claims may be constructed, how they will be targeted, how they may be seen or heard, and what opportunities recipients may have to respond will differ greatly across cultures and continents . . . Representative claim-making and claim-reception are deeply culturally inflected practices; there can be no single or stable set of gauges or filters to be used as measures of democratic legitimacy. (Saward 2010, p. 147)

Tools for analysing political representation 25 This broader context has informed the conduct and presentation of this study. Each chapter includes some reflections on the social and political context, and Chapters 6 and 7 return to this point in more depth.

Ideational elements: what form do claims take? We have, then, defined the relationship between the maker, subject, object and audience of a representative claim. But what actually counts as a claim? How does a researcher operationalise this concept in order to collect and analyse claims? The approach I have taken in this study is to cast a broad net in locating what Parsons (2007) calls ‘ideational elements’. Parson’s own list, drawn from studies of culture, identifies ‘practices, symbols, norms, grammars, models, beliefs, ideas, and/or identities that carry meanings about the world’ (Parsons 2007, p. 96). For the purposes of this study, and because of the focus on what representatives actually do with their claims, I have simplified this list to focus on three common forms that representative claims can take: claims as practices, claims through symbolism and claims as discourse. Claims as practices include gestures, acts, decisions or forms of public policy that a claimant engages in. These practices cover a wide range of decisions that claimants make about what they do, either as candidates or as elected officials. Do they regularly hold press conferences? Are they seen jogging every morning? Do they make a habit of meeting with regular people on the street? Do they open their office for citizens to come and engage with them and their team? What type of policies does the claimant push for or enact? While we tend to have a quite static view of what is possible in being a representative, it is quite clear that representatives make many choices about how they act and what they do. While these practices are often combined with discursive or symbolic elements, in some cases, words or symbols are not needed and the practice effectively speaks for itself. Claims as practices effectively cover anything the claimant ‘does’ that is then made public either through direct observation or conveyed to the audience through a secondary source (most commonly the media). Even without words, however, it would be a mistake to omit these practices from our analysis – the way in which a representative acts and the decisions they make are part of the version of themselves and of the audience that they put forward. A claimant who exercises regularly every morning in public view may genuinely be interested in their own fitness, but consciously or not this act presents a particular image of the subject (vigourous, energetic, fit, committed). Offering an open-door policy to the community may present the representative as democratically minded and genuinely interested in the views of everyday people while suggesting that this is something that the community itself actually wants. A representative who makes the decision to enact harsher sentences for crimes within their political jurisdiction makes a claim about themselves as being ‘tough on crime’ and the community as demanding tougher sanctions. Policy decisions have implications far beyond our perception of the responsible representatives, but when our focus is on the nature of political representation, it is important to understand all of a representative’s decisions as meaning-making claims.


Tools for analysing political representation

Claims through symbolism make use of visual stimuli in order to create meaning. This could include the use of logos, flags or culturally significant objects. It may also include wearing particular clothes or drawing on meaning-infused colours. Prabowo’s decision in March 2014 to emerge at a rally on horseback and wearing clothes strongly associated with former president Sukarno, for instance, contains important symbolic content (Kompas 23 March 2014). Quite often symbolism is attached to the other two forms of claim-making: the use of a visual symbol might be combined with discursive claims, while a leader engaged in a practice like meeting the community may do so while wearing clothing with embedded cultural meaning. Claims through discourse encompass the use of written and oral communication to create meaning. This could include the content of political speeches, spoken language in a debate, comments to reporters or to citizens while directly engaging with them at an event, TV interviews, slogans on posters, written content in online or print advertising and spoken and written language in self-produced online content (including videos conveying spoken language on Instagram or a caption attached to an image on Twitter). Whatever medium is used, discursive claims potentially provide the best opportunity to expand a claim into a broader narrative. At the same time, discursive claims may in some cases be difficult to transmit to the audience. Television news reports are unlikely to broadcast a whole speech, for instance, and might choose one or two sentences to include when reporting on an event. This approach to collecting evidence of claims has one other implication: we should be careful not to artificially separate ‘substance’ and ‘symbolism’. There is a tendency within both public and academic discourse to separate the substantive policymaking representative from the symbolic ‘brand managing’ representative. In Indonesia, this dichotomy sometimes distinguishes between concepts such as hasil kerja nyata (the results of real work) and pencitraan (the act of managing one’s image). A related dichotomy often separates the real person from the ‘fake’ public facing persona. Yet there are important reasons to avoid this dichotomy in this type of analysis. This is firstly because the substantive and symbolic tend to be interrelated in complex ways. An act that would be recognised as ‘substantive’ by parts of the audience (passing a policy through parliament, for instance) is most likely accompanied by symbolic or discursive claims and is also likely to be embedded with social and cultural ideas that possess symbolic value. Those who disagree with the policy might even reject that it is a substantive act on the grounds that it does not truly reflect their interests and might even argue that it is a symbolic gesture for the representatives’ own political base. In this way, the extent to which a substantive act is really so depends to some extent on the perspective of the observer. This point is highlighted by Mayer (2014, p. 64), who argues that our willingness to accept the premises of a story suggests that we evaluate the truth of narrative not in terms of its precise correspondence with the real world, but in terms of its internal consistency and its conformity with our general conceptions about the way the world works.

Tools for analysing political representation 27 If this is true of the citizens of a polity, there is every chance that it applies to researchers too. An act typically received as purely symbolic can have important effects that are ‘substantive’ in nature – a leader speaking out in defence of tolerance, for example, could lead to much more ‘real’ impacts for a society than any policy on the issue that they could develop. On this basis, there is nothing inherently less valuable about symbolic acts as opposed to substantive acts. Audiences are again responsible for assessing, accepting or rejecting claims made by a representative. We can see this dynamic, for instance, in the way in which the audience in the United States assesses in great detail the response of presidents to traumatic events such as school shootings. In Indonesia, we can see some of the same debates in response to President Jokowi’s visits to disaster zones, including in Lombok and Palu. For some members of the audience, this is an important thing for a national representative to do and can have a substantive impact for the affected community. For other members of the audience, this act is purely symbolic and cynical – a leader engaging in pencitraan. These theoretical and conceptual foundations have formed the basis for the research conducted for this book. Most importantly, if we are interested in the claims that a claimant directs at an audience, then we should be assessing the same sources of claims as that audience. This means that one of the favoured forms of data collection in contemporary studies of Indonesian politics, elite interviewing, is not appropriate. While political representatives are often more than willing to speak to both Indonesian and foreign researchers, there is no reason to suggest that they can exit ‘claim-making’ mode to present their ‘real selves’ to researchers. Indeed, they may even present a very different set of claims to a foreign researcher than they would to their more immediate audience. Either way, this type of evidence is of little use in exploring the claims and narratives that political representatives draw on. Luckily, however, there is no shortage of easily accessible evidence of representative claim-making. Representative claims are necessarily public acts, and hence they are easily observable and collectable. This is a significant advantage compared to studying other aspects of the political world (corruption or internal party dynamics, for instance). However, while the data set is publicly available, there is a need to assess this data with the appropriate linguistic and cultural filter. As has been argued, representative claims draw on practices, symbolism and discourse, and it is important that these are appreciated in context. For this reason, throughout the study, I have engaged with almost all sources in their original Indonesian language version. The English language translations provided throughout the book are my own and were produced after the process of analysis for illustration purposes. I have, wherever possible, tried to ensure that these translations capture the complete meaning of the original versions in Indonesia. In order to ensure relevant cultural, religious, political and social factors were taken into account, I supplemented my own knowledge with field work in each of the locations described in this study, engaged with local researchers, journalists and civil society leaders, and drew on the relevant literature. Field work was conducted in 2013 and 2017–2018.


Tools for analysing political representation

Indeed, while accessibility is not an issue, overabundance certainly is. It is important, therefore, to collect evidence of claim-making where it is most likely to reach the audience of the claim. As a starting point, I engaged in direct observation of the physical environments that the representatives operated within, including visits to key urban infrastructure and initiatives. The most common way that claims reach the audience, however, is through the media. In the context of Indonesia, a number of different news sources are important conveyors of information to broad audiences. In analysing the 2004 election, for instance, Tomsa (2007, p. 79) argues that television was by far the most common source of ‘information about the election process’. Despite the lower circulation of newspapers, Tomsa (2007, p. 79) argues that newspapers still play important roles in the Indonesian media landscape as they provide a vibrant forum for the exchange of intellectual discourses about political, economic, and social issues. In partnership with the electronic media, the print media forms some kind of symbiotic relationship in which the press determines what is news, while television spreads this news all over the country. While this observation is now a little dated, traditional forms of media such as newspapers and particularly television still play an important role in presenting representative claims to the public. Yet there is already a significant level of overlap between these traditional media sources and digital media. Traditional newspapers like Tempo, Kompas and Republika now publish digital versions of their reporting, and ‘digital conglomerates’ have emerged that combine television and online digital content. Tapsell (2017, p. 99) identifies Chairul Tanjung’s Transcorp as one such conglomerate and notes that it owns TransTV, Trans7 as well as Detik. Beyond their own television and digital platforms, these conglomerates also frequently use platforms like YouTube as a means to share their content. As Tapsell (2017, pp. 100–101) notes, In multi-platform news companies, a single news story is repackaged and recycled in numerous forms, and regularly updated via online platforms. This process has been described as the contemporary ‘24-hour news cycle’, where stories are re-told and updated numerous times a day or over a number of days through the addition of regular, titbits of information, ultimately giving the story greater audience reach. Within Indonesian digital conglomerates news cycles, some stories are minimal and are not recycled, others transcend numerous platforms, days and commentary. This repackaging not only means that the audience of claims in Indonesia possess multiple sources of representative claim-making and narratives but also means that researchers can more readily access a sample of news reporting. Within this study, most of the individual cases of representative claim-making were located in multiple sources (hard copy newspapers, online news, television reporting and/ or YouTube vision produced by the news agency). This meant that the audience

Tools for analysing political representation 29 possessed multiple access points for the claims being made and that the researcher could also apply some more rigour in establishing the veracity of the reporting. Where this was the case, regardless of how the claim was originally encountered by the researcher, easily accessible links to digital media platforms and YouTube videos have been included to allow the reader to sample this content for themselves. Readers with Indonesian language proficiency can use these links to read or listen to claims and narratives in their original Indonesian version. Increasingly, social media is a very powerful tool for representatives in Indonesia and is an important part of this analysis. While this form of media is not used by all members of the audience in Indonesia, there has also been a significant increase in access to social media. In 2018, a worldwide survey of digital connectivity conducted by the organisation We Are Social (2018) found that of Indonesia’s population of approximately 265.4 million, 132.7 million people were Internet users. Of those, 130 million were active social media users. Indonesia’s use of the Internet and social media is heavily skewed towards mobile devices: 120 million of those actively using social media do so primarily via their mobile phone, while Indonesia has 415.7 million mobile subscriptions. Indonesia ranked third for year-on-year growth in social media users (23 percent growth between 2017 and 2018) and third for average time spent by social media users on those platforms (3 hours 23 minutes per day) (We Are Social 2018). Social media has many different implications for access to representative claims, including different ways in which the content produced by media conglomerates is accessed and shared across platforms. Yet social media also provides a platform for representatives themselves to share their own claims without the moderation of media organisations. The social media use of President Trump in the United States has drawn attention to this potential, both in the United States and overseas. Yet Trump’s activities arguably only scratches the surface of how social media can be used to present claims to an audience. Researchers have started to explore the way in which other politicians are using digital tools. Liebhart and Bernhardt (2017), for instance, have assessed how Instagram was used for political storytelling by Austrian Green’s presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen in his successful campaign for the office in 2016. Ross Tapsell’s (2017) comprehensive analysis of media power in Indonesia demonstrates how both top-down power structures and bottom-up movements have used digital media in Indonesia to help achieve their aims. Later in Chapter 5, I will argue that Ridwan Kamil has demonstrated how social media use can contribute towards a sophisticated representative claim-making strategy. Beyond direct observation, media reporting and social media, another important source for this book has been popular books and biographies written about the innovative technocrats in Indonesia. Indonesia possesses a thriving market for political biographies, and politicians regularly release autobiographies or biographies written by supporters early in their careers to support their political ambitions. In one of the first examples from the contemporary political era, Usumah Hisram’s biography of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s, called Sang Demokrat (the Democrat), was released in 2004, coinciding with the emergence of Yudhoyono’s


Tools for analysing political representation

Partai Demokrat and his successful presidential bid of that year. These books have become increasingly common and fill large sections in bookshops around Indonesia. Each of the leaders featured in this book have at least one book written about them, and in the case of Jokowi, there are hundreds of books that focus on his emergence and style of leadership. While these books should certainly be seen as popular in nature rather than academic, they are a part of the broader ideational environment that is of interest to this study. Autobiographies and biographies written with direct involvement of the political leader themselves provide important evidence of claim-making and the construction of a narrative about their leadership. Books written without the cooperation of the leader are still revealing in terms of their reflection on claims and narratives. In some cases, these books demonstrate that popular forms of claim-making reverberate through an intersubjective arena, meaning that other members of that arena are involved in crafting and framing the narrative itself. There is one final point to note about the making of representative claims through different forms of media. Media ownership in Indonesia, like in many other nations, is now in the hands of a relatively small number of owners. Many of these media owners are very active in politics, and some even lead their own national political parties. During important elections, these figures have also taken sides and focused their media organisations on claims that preference a particular candidate in the election (Tapsell 2017, p. 107). While this is the case, media organisations face many competing priorities, particularly outside of election periods. One priority, for instance, is the potential newsworthiness of the story they are presenting. Tapsell (2017, p. 104), for instance, observes, After the Jakarta election, Jokowi stories continued to create enormous audience ratings and hits throughout 2013 and early 2014. All of the chief editors interviewed throughout 2013 and 2014 claimed that Jokowi stories were the most popular news reports. Gatot Triyanto, chief editor of TransTV, acknowledged that ‘60 percent’ of his viewers were from Jakarta, and he said it was clear Jokowi was improving the ratings for his news stations. We should keep media ownership in mind when placing ideational power within the context of other forms of power. Material wealth and oligarchic ownership of media are important in shaping who can and cannot make claims, and how these claims will reach the audience. This fact also points to the value of social media as an alternative channel for both political representatives and civil society organisations. Johansson (2016, pp. 35–36) picks up this point in arguing that the growing importance of social media in Indonesia’s political process at least partly is due to the complementary and to some extent even substitutive role social media has alongside traditional media. The impact that social media has on politics is further strengthened by the fact that traditional media

Tools for analysing political representation 31 in Indonesia to a certain extent is captured by vested interests. These interests are closely related to key political actors. As a considerable share of traditional media outlets are owned and controlled by powerful actors in Indonesian society, social media provides an alternative channel through which politicians can engage in direct dialogue with their constituencies. This study is mainly interested in the nature of the ideas and narratives presented to the audience. In this regard, the role of the media in sharing these ideas and narratives with the audience is important to keep in mind. Where possible, I have drawn on claims and ideas that are presented through multiple sources of media as well as through other means of transmission to the audience. In summary, this study drew on a publicly available data set drawn from three different sources: direct claims made via electronic means (for instance, social media and party websites), claims reported through the media (television broadcasts, online news sites, videos and newspapers) and claims made in public areas (billboards, visible evidence of public policy initiatives and posters). This data was drawn from between 2006 and 2018, though many of the examples used for the purposes of this book focus on the period between 2016 and 2018. Some potential sources of evidence were not available for this study due to time and resource constraints but are well worth pursuing in further studies of political representation in Indonesia. These include qualitative surveys of the public based on some form of representative sampling and deeper research into networked transmission and judgement of claims via popular social media platforms like Whatsapp. Each of these potential sources of data could be very useful in furthering our understanding of the role of ideas and narratives but were not possible to include in this study. In addition, this study focuses on the construction of claims and narratives by political representatives. There would be value too in exploring the potential role of civil society organisations and movements who present their own representative claims.

Analysis and representative repertoires In understanding the means by which representatives tell their story we can begin by collecting and assessing different sources of claim-making. The range of representative claims made in a modern nation state like Indonesia is potentially overwhelming, and it is, of course, difficult to collect them all. This is true even if we restrict ourselves to the claims made by formal politicians. In the 2014 round of national elections, for instance, one estimate by the electoral commission noted that there were approximately 200,000 candidates competing for 19,699 offices in 2,471 national, regional and local electorates (Detiknews 9 January 2014). This figure does not include many local and regional elections that took places outside of the 2014 campaign period. Election campaigns provide a greater intensity of claim-making, but those who are elected to the 19,699 offices are also consistently making claims and presenting ideas outside of campaign periods.


Tools for analysing political representation

Much claim-making takes place, of course, at the local level and through personal relationships. Patronage relationships are a common feature of Indonesian politics, especially at the local level, and can be important in gaining the support of key individuals and organisations. Aspinall (2011, p. 313) argues that With few exceptions, patronage is the strongest glue that binds political allegiances, loyalties, and organizations. This combination imparts to Indonesian politics a high degree of pragmatism, flexibility, and even opportunism. Indonesia has become the country of the political deal, not the political dream. Representative claims are arguably still a part of these types of relationships, but we are unlikely to see the claims that generate significant levels of ideational capital for the claimant. In this study, I am interested more so in the ‘political dream’ rather than the ‘political deal’, or at least in how claims come together to construct a broader narrative about political representatives and their world. As Hodges (2011, p. 160) has observed in his analysis of narratives surrounding the War on Terror: Meaning making is never complete after one speech event, but consists of an ongoing process that spans multiple, overlapping encounters. In short, sociopolitical reality requires more than a single authoritative pronouncement to be established. Meanings are both constructed and contested across intertwined contexts where cultural understandings are produced, reproduced, and potentially subverted. Political representatives can gain advantages from the connection of claims to form larger stories about their leadership. It is, therefore, important to consider how claims connect over time and space, and how themes are generated from these claims. Individual representative claim-makers have little to gain from random claims with little relationship to each other. When we shift from the individual claim-maker to consider the intersubjective environment within which they operate, we should also expect some forms of claim-making to become embedded within particular political and social contexts. These claims may come together to form a pattern around a key cultural concept, or they may form a larger narrative. Within this study, therefore, I began by looking for these patterns and narratives. Some of the patterns I identified were based on notions that have cultural, social or political resonance in Indonesia. Nationalism, for instance, emerges as a very common source of representative claims, along with local and ethnic identity. Many claimants draw on these sources to make claims about their own identity and the similarity with those they represented. The national ideology of Pancasila quite often appears in the claims made by representatives, especially close to important national holidays that celebrate Indonesia’s independence and national identity. Religion, particularly Islam, is also a key source of claims that will re-emerge repeatedly throughout this book. Candidates for office often focus

Tools for analysing political representation 33 on a common set of qualities as themes in their claims, like kebersihan (cleanliness from corruption), kesederhanaan (being common or simple). And some claimants drew on promises of particular policies or claims based on previous performance. Yet many of these sets of claims were relatively simplistic and did not form coherent narratives. There was one exception to this. In the 2014 election, Jokowi competed against Prabowo Subianto, a former general who had formed his own political party (Gerindra – a contraction of Gerakan Indonesia Raya – Great Indonesia Movement). Between 2013 and 2019, Prabowo has quite consistently developed a populist narrative which focuses on the notion of kebocoran (leaking) of resources overseas and a weak elite who has allowed it to happen. Prabowo’s populist narrative will be discussed later in this book. Despite the fact that this study began with a focus on Indonesia’s political parties, it became clear that the most fully developed narratives belonged to a different set of politicians – the innovative technocrats. These politicians became prominent because of the ideational capital accrued through their claims. They received (and in most cases continue to receive) significant media attention even beyond their own regions and provinces. Their claim-making formed the most coherent narratives which they returned to repeatedly, and these narratives converged with those of the other innovative technocrats. The two key foundations of this approach to representation – technocratic focus and innovative engagement – began to emerge very strongly from the data. And it was clear that these leaders were also increasingly using their claim-making to form ideational power that could be used to gain public support, political leverage and electoral success. This set of claims have clearly become more common within Indonesian politics over time. The main case studies presented in this book represent the most prominent examples of this form of claim-making, but we have also seen an increasing array of leaders at the local and regional level around Indonesia engaging in similar claims. These two sets of claim-making and the narratives they form appear to have contributed towards a recognisable representative repertoire in Indonesia – an embedded resource that both representatives and those they represent can draw on in understanding the role of a political representative. Jokowi’s advance to the presidency, in particular, has firmly embedded this repertoire within the intersubjective environment of Indonesian politics. At the same time, this study will also argue that the repertoire is not universal or even necessarily dominant. But it is currently the most prominent set of ideas and narratives about political representation, and the most likely way for an Indonesian leader to develop meaningful ideational capital.

Claims, repertoires and ideational power Having identified a prominent form of claim-making, it is important to understand how it can manifest in the generation of power. This is an important step, for if the claims and narratives described in this study are not able to produce power of any sort, then they are of little interest to the study of politics. The connection


Tools for analysing political representation

between ideas and power suggested in this study is not new. Historical scholarship on legitimacy and authority focus on the extent to which judgements play a role in the power of an actor – Weber’s three forms of legitimate authority, for instance, note the role of traditional, charismatic and legal-rational sources of authority, each of which operates based on the judgement of the audience (Weber 2003). Even in more structural accounts of Indonesia politics, some space is allocated for the ability of leaders to use ideas to achieve political ends. Winters (2013, p. 14), for instance, emphasises the dominance of material forces in Indonesian politics but acknowledges the potential role of ‘mobilisation power’. Other scholars are more optimistic about the potential role of ideas in politics. Beginning with Hall (1993), these scholars have attempted to highlight the importance of ideas in the study of politics and policy. Notably, John Kane’s concept of ‘moral capital’ (2001, p. 10) emphasises the importance of ideas and perception in generating a resource that can be used by political actors: The Machiavellian game must be seen to be about something larger than gain, ambition and survival. Political agents and institutions must be seen to serve and to stand for something apart from themselves, to achieve something beyond merely private ends. They must, in other words, establish a moral grounding. This they do by avowing their service to some set of fundamental values, principles and goals that find a resonant response in significant numbers of people. When such people judge the agent or institution to be both faithful and effective in serving those values and goals, they are likely to bestow some quantum of respect and approval that is of great political benefit to the receiver. This quantum is the agent’s moral capital. Other scholars have referred to this ‘quantum’ as ideational power (Schmidt 2008) and have explored the extent to which ‘power through ideas’, ‘power over ideas’ and ‘power in ideas’ become politically important (Carstensen & Schmidt 2016, p. 321). Ideational power has been explored in a number of contexts, including its role in the international relations of the Middle East (Rubin 2014), the domestic politics of post-authoritarian states (Goode 2012), the structural power of business (Bell 2012) and economic approaches in Europe (Hay & Smith 2010). Seeking to understand the development and use of ideational power does not entail believing that it is able to always triumph over other forms of power within a society, or even that it operates unilaterally. Material power, patronage relationships, the authority of political institutions and the use or threat of violence, for instance, are all potential factors in deciding political outcomes. Additionally, forms of power compete and coalesce in complex ways, and it is important for this study to remain conscious of the extent to which other forms of power interact and clash with ideational power. Yet, fundamentally, this is a study built on the idea that it is difficult to fully assess the origins of political outcomes without charting the form and impact of ideas. As Beland (2010, p. 148) argues, ‘Ideas participate in the construction of the world through which actors make sense of their material, social and political environment’. Hay (2011, p. 79) similarly points to the

Tools for analysing political representation 35 importance of acknowledging the role of ideas and the construction of ideas in understanding interests, arguing that interests do not exist, but constructions of interests do . . . they reflect, as much as anything else, subjective/intersubjective preferences regarding the things the actor values and the relative values the actor assigns to the desires he or she can imagine. Narratives and stories are an important extension of these ideas, as Mayer (2014, p. 87) argues, Interests are typically taken as given by social scientists. Yet even interests based on fundamental egoistic desires for security, power, or wealth may be partially constructed. And clearly our non-egoistic interests – in the fate of others we care about, in causes that move us, or in the fortunes of the community of which we are a member – are largely constructed. Narrative can play a role in each case. In recent history, we have seen the extent to which ideational power is used by populist leaders in both the United States (Donald Trump) and the Philippines (Rodrigo Duterte) to reshape political debates and even challenge existing institutions. Their rise is not purely due to ideational power, but our analysis of these figures necessarily requires an examination of the way in which they use narratives to persuade others to give their support or their vote and to shape important debates in public discourse. Similarly, Kane’s (2001) study notes the impact of leaders such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela, and the extent to which moral capital (or ideational power) can propel leaders to play prominent roles in political change even when other forms of power stand against them. In a similar way, this book argues that the innovative technocrats in Indonesia have mainly drawn on ideational power through the claims and narratives that they have developed, and this has allowed them to have a significant impact on contemporary Indonesian politics.

Conclusion This chapter has sought to provide a framework for understanding representative claim-making in an empirical context like Indonesia. In working with representative claims, it is important to first begin by clearly separating the maker(s), subject, object and audience of the claims. Doing so allows us to focus on the meaning generated about the representative themselves while acknowledging that multiple actors may be involved in the generation of a claim. It also allows us to see the subject and object of a claim as constructions in their own right, emphasising the performative and meaning-making role of political representatives. In assessing these representative claims, it is important to suspend our own judgement of the


Tools for analysing political representation

claim, for the researchers’ own views of the claim are of less interest than those of the audience for which the claim is made. Having established these foundations, this chapter argued that we can find representative claims through practices, symbolism and discourse. Each of these three sources of claim-making have been collected and analysed in this study. In doing so, it is important to remain aware of the different ways in which these sources of claims reach the public and to assess as many of these as possible. The role of the media, and increasingly of social media, is important here, particularly when it comes to the very public representative narratives that generate ideational capital. We have a significant publicly available data set to use in analysing representative claims, and the task of sifting through this immense data set can be made easier by looking for common ideas and narratives. Finally, this book is most interested in the way in which these claims have generated ideational power for the claimant – a source of power that stands apart from other more commonly understood forms of power. This book now applies this framework in the following three chapters to five innovative technocrats. In the following chapter, Jokowi’s important role in developing the innovative technocrat repertoire is explored, particularly with reference to the prevailing political conditions in Indonesia that make this form of claimmaking so desirable. In Chapters 4 and 5, a set of other innovative technocrats are explored. Each of these leaders possesses their own unique traits and political context, yet this study argues that it is important to consider the similarities in their claims and the broader narratives they generate. Finally, Chapter 6 considers the ideational capital these leaders have developed and how it might apply in relation to other forms of power. Chapter 7 concludes with some thoughts on the innovative technocrats and the future of Indonesian politics.

References Aspinall, E. (2011) Democratization and Ethnic Politics in Indonesia: Nine Theses. Journal of East Asian Studies 11: 289–319. Beland, D. (2010) The Idea of Power and the Role of Ideas. Political Studies Review 8: 145–154. Bell, S. (2012) The Power of Ideas: The Ideational Shaping of the Structural Power of Business. International Studies Quarterly 56: 661–673. Carstensen, M.B. and Schmidt, V.A. (2016) Power through, over and in Ideas: Conceptualizing Ideational Power in Discursive Institutionalism. Journal of European Public Policy 23: 318–337. DetikNews. (9 January 2014) 200 Ribu Caleg yang Berebut 19 Ribu Kursi di 2014. https:// news.detik.com/berita/2462640/200-ribu-caleg-yang-berebut-19-ribu-kursi-di-2014. Goode, J.P. (2012) Nationalism in Quiet Times: Ideational Power and Post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes. Problems of Post-Communism 59(3): 6–16. Hall, P.A. (1993) Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain. Comparative Politics 25: 275–296. Harari, Y.N. (2018) 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. London: Jonathan Cape.

Tools for analysing political representation 37 Hay, C. (2011) Ideas and the Construction of Interests. In: Beland, D. and Cox, R.H. (eds.) Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hay, C. and Jo-Anne Smith, N. (2010) How Policy-Makers (Really) Understand Globalization: The Internal Architecture of Anglophone Globalization Discourse in Europe. Public Administration 88: 903–927. Hodges, A. (2011) The ‘War on Terror’ Narrative: Discourse and Intertextuality in the Construction and Contestation of Sociopolitical Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Johansson, A.C. (2016) Social Media and Politics in Indonesia. Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper No. 42. https://swopec.hhs.se/hascer/papers/ hascer2016-042.pdf Kane, J. (2001) The Politics of Moral Capital. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kompas. (23 March 2014) Kampanye di GBK, Prabowo Tunggangi Kuda. https://nasional. kompas.com/read/2014/03/23/1411394/Kampanye.di.GBK.Prabowo.Tunggangi.Kuda. Liebhart, K. and Bernhardt, P. (2017) Political Storytelling on Instagram: Key Aspects of Alexander Van der Bellen’s Successful 2016 Presidential Election Campaign. Media and Communication 5: 15–25. Mayer, F.W. (2014) Narrative Politics: Stories and Collective Action. New York: Oxford University Press. Moloney, G. and Walker, I. (2007) Introduction. In: Moloney, G. and Walker, I. (eds.) Social Representations and Identity: Content, Process, and Power. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Parsons, C. (2007) How to Map Arguments in Political Science. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Plotke, D. (1997) Representation Is Democracy. Constellations 4: 19–34. Polletta, F. (2015) Characters in Political Storytelling. Storytelling, Self, Society 11: 34–55. Rehfeld, A. (2006) Towards a General Theory of Political Representation. The Journal of Politics 68: 1–21. Rubin, L. (2014) Islam in the Balance: Ideational Threats in Arab Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford Security Studies, an imprint of Stanford University Press. Saward, M. (2010) The Representative Claim. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Schmidt, V.A. (2008) Discursive Institutionalism: The Explanatory Power of Ideas and Discourse. Annual Review of Political Science 11: 303–326. Severs, E. (2012) Substantive Representation through a Claims-Making Lens: A Strategy for the Identification and Analysis of Substantive Claims. Representation 48: 169–181. Tapsell, R. (2017) Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. Tempo.co. (5 July 2014) The Selling of Prabowo. https://en.tempo.co/read/590630/theselling-of-prabowo/full&view=ok. Tomsa, D. (2007) Party Politics and the Media in Indonesia: Creating a New Dual Identity for Golkar. Contemporary Southeast Asia 29: 77–96. We Are Social. (2018) Digital in 2018: World’s Internet Users Pass the 4 Billion Mark. https://wearesocial.com/blog/2018/01/global-digital-report-2018. Weber, M. (2003) The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Rule. In: Whimster, S. (ed.) The Essential Weber. New York: Routledge. Winters, J.A. (2013) Oligarchy and Democracy in Indonesia. Indonesia 96: 11–33.


The first innovative technocrat Jokowi

Introduction Leading up to the 2013 gubernatorial elections in the Indonesian province of West Java, the challenging candidates Rieke Diah Pitaloka and Teten Masduki wore chequered shirts (baju kotak-kotak) in the style made famous by Jokowi. Teten, a former activist who had worked for Transparency International, argued that the use of the shirts represented a direct link to the political style and example of Jokowi. Rieke and Teten were not the only political candidates to adopt the baju kotak-kotak. Candidates in a number of regions of Indonesia have adopted the shirt and the symbolic meaning that it is perceived to convey. Most recently, this garment was closely identified with the campaign of Ahok and Djarot Saiful Hidayat for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election. Ahok had run with Jokowi for the Jakarta election in 2012 and had worn the shirt together with him there, but after Jokowi’s departure to run for president, Ahok continued to use the famous garment. A campaign spokesperson for Ahok explained the meaning of the shirt in this way: The idea [to use the shirt this time] came from Ahok himself because he wanted to convey the message that the shirt is identical with the working class. So if we work together we can achieve whatever we aim to do. (Liputan6.com 9 November 2016) The same spokesperson went on to claim that the baju kotak-kotak Ahok was using was a variation on Jokowi’s famous shirt and that the red and black colours on the shirt symbolised daring and a willingness to work directly in the field. The use of the baju kotak-kotak by political candidates in Indonesia may seem relatively trivial, but the adoption of a meaning-infused garment provides a simple example of an ideational element that can be employed in order to make a representative claim. More broadly, this example also demonstrates one of the key themes in this chapter and throughout the book – claims and narratives take place in an intersubjective realm and can be drawn on or engaged with by other political actors. In this case, the symbolic use of the baju kotak-kotak and the accompanying discursive claims are a small part of something much larger – the development

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 39 of a broader repertoire of representative claims that produce a specific type of political narrative. While the analysis in the book notes how multiple leaders have contributed towards a common pattern of representative claim-making, this chapter focuses on the role of Jokowi in establishing and making popular the basic framework of the innovative technocrat repertoire. And yet, Jokowi’s prominent role in contemporary Indonesian politics would have seemed unlikely based solely on his background and political pedigree. Born on the 21st of June 1961 in the small city of Solo in Central Java, Jokowi’s upbringing was apparently a quite simple one. He was the oldest of four children, and his father sold wood from door-to-door. The family regularly lived in squatter settlements along the Solo River, a waterway that was prone to flooding. Reportedly, the family was forcefully relocated several times during Jokowi’s childhood. In his own words captured in an official biography, Jokowi described his childhood as ‘Difficult. Yes, my childhood was not easy. But, I do not describe it as poverty. I also do not think of it as suffering. It was God’s very appropriate way of developing me’ (Endah 2012, p. 20). Jokowi went on, however, to earn a degree in engineering from the famous Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, graduating in 1985. He would eventually develop a successful furniture exporting company in Solo, employing a large number of people and providing him with the opportunity to travel overseas on behalf of the business. Before entering politics, Jokowi also served as the chairman for an influential furniture manufacturers association, and his family was involved in party politics for Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP – the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) – though only at a very low rank. Jokowi entered politics as a candidate for the position of mayor in his home town of Solo, beginning a political career that would significantly impact the trajectory of Indonesian politics. Not only did Jokowi attract national headlines as a successful two-term local mayor in his home town, but he followed this with hard-fought victories against candidates with strong political support in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election and in the 2014 presidential election. These victories were accompanied by considerable media attention in Indonesia and even overseas. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that Jokowi has shaped Indonesian politics in the past decade more than any other individual figure. In this chapter, I argue that Jokowi’s popular brand of representation is built on bringing together two key forms of representative claim-making: ‘technocratic focus’ and ‘innovative engagement’. These sets of representative claims did not, of course, emerge out of thin air. Indeed, each of these forms of claim-making was possible due to structural, institutional and social preconditions that had already developed during the first decade of reformasi in Indonesia, if not earlier. There were also other representatives in Indonesia already experimenting with some of these forms of claim-making before Jokowi. Yet Jokowi is significant because of his ability to refine and employ these two forms of claim-making to create a compelling narrative that has captured the attention of the media and the public, as well as his combination of these claims to provide the exemplar of the innovative technocrat in Indonesian politics.


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Technocratic focus as a type of representative claim Despite the prominence of Jokowi’s emergence and the sense that he and other similar leaders offer something new, we have very few useful conceptual frameworks for understanding the emergence of innovative local leaders in Indonesia. Some studies have simply chosen to establish a dichotomy between ‘old and new’ local elites (Choi 2011, pp. 104–107). Other studies have turned to the concept of populism. The reasons for this term being applied are to some extent understandable. Analysts have pointed to Jokowi’s background, with a particular focus on his own humble childhood and his emergence from outside traditional elite networks. His well-known practice of blusukan, or impromptu visits to the community, are sometimes described as a populist gesture, and local analysts in Indonesia have often used terms such ‘media darling’ or pencitraan (image management) to suggest that Jokowi received a particularly easy ride to popularity because of the attention the media gave him. Hamid (2014, p. 106), for instance, argues that ‘Jokowi’s victory in Jakarta could be seen as a populism phenomenon. As an outsider to Jakarta’s politics, Jokowi became an alternative when Jakartans grew disillusioned with their government’. Lay (2018, p. 83) describes Jokowi’s policies in Solo as ‘techno-populist’, arguing that ‘this populism, marked by strong connections between government leaders and their constituents and realized through problem solving-oriented policies, led to Jokowi being considered the ultimate representative of the lower classes’. Aspinall (2013, p. 117) has used the concept of ‘electoral populism’ to explain the way in which leaders like Jokowi have used policies such as healthcare cards and increases in the minimum wage to increase their popularity with the people. Mietzner (2015, p. 24) has provided perhaps the most compelling analysis of Jokowi’s success, arguing that Jokowi was the ‘pitch-perfect personification’ of a longing within Indonesian society for ‘moderate, intra-systemic populism’. While the tone of this analysis echoes that presented in this book, it still employs the concept of populism – even if the term is qualified in different ways (Mietzner uses ‘pragmatic’, ‘technocratic’ and even ‘polite’). Part of the problem may be that the term populism has, in itself, been used for many different purposes in academic and public discourse. As Mudde (2017, p. 27) has argued, populism is undoubtedly an essentially contested concept, given that scholars even contest the essence and usefulness of the concept. While a disturbingly high number of scholars use the concept without ever defining it, others have defined populism as a type of political discourse, ideology, leadership, movement, phenomenon, strategy, style, syndrome, et cetera. Yet despite the contested nature of the concept, there are some broad points of agreement in the present literature that highlight the ideational characteristics of populism. The first is that populism is at its core an ideology or political style that emphasises a struggle between the people and an ‘other’. Indeed, this should be seen as ‘the central element that differentiates populism from other political

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 41 styles’ (Moffitt & Tormey 2014, p. 391). For some researchers who focus on populism, this ‘other’ is primarily a domestic ‘elite’ who are defined by the populist. Mudde (2017, p. 29), for instance, defines populism as an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, ‘the pure people’ versus ‘the corrupt elite’, and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people. Other researchers have noted alternative ‘others’ that can form the core of a populist narrative, including foreign powers, migrants and ethnic or religious minorities. Quite often, the populist develops a narrative that includes multiple ‘others’, where the political elite are either weak or co-opted in the hostile activities of foreign powers or economic elites. In defining the other, the populist makes claims about their representation of the people against this other. While all political leaders make claims about who they represent, the populist differs because they accept no limits or openness in their claims about the people – populists ‘claim to speak in the name of the people, and hold that this justifies refusing any limits on their claims’ (Espejo 2015, p. 75). The populist uses this distinction between the people and the other to present a narrative of crisis or threat, allowing them to identify why their own ‘strong’ leadership is needed in order to protect the people from the threat emerging from the other or others. As Moffit (2016, p. 118) argues, Populist actors actively ‘perform’ and perpetuate a sense of crisis, rather than simply reacting to external crisis. Moreover, this performance of crisis allows populists an effective way to divide ‘the people’ and ‘the elite’, and to legitimate strong leadership by presenting themselves as voices of the sovereign people. Of course, representatives can make all sorts of claims, and political leaders of all types occasionally draw on the type of claims that could roughly fit this description of populism. Yet as argued in this book, we should focus on the nature of the narratives developed by political representative through patterns of representative claim-making. By employing this definition of populism, it is clear that contemporary politics in Indonesia has witnessed a populist form of political storytelling. As Chapter 2 has noted, Prabowo built a presidential campaign in 2014 around the notion of kebocoran (literally meaning ‘leaks’). The kebocoran narrative that he presented at the time describes an Indonesia at the mercy of foreign powers, whose natural resources are being leaked overseas. It presented Indonesian elites as either too weak to resist the kebocoran or complicit, and Prabowo as the strong and assertive (tegas) leader that Indonesia needed in order to address the problem. Prabowo has continued to tell this story to the Indonesian public since 2014 as he prepares for a second run at the presidency in 2019. It is evident, for instance, in a speech to


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

party members in March 2018, where Prabowo used the plot of the novel Ghost Fleet as a basis for suggesting the fall of Indonesia had already been predicted in other countries: But in other nations they have already undertaken studies, where it is declared that the Republic of Indonesia will no longer exist in the year 2030 . . . they predict that we will disintegrate . . . our elite feel that if 80 percent of all of our land is owned by 1 percent of our community, that is fine. That if almost all assets are owned by 1 percent, that is fine. That if a large part of our wealth is taken overseas and not kept in Indonesia, it is fine. . . . this is what is ruining our nation . . . this is not nice to say, but there is no longer the time to pretend. (YouTube: CNN Indonesia 23 March 2018) Prabowo’s populist narrative demonstrates quite clearly what populists actually do through their discourse. Notably, this same form of discourse is very rarely present in Jokowi’s own political approach, nor that of the other innovative technocrats. As will be argued throughout this book, these leaders are much more interested in presenting themselves as innovative or smart leaders who can develop solutions to small-scale policy challenges. Pursuing policies that benefit the poor or having a poor background does not, in itself, make someone a populist. However, it is important to define why the term ‘technocrat’ is suitable for describing the type of representative claims that Jokowi and other leaders have employed in Indonesia. This is particularly important because the term ‘technocrat’ has been used historically in Indonesia to describe a very particular group of individuals. The emergence of a group of ‘technocrats’ was one of the features of the Suharto regime, which lasted from 1967 through to the beginning of the reformasi period in 1998. As Shiraishi (2006, p. 10) argues, key national economic principles were introduced in the early days of Suharto’s New Order regime by his economic advisers, a handful of young academics who were trained at Indonesia’s premier university, the University of Indonesia . . . and abroad, and who would maintain links with the academic community as faculty members at UI. Five of them emerged as key members of Suharto’s economic team and founding fathers of the Indonesian technocracy: Mohammad Sadli, Emil Salim, Subroto, Ali Wardhana, and Widjojo Nitisastro. Technocracy as a political philosophy has emerged occasionally in different political systems, including the United States and Canada in the 20th century. By using the term, I do not intend to evoke the historical use of the term either in Indonesia or in any other political system. Instead, I am interested in how political representatives publicly develop claims that are technocratic in nature. These claims place the notion of skillful or technical approaches to public policy challenges at the heart of what representation means. They construct a narrative of a world with

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 43 different technical problems waiting to be solved, and by extension, those with the requisite expertise are called to serve. As Moffitt (2016, p. 47) observes, the technocratic leader claims that society can function correctly through leadership by those with ‘the requisite knowledge, training and standing’. By adopting a technocratic focus in their claims and broader narrative, these leaders project a predominant focus on tailored solutions to identified problems. Often, these claims are constructed based on quite small-scale problems, or at least problems that have a physical manifestation to which the audience can connect. Fixing footpaths, for instance, or developing a new public green space is a very public and tactile form of political storytelling – the public can literally see and touch the manifestation of the claim. We will see many examples of these throughout the book. Having a technocratic focus means favouring notions of pragmatism, innovation and fostering a respect for expertise. It also means sidelining other potential foundations for political narratives, such as identity and ideology. It is a political approach that avoids separating the people from an ‘other’ and evoking a sense of crisis or threat – both key foundations of populist narratives (Moffitt 2016). The technocratic claim-maker thrives when discussing the details of a particular policy, especially policies that they themselves have enacted. They are less comfortable drawing on broad and sweeping claims about political conflicts over identity, interests or ideology. Many of the technocrats mentioned in this book reject the very notion that they are involved in ‘politics’. These features of the technocratic claim-maker are different in important respects to technocrats employed by the Suharto regime. Contemporary Indonesian technocrats are public claim-makers rather than behind the scenes experts. As this chapter will soon argue, the second key feature of the approach adopted by Indonesia’s technocrats is a desire to connect in innovative ways with the public. We should be skeptical, therefore, of any claimants in Indonesia who suggest they are not involved in politics. But the technocratic claim-maker is defined by a narrative that stresses the notion that good representatives are experts who can develop smart or innovative solutions to public policy challenges. Representative claims based on these ideas find very fertile ground in contemporary Indonesia – particularly at the local and regional level. Here, the process of decentralisation and the concurrent introduction of direct elections for local and regional leaders is crucial. Before 1999, budgetary authority in Indonesia was highly centralised in the federal government. This institutional reality meant that economic and political power in Indonesia was organised in a tightly hierarchical manner, and leaders at the local and regional level relied mainly on those above them in the hierarchy for their positions and resources. Relationships based on patronage were central to the whole system, and corruption was endemic. Decentralisation and direct elections for local leaders slowly changed this dynamic. With at least 25 percent of Net Domestic Revenue allocated to town municipalities (kota) and country districts (kabupaten), these sub-districts also became responsible for many of the most important areas of public policy impacting the lives of everyday Indonesians, including health, education, infrastructure and environmental management (Ostwald et al. 2016, p. 145). Provinces were


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

initially provided only very limited power – in part reflecting concerns about secessionist movements that were more likely to be fueled at the provincial level than the district level. In resource-rich regions, the law ‘was liberalized to allow local governments to retain much larger shares of revenues produced in their regions’ (Sebastian et al. 2014, p. 28). More recent legislation in 2014, however, has returned some coordinating power back to the provincial level, though districts still retain significant financial and political autonomy (Ostwald et al. 2016, p. 146; Ziegenhain 2017, pp. 29–30) Interestingly, Max Lane (2014, pp. 8–18) has argued that the origins of decentralisation were not due to public demands during reformasi itself, but instead emerged as the result of ‘technocratic’ policy developments that were allowed to succeed due to the temporary weakness of crony capital interests following the fall of Suharto. Lane (2014, p. 17) argues that Habibie facilitated changes consistent with technocratic formulations of how a liberal democratic government might operate . . . this technocracy, based in some sections of the civil service as well as the universities and research institutions, had also evolved separately from crony capitalism. . . . Intellectuals at Gadjah Mada University, such as Professor Pratikno, had also been advocating decentralization as a means to enliven local decision making. If one of the aims of decentralisation was to ‘enliven local decision making’, then the introduction of elections for regional executive leaders (gubernur [governors]) and local executive leaders such as bupati (district heads) and wali kota (mayors) were also crucial. These positions had previously fit within the hierarchical structure of power emanating from the core of power in Jakarta, with local and regional leaders being ‘essentially officials within the national governmental structure appointed by the national government, after it had considered recommendations and votes in the local parliaments’ (Lane 2014, p. 12). As a result, these leaders were much more responsive to the central government and to local and regional power brokers than to the public itself. The introduction of direct election through pilkada (a contracted form of Pemilihan Kepala Daerah – election for regional leader) in 2004 changed this dynamic, and both local and regional leaders needed to at least consider the role of the public vote in holding on to power. Decentralisation and direct elections for local leaders have led to a range of different outcomes, including oligarchic capture of local politics in some regions (Winters 2013). Yet it has also provided the conditions necessary for the innovative technocrats (Aspinall 2013). As Sebastian et al. argue (2014, p. 56), ‘although money politics and familial dynasties have proliferated as a result of the reforms, a new and younger class of leaders responsive to local conditions also emerged – largely due to the pilkada system’. As we shall see, the two characteristics shared by these emerging leaders (technocratic focus and innovative engagement) rely on access to financial resources, responsibility for important areas of local policy and the ability to develop relationships without restrictive levels of moderation from oligarchic interests or the political party system.

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 45 Another reason that technocratic claim-making is potentially very successful in Indonesia is due to the enormous public policy challenges facing Indonesian society. The Asian financial crisis had put a halt to one of the longest periods of sustained economic development in the world and dramatically increased the number of Indonesians living below the poverty line. Basic needs like education, health and welfare were not being met, and there were ongoing difficulties in establishing sufficiently dynamic local economies for Indonesia’s large and relatively young population. Indonesia’s largest cities offered some of the best job opportunities, but here challenges like access to transportation, housing, flooding and the cost of living remained particularly acute. These public policy challenges also included some low hanging fruit, such as public spaces in need of development. So while political and financial power was being devolved to local leaders with direct accountability to the public, this public was also desperate to see public policy initiatives that would make a difference in their lives. With these prevailing conditions, it was not surprising that local and regional leaders began to actively search for public policy solutions. One of the earliest examples of this was the emergence of local healthcare card programmes. In 2003, for instance, a former dentist who became bupati in the Jembrana district of Bali, Gede Winasa, introduced the Jaminan Kesehatan Jembrana (Jembrana health insurance) scheme. Similar programmes emerged in many other parts of Indonesia. As Aspinall and Warburton note, Over the past decade, Indonesia has witnessed an explosion of local health insurance programs, or Jamkesda (Jaminan Kesehatan Daerah). The nature and scope of these schemes vary greatly from region to region, but most involve a district or provincial government subsidising basic medical services for residents. Sometimes the services are provided free to all residents, more commonly just for the poorest. (Aspinall & Warburton 2013) These claims based on the delivery of needed forms of social welfare have become all but ubiquitous in local executive government head elections. At the national level, too, successive governments have offered increasingly ambitious and generous social programs . . . it is impossible to deny the new political salience of social welfare in Indonesian politics. (Aspinall 2013, p. 114) Examples such as these demonstrate that technocratic policy innovation at the local and regional level did not begin with Jokowi. Local and regional leaders were already responding to the prevailing conditions and opportunities that developed in post-reformasi Indonesia. What separates Jokowi from these leaders, however, is his ability to craft these technocratic solutions and other claims into a compelling political narrative, that ultimately contributed towards a repertoire that other leaders have drawn on.


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Innovative engagement as a type of representative claim Unlike Suharto’s technocrats, the cast of figures explored in this book combine this technocratic focus with a second element – that of innovative engagement. By engagement, I mean the way in which political actors connect with the public and the way in which the nature of this connection forms a larger narrative about the relationship between the representative and the represented. Innovative technocrats, beginning with Jokowi, have not only been distinct for their commitment to engagement with the public – they have also found new and interesting ways to engage with the community and have used these techniques to make very successful claims. The two foundations of this repertoire are often interlinked, and throughout this book we will see many examples of these links. Yet this second type of claim-making deserves attention in its own right. The quality of engagement between representatives and societies is an important element of any analysis of democracy and democratisation. Tilly (2007), for instance, focuses on ‘mutually binding consultation’ as one of the four key components of his definition of democracy, alongside the protection, breadth and equality of that consultation. The deliberative turn in democratic theory, similarly, has attempted to focus on the importance of engagement with and between citizens, and the potential for direct or deliberative forms of decision making to occupy the perceived democratic deficit in current political systems (see for instance Cohen 1989; Elster 1998; Dryzek 2002; Fishkin 2011). In Chapter 1, I have argued for the continued relevance of the practice of representation, but by applying the framework of the representative claim we open up space to consider the varied ways in which representatives do (or may) engage with the public. Like technocratic focus, claims based on innovative engagement also find fertile ground in contemporary Indonesian politics. This is particularly true given the increasing struggles of the established political party system to draw on their own ideational foundations. At the beginning of the reformasi period, the predominant ideational dynamic of political representation appeared to be the relationship between party movements and their leaders on one hand and specific sociocultural communities on the other. The term politik aliran was widely used in describing this dynamic, just as it had been useful in describing similar dynamics at the time of the last democratic national election in 1955. The notion of aliran ‘is a rich and nuanced one in Indonesian political discourse’ (Sherlock 2009, p. 16) and is based on the work of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who used this term to characterise key cleavages in Indonesian society based on cross-cutting religious, cultural and political identities. In the 1955 election, the vote share was split between a number of large parties representing distinct aliran within society. These relationships can in part be explained through a structural analysis of Indonesian society and the interests of these different groups, but economic interests in themselves were not the only factor dividing these distinct political communities. These divides were also clearly based on ideational appeals, including those grounded in identity, culture and religion.

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 47 Following the fall of Suharto, the nature of political competition appeared to resemble the pre-authoritarian dynamic. Following the 2004 election, Sherlock (2004, p. 17) observed, Indonesia’s parties have deep historical and cultural roots which tap into the divisions inherent in Indonesian society. When the Suharto-era restrictions on freedoms of political association and organisation were thrown off in 1998, the country’s political parties quickly assumed forms that would have been familiar to a political actor of the early 1950s, the last time when parties were able to operate freely. Indeed, the results of the 1999 election show some remarkable continuities with the results of the 1955 election. The importance of aliran during the early years of reformasi informed a wide range of research during this period (see, for example, King 2003; Baswedan 2004). What did this mean for the nature of engagement between representatives and society? Broadly speaking, parties and leaders were able to draw on ideational elements to connect to these aliran communities. Megawati and Abdurrahman Wahid, two presidents of the early post-reformasi years, were party leaders but also the figureheads of distinct ideational communities. Both figures may have possessed their own personal traits that connected them with some voters, but the main reason that they were able to make successful representative claims at this point was predominantly related to who they were, rather than what they did. In Megawati’s case, she was no less than the daughter of Sukarno, the father of the nation, first president and leader of the former Partai Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian National Party). Megawati’s last name (Sukarnoputri) literally means Sukarno’s daughter, and her party PDIP possessed strong ideational links to her father’s party. In the case of Wahid, he was the grandson of the founder of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest mass Muslim organisation in Indonesia, and had led NU during the Suharto years. Both figures played an important role in the final decade of the Suharto regime and at times demonstrated their own individual personal qualities, but arguably their representative claims were built on the identities that they were uniquely placed to channel. The most telling evidence of this lies in the vote share of the parties they led in 1999 and 2004 – PDIP was most successful in former PDI strongholds such as Central Java and Bali, while Wahid’s Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) was dominant in the NU stronghold of East Java. Over time, this connection between parties, party leaders and distinct aliran communities began to evaporate. In summarising a large survey of Indonesian citizens following the 2009 election, Liddle and Mulyani (2010, p. 39) found that neither adherence to a particular world religion nor belonging to a certain aliran had a significant direct influence on voters. . . . Moreover, regional differences, specifically the oft-mentioned gulf between the residents of Java and those of other islands, did not greatly influence voting behavior. These


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi conclusions contradicted previous scholarly claims that aliran and locality largely determine how Indonesians cast their ballots.

This study and others at this time began to point to a shift in the relationship between voters and leaders – a sense of historical or cultural affinity to party symbols was not enough and citizens were looking for other traits or qualities in their representatives. This change may have also reflected the dynamics within political parties at the time. As Ufen (2008, p. 17) argues, parties were ‘becoming more elitist with greater distance between politicians and voters; additionally, conflict within parties – where it was often based on ideological grounds in the 1950s – today is more about leadership styles and positions’. The perceived inability of leaders and parties to deliver public goods for citizens was also one of the key factors driving this changed relationship. Most critical were the interrelated problems of economic recovery, poverty alleviation and corruption. It is also important to note that while aliran appeared relevant in the early years following reformasi, an alternative view had emerged early in this period arguing that Indonesia’s reformasi was less a revolution and more a reorganisation of power – and many of the same oligarchic interests that existed in the Suharto era continued on in to the reformasi era. Democratisation, according to this perspective, ‘enabled the repositioning of a variety of interests, incubated and entrenched during Suharto’s long rule, within a new democratic political framework, preserving the illiberal nature of Indonesian politics’ (Fukuoka 2013, p. 992). As such, these analysts saw the connection of political parties with society as being less relevant than the ongoing influence of these oligarchic interests. Hadiz (2003, p. 607), for example, argued early in the reformasi era that we should focus primarily on the continuation of ‘predatory’ power politics in post-Suharto Indonesia: The reorganization of power in contemporary Indonesia recalls some of the experiences of countries like Thailand and the Philippines, and that of postSoviet Russia . . . they show that old interests and such uncivil forces as local bosses and political gangsters may reinvent themselves and appropriate the democratization process, and thereby exercise predatory power through money politics and political thuggery. While authors such as Hadiz and Hadiz and Robison (2013) have proven to be the most forceful proponents of the ‘oligarchy thesis’, an increasingly cynical assessment of democratisation became more common amongst both analysts and regular citizens. These factors are important for any analysis of ideational dynamics in Indonesia as they shape the environment that representative claim-makers operate in, affecting which ideational appeals are likely to be successful and which are likely to fail. And even if we accept that there was ideational value in the previous aliran connections, the gradual fading of the power of these links opened up space for other factors to impact political competition. As Aspinall (2010, p. 107) has pointed out,

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 49 At the grassroots, the decline of appeals based on cultural loyalties is reflected more in the continuing and expanding role of ‘money politics’ in campaigning, including promises or transfers of cash or other material benefits in exchange for votes, and in the role of political brokers in mediating relations between candidates and voters. In this context, the aliran based party lost ascendancy to the type of party Harmel and Svåsand (1993) have labelled the ‘entrepreneurial party’. Entrepreneurial parties are commonly formed ‘by one person who does not hold a position in government’ and ‘are new formations that cannot rely on ties to already organized societal groups’ (Arter 2016, p. 17). In the absence of the ideological identity, support and resources provided by an existing movement, the entrepreneurial party relies on the ambitions, resources and profile of the founding leader who becomes the basis of the party. As the name suggests, these parties are not responding to a social or ideological gap in the political system, but instead seek to construct a market for themselves, and particularly for their politically ambitious leaders. In Indonesia, almost all new parties that have emerged since the 2004 election match the characteristics of the entrepreneurial party. Partai Demokrat (PD – the Democrat Party) (2004), Prabowo’s Gerindra (2009), Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura – the People’s Conscience Party) (2009), Partai Nasdem (the National Democrat part) (2014) and Partai Persatuan Indonesia (Perindo – the United Indonesia Party) (2016) have all been established around the identity of a single leader and without the drive of a specific ideological or social movement. Nasdem is unique in some ways, as the party founder, Surya Paloh, a former member of the Golkar party and a prominent media mogul, together with other prominent figures, delayed the formation of the party to first pursue the creation of a mass organisation called the Nasional Demokrat. This organisation held events throughout Indonesia featuring energetic speeches and stylish slogans, but with little in the way of a cohesive ideological position. After repeated denials that the mass organisation was the vehicle for the establishment of a party, a party was indeed established to contest the 2014 elections – much to the disappointment of some prominent Nasdem members who later left the organisation (DetikNews 7 July 2011). PD was the first of these entrepreneurial parties, being specifically designed as a political vehicle for Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his ambitions to compete for the presidency in 2004 – to the extent that Tomsa (2008, p. 179) labelled the party as a ‘blatantly personalistic party which relies almost exclusively on the appeal of its founder’. The members and leaders of the party do not reflect a specific social group within society, but instead a ‘rag-tag collection of former bureaucrats and military officers, provincial businesspeople, and former student and NGO activists’ (Aspinall & Fraenkel 2013, p. 16). The party became prominent only when SBY himself became popular just before the 2004 election, and the popularity of the party peaked in the 2009 election when Yudhoyono’s popularity was at its highest point.


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Despite some attempts to promote other future leaders within the party, PD’s result in the legislative election in 2014 largely reflected Yudhoyono’s flagging popularity, as well as his inability to run again for president having served the constitutional limit of two terms. PD has attracted a number of local, regional and national figures, and is likely to remain active in politics at least in the near future. But the profile of Yudhoyono has undoubtedly been central to its success, and it now faces the uncertain fate that is common to many entrepreneurial parties (Arter 2016, p. 17). Hanura and Gerindra are also based on the identity of former military generals and feature an ‘equally heterogeneous social composition’ (Aspinall & Fraenkel 2013, p. 16). Gerindra has become a prominent party in contemporary Indonesia, given the competitive result of Prabowo in the 2014 presidential election and his continuing appeal as a competitor for Jokowi in the 2019 presidential election. The fact that new parties are exclusively entrepreneurial has consequences for their nature and hence their ability to perform representative claims. As the party is designed to be a political vehicle for the party founder, power is naturally heavily centralised. Svåsand (2013, pp. 266–267) argues that it seems reasonable to hypothesize that party entrepreneurs are motivated by using the party machinery to control access to power and may not, at least in the short run, be interested in building a party organization, which as it develops may be less easy to control. . . . When party entrepreneurs eventually resign from politics one way or another, there is no ‘glue’, organizationally or ideologically, to keep the party together. Svåsand’s characterisation of the entrepreneurial party is not completely applicable to the Indonesian political system – parties in Indonesia are better institutionalised and organised than many comparative entrepreneurial parties in other political systems. Yet the extent to which party institutionisation actually reflects enduring and effective links with citizens is much less certain. The nature of these entrepreneurial parties that have come to heavily influence Indonesia’s party system has important implications for their ideational relationship with society. Because the identity and the structure of these parties depend so heavily on their founding leader, these figures become the main source of representative claims for the party. Some of these leaders have been successful at different times in developing a strong identity and significant levels of ideational capital – including Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his first term as president and Prabowo Subianto as a presidential challenger employing a populist narrative with some appeal. Yet beyond these few successful periods of claim-making that capture the attention of the public, these parties possess a strong relationship with only a small core of members and supporters. Additionally, this relationship is built upon the advantages that the party can provide to communities and to individuals. These personal and public goods are a much greater incentive for supporters than any programmatic or ideological connection to the identity of the party. In a case study on political parties and their members in the city of Malang, for instance, Fionna (2013, p. 192), found that

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 51 party ideologies serve as mere slogans and ideas largely unattached to party operations. Except for PKS, ordinary members of the party branches examined here had little knowledge of their parties and were not engaged in party life. In short, participation in party life was superficial for the bulk of party members. In this environment, party members or supporters are mainly those who obtain an advantage from the party (a job, a chance at public office, a temporary reward such as cash or food). This does not mean that political parties are exclusively elitist or do not provide opportunities for everyday citizens – indeed, as Mietzner (2013, p. 90) notes, ‘Indonesian parties constitute a kaleidoscope of society, with all its attractive and ugly faces’. Yet these opportunities are arguably the most important resource that political parties offer, and members of the public with no direct relationship with a party have little sense of connection. In a telling survey conducted in 2011, for instance, only 20 percent of respondents replied that they felt closer (‘merasa lebih dekat’) to a specific political party rather than the others – a reduction from 86 percent in 1999 when aliran connections were more influential (Lembaga Survei Indonesia 2011). By 2015, this figure had further dropped to 15.9 percent – and a third of those who responded that they did feel closer to a specific party indicated that it was PDIP – a party that at the time was arguably drawing strongly on the ideational capital of Jokowi (Lembaga Survei Indonesia 2015). One reason for this limited connection to parties is suggested by Nugroho and Setia (2014, p. 28), who argue that the selection of candidates by the elite of the parties is often based on pragmatism, whereas the community want the candidates put forward by parties to have a good track record, integrity, professionalism, competency, capability and to fulfil the other ideal criteria of a leader. . . . Interaction which is momentary in nature means that the political parties have not succeeded in building a basis of support with deep roots amongst the community. This broad analysis is skipping over some relevant nuance, and there are a number of good studies exploring the success of some parties and some politicians. PKS has in the past been praised as an example of a party pursuing quite genuine connections with society, with an effective cadre programme based largely on merit and the delivery of public services within the community (Tomsa 2008). Some politicians, including those representing political parties, genuinely engage with their local communities. Yet these examples are the exception rather than the rule – broadly speaking, communities around Indonesia have experienced deep disappointment with the lack of connection they feel with the party system and political representatives. In this ideational vacuum, claims drawing on the idea of innovative engagement are more likely to succeed and to lead to the development of ideational capital. This chapter has thus far introduced the two key foundations of the approach adopted by the innovative technocrat. These leaders, as we will see, adopt a technocratic focus while employing claims about innovative engagement with the


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

community. Both of these components of the broader repertoire are potentially more successful because of the nature of contemporary Indonesian politics. Yet even with these existing conditions, the role of the first innovative technocrat was essential. The remainder of this chapter considers Jokowi’s initial contribution towards this approach to political representation in Indonesia.

The first chapter: Jokowi and Taman Banjarsari During my visits to Taman Banjarsari (Banjarsari Park) in Solo in 2017, it was notable how quiet and peaceful the location was. In the centre of the park, a large white brick statue is flanked by bronze coloured heroes of the independence struggle between 1945 and 1949. For this reason, the park is more formally known as Taman Monumen (monument) 45 Banjarsari. Around this central monument, Solo residents sit or lie down in the shade of tall trees. Young couples chat excitedly while sitting in the shade, while some older residents enjoy a morning nap. In the outer edge of the park, a large playground features a range of colourful equipment, and some of Solo’s youngest residents are enjoying their play time. Some of these children may have heard of Solo’s famous former mayor, but the history of the park is the last thing on their mind. This beautiful park was not always so quiet and peaceful though. Indeed, in the broader narrative of Jokowi’s career as a representative, the struggles over this public space are regularly noted as one of the first key chapters in his story. Jokowi’s election as mayor of Solo in 2005 was not particularly noteworthy, beyond the fact that he was the first democratically elected mayor of the city. His winning margin was slight, and he had a very limited public profile in Solo, let alone outside the city. Yet having been elected, Jokowi began to make important decisions about the type of practices he would engage in as a representative, and these decisions would come to shape his ongoing political story. At this time, Solo faced a number of public policy challenges. The city had not fully recovered from the aftermath of protests during 1998 and 1999, and the previous mayor, Slamet Suryanto, had not been able to establish effective relationships with other parts of the local government and bureaucracy. Street traders were a particularly pressing problem though, and the epicentre of the problem was in and around Taman Banjarsari. The park and surrounding streets were filled with street traders, and local residents regularly complained about the traffic issues, mess and lack of safety in the area. Local business owners were also fed up with the situation. The problem became so severe that residents boycotted the regular Independence Day activities at the monument in 2004 (Majeed 2012, p. 3). In response to this issue, Jokowi chose to devote significant time and energy to both understanding the problem and solving it. Where previous mayors in Solo and other large cities like Jakarta had sought to move traders and residents by force, Jokowi’s approach was focused on obtaining an agreement with the traders to move voluntarily. This took some time to get right: Jokowi’s early announcements regarding the street vendors from Banjarsari prompted fierce objections, with some vendors displaying signs declaring, ‘Struggle till the end of our life. We

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 53 would rather die than move’ (Majeed 2012, p. 8). This outcome forced a change of approach which would further refine Jokowi’s ongoing political approach. Following the initial opposition, Jokowi attended over 50 lunch meetings with representatives of the street vendors, and collected substantial data on their situation, leading to the details of the proposal for moving them to a new site at Kithilan Semanggi (Majeed 2012, p. 8; Lay 2018, p. 83). Key to the street trader relocation were the resources dedicated to engaging with citizens, the time taken by Jokowi and his staff to sit with different members of the community, and the powerful claim of engaging in active listening with affected communities. This is, I would argue, more difficult to achieve in practice than it sounds. Indonesian leaders as in other parts of the world are often more comfortable speaking to the public rather than actively listening to them. Jokowi, on the other hand, is an often hesitant and uninspiring public speaker (as became quite clear in the presidential debates during the 2014 campaign) but excels at appearing humble and genuinely engaged with people he meets on the street. Fealy’s (2013, p. 108) noted this perception in the context of Jokowi’s 2012 electoral contest against Fauzi Bowo: Of all the candidates, Jokowi seemed to have the most ready rapport with ‘ordinary’ people . . . more than a few observers noted similarities between Jokowi and Barack Obama. Apart from a certain physical resemblance – both are somewhat lanky, with longish faces and toothy smiles – they also shared an easy-going spontaneity and humour when meeting voters. This placed Jokowi in stark contrast to Fauzi, who tended to be stiff and given to lecturing his audiences. While Jokowi developed this approach and practiced it over time, it does appear that this practice was grounded from the beginning in Jokowi’s own personality and preferences. Indeed, after becoming mayor, Jokowi immediately ‘convened City Hall meetings and other events to encourage citizens to share their views and ideas about what government was doing and how it could improve’ (Majeed 2012, p. 6). In the end, the resources and time spent on the issue led to a peaceful resolution – the traders moved voluntarily to a new market building at Kithilan. This move was supported by targeted assistance that focused on the concerns most important to them such as advertising and marketing material, temporary city subsidies for site rental and even subsidised transportation for traders to move between home and the market at Kithilan. After a long process of research, engagement and implementation, Jokowi marched together with close to 1,000 traders as they formally moved from Banjarsari park to the new trading site – an outcome that would have previously seemed impossible. As an activist cited by Majeed (2012, p. 8) noted, It was a dramatic situation, but he was able to replace a thousand vendors in peace. This has never happened in any city in Indonesia. There was no


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi bloodshed or violence. It was also the first time that Jokowi sensed people’s acceptance. After this, he continued the dialogue with citizens and believed that his style could work.

This approach clearly emerged through some trial and error. Yet having succeeded, the practice became a blueprint for many of Jokowi’s later approaches to public policy challenges as well as some of the other leaders explored in this book. More importantly for this book, this early episode demonstrates the power of the two key components of the innovative technocrat repertoire. This claim was built on both a technocratic focus on a relatively small-scale policy issue, with attention to all of the competing technical details. But it was also built on the notion of intense engagement with stakeholders. While we will see examples of claims that exclusively adopt just one of these key characteristics of the repertoire, the combination of the two can be particularly powerful. This example also demonstrates the different ways in which claims can operate. Given the power of the practice itself, Jokowi has barely needed to accompany this claim with his own discursive claims. Yet he has addressed this episode and other similar relocations on many occasions. In 2009, he reflected on the outcomes of his approach, noting that we carried out engagement with the street traders for seven months before making a change. We did it through eating lunch together and engaging in dialog. It turns out that approach was successful. The movement of the street traders from their old location didn’t require bulldozers . . . they [moved] voluntarily. (Kompas 18 June 2009) These discursive claims became more common during Jokowi’s campaign for the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election. In one example from April 2012, Jokowi was followed by the media as he visited a group of relocated traders. Jokowi is shown on television meeting with different traders, sifting through their wares and making a purchase at one stall: the smiling trader holds up the crisp 100,000 rupiah note for the television cameras with pride. During the visit, he speaks to the assembled reporters, arguing that the approach from Solo can work in Jakarta too: An area can be set up for the traders, a market can be set up for the traders, if needed, a mall can be setup for traders . . . why not? This is the system and reality of the economic life of our community. They don’t need to be shut down. The most important thing is to give them space. (Liputan6 5 April 2012) In a speech to supporters in 2012 that was later curated and placed on YouTube, Jokowi draws on his experience in Solo to make claims about how he will revitalise traditional markets and areas for traders in Jakarta (YouTube: Jakartabaruchannel 2012). Later, his track record in Solo and Jakarta formed part of his

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 55 track record when campaigning for the presidency. During the second presidential debate in 2014, for instance, Jokowi argued that the development of traditional markets . . . the creation of space for street traders . . . I have already carried that out and I have proven that these small things need to be managed. (Research Notes 2014) Yet beyond Jokowi’s own discursive claims and the claims embedded in the media coverage of his visits to traders, the power of this first chapter in Jokowi’s story can be seen in how it has reverberated through the narratives developed by other authors. This can be seen, for example, in a children’s comic book by Watiek Tdeo (2015) titled ‘Jokowi: A Child from the Village Becomes President’. This comic book narrates Jokowi’s story from his childhood through to the presidency, and the beginning of the section on his time in Solo begins the narration with the relocation of street traders. In the second panel of this part of the story, one character representing an everyday citizen who Jokowi meets on the street tells him: It’s impossible that you can organise the street traders. Previous leaders haven’t been able to. (Tdeo 2015) The narrator in the story goes on to state in the next panel: However, Jokowi . . . with a polite and patient approach . . . succeeded in touching the hearts of the street traders. (Tdeo 2015) Over the next four panels, the comic depicts Jokowi listening to the demands of the traders, coming up with the idea of a new trading site based on their demands, and finally tells of the parade of traders happily moving to their new location. The final panel in this part of the story finishes with the narrator stating that Jokowi’s approach in working with the street traders became an example for other cities in Indonesia. (Tdeo 2015) In this broader narrative that has now developed around the episode, the Javanese concept of nguwonke wong (humanising people) has repeatedly been applied to describe Jokowi’s approach. Note, for instance, this description from Tanri Abeng’s book Managing the Nation with Tanri Abeng (2012, p. 54): This particular mayor engages in nguwongke wong . . . when in other places the management of street traders has been characterized by physical confrontation between them and public law enforcement officials (including both


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi material damage and harm to individuals), the management of street traders in the city of rivers [Solo] progressed peacefully, safely and without commotion. Jokowi conducted community dialog directly at least 54 times with the street traders. The movement of the street traders to a new market became a tourist attraction because it was accompanied with an engaging cultural festival. This demonstrates that Jokowi leads a government whose ranks engage in nguwonke wong.

The same argument is also made by Hermawan Aksan in his book ‘Jokowi: Aku Rapopo’ to describe this episode. Aksan (2014, p. 25) argues that Jokowi uses the approach of nguwongke wong . . . so that he doesn’t force or evict the traders, but, quite the opposite, promotes dialogue and eating lunch together so that the traders begin to become confident enough to voice their grievances directly. In these books, and many others, we can see how claims develop into broader narratives that have resonance within a society. While in most cases the representative and their team develop claims and pursue a compelling narrative that connects with the audience, their success can lead to well-known stories that are shared by other actors within the society. Where narratives are shared in this way, our definition of the maker of a representative claim is further enlarged and can include many individuals and organisations that are not directly tied to the representative. Consider, for instance, a parent reading the Jokowi comic book mentioned earlier to their children and explaining to their child why they think Jokowi is a good representative. Where representative claim-making leads to these broader and compelling narratives that are accepted by a sizeable portion of society, then the representative can draw on ideational power to increase their political leverage and chances in electoral contests. The relocation of street traders in Jakarta is now one of hundreds of technocratic claims that Jokowi has engaged in. Yet it stands as perhaps the most important single episode of claim-making in Jokowi’s career, as well as the development and success of this broader repertoire.

Jokowi and technocratic claims Most of the innovative technocrats described in this book share a very common narrative regarding their entry into politics. According to this narrative, these leaders are not natural politicians and often have very little interest in the political world. But they feel a calling to politics because of two things: the challenges faced by their home city or home town and the technical expertise they possess which could be used to help their home town. In this way, the innovative technocrats present themselves as reluctant technical experts with little interest in politics, who are nonetheless called back to contribute to their community. This is a narrative presented by Jokowi at different times but is present in its fullest form in his 2012 official biography. Here, Jokowi (Endah 2012, p. xx) argues,

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 57 I was already beginning to become restless thinking about it. Often, in the afternoon when I would explore Solo, I would see traders in batik or other crafts who had already lost their ‘platform’ because the special locations for the batik trade were not cared for anymore. So much local potential which was becoming frail . . . all parts of the city were not being cared for. Tourist attractions were stagnant. Hotels were not profitable. . . . it was devastating. The soul of Solo as a city of heritage was being neglected. . . . I felt that it was wrong to just think about business. . . . I should do something, more than just becoming a merchant . . . it was like there was a calling that was enveloping me. . . . Ok, I’m a furniture business owner. I’m not skilled at politics, I have not dived into the political cauldron, and I’m not interested in getting close to bureaucrats or people from the parties. This narrative continues to describe Jokowi’s reluctance to enter politics, but also his ultimate decision to do so because of the conditions that he saw. The narrative is consistent with most of the other leaders considered in this book and fits with the technocratic notion of the importance of expertise and solving problems with technical solutions. As Jokowi recounts elsewhere in his biography (Endah 2012, pp. 10–11), I believe that the task of a regional leader is actually very simple. It is to be able to grasp the problems of the community, to be able to sense the feelings of the community, to be able to analyse the problems in the field, and to be able to overcome these problems. This narrative is a core element of Jokowi’s claim-making before and after his experience as mayor of his home town. Far from the populist claim of the need for a strong leader to stand up to a threatening ‘other’, it is the claim of a technocrat, whose abilities are called upon by a community lacking skilled leaders. The relocation of street traders from Taman Banjarsari is just one example of the type of technocratic claim that came to dominate Jokowi’s approach. Indeed, one important aspect of the broader narrative developed by Jokowi was the notion of repeating and expanding successful practices. In Solo, the principles of the Taman Banjarsari relocation were applied to many other public policy challenges, such as the modernisation of traditional markets, the relocation of informal settlements to more stable and quality housing, and moves aimed at making it easier for businesses to operate in the city. Cards for accessing healthcare and education were introduced for Solo’s poorer residents. In each of these cases, the focus was on challenges that had a very direct impact on the financial situation, safety, comfort and lived environment of Solo’s residents. The notion of consultation with key stakeholders was also an important part of the claims made in each case. As we have seen, a key claim in Jokowi’s campaign for the gubernatorial election in Jakarta was that he could bring his successes in Solo to Jakarta. Discursive claims made during the campaign regularly referred back to experiences in Solo. When claiming that he would enact a ‘Kartu Jakarta Sehat’ (Healthy Jakarta


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Card), for instance, Jokowi connected to his previous experience in Solo, stating in a televised debate that this is a system that we have already implemented for almost six years in the city of Solo, and the community has continually felt the benefits of this card. (Research Notes 2012) These individual links to policies in Solo were common but were developed into a broader narrative. This narrative was based on the notion that Jokowi had already demonstrated his ability to improve and manage a city. One of Jokowi’s campaign ads that was played on television networks in 2012, for instance, featured citizens purportedly from different segments of society explaining why they supported Jokowi. The first figure featured in the advertisement appears to be shaving wood in an outdoor workshop. He turns to the camera and claims that ‘Jokowi has already proven that he is able to organise a city’ (YouTube: Basuki Purnama 2012). The use of the verb ‘menata’ here is revealing: this Indonesian word could be translated as ‘organising’ or ‘putting something in order’. It is a term that denotes the need for a technocratic leader who can implement solutions, rather than a strong leader (the term ‘memimpin’ – to lead – would have been a potential alternative). These claims also demonstrate the importance of the innovative technocrats being able to draw on a track record of purported successes. As we shall see repeatedly throughout this book, the innovative technocrat thrives on the notion of bukti kerja nyata (evidence of real work). Variations of these words regularly appear in their claims and are used to highlight examples of previous successes. This is important because any political representative in Indonesia can make promises based on technocratic appeals. But the innovative technocrats have greatly benefitted from their appeals to the perception of past successes. In some cases, these examples have been contested by other political actors, seeking to limit the ideational capital that can be built through their use. But where large sections of the community appear to accept the claims made about these examples, they can form a quite powerful source of claim-making. This trend also demonstrates the importance of the local office to the innovative technocrats, as this political level provides the best opportunities to develop successful claims built on small-scale technocratic approaches. After becoming governor of Jakarta, Jokowi employed many of the practices from Solo in response to a range of policy problems. He immediately moved to relocate a number of street markets, employing a very similar approach to that in Solo. In one example he moved street vendors in Tanah Abang, with the aim of alleviating severe traffic jams in the area. Some problems were more complex and challenging – for instance, the perennial public policy nightmare of poor communities living in settlements along the edges of a number of Jakarta’s rivers that are prone to flooding. Here, Jokowi sought to apply an approach very similar to the street trader relocations – relocating these communities to lowcost apartments to free up areas for access roads, green catchment areas and

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 59 drainage systems near the rivers. The relocations of these communities were often more complex, emotional and were not always as successful as some of the street vendor relocations. As we will see, these practices became even more controversial when Ahok became governor, owing partly to his more uncompromising approach. As president, Jokowi’s technocratic claim-making has continued, with a focus on national infrastructure. His social media has regularly featured new roads, bridges and facilities, and his discursive claims in media reporting focus on his efforts to provide pembangunan (development) at the national level. Claims about relocations might be built partly on the means employed to organise the relocation and the sense that the community itself is satisfied with the process. Yet further claims relate to the public space that has been opened up by the relocation. Families able to enjoy the peaceful environment of Taman Banjarsari are interacting physically with a part of the claim. Residents of Jakarta who are convinced that the relocation of traders in Tanah Abang is reducing congestion and their commuting time are similarly directly experiencing a claim. And if the relocation of riverside settlements can later be linked to reduced flooding in Jakarta, then this claim persists in the lived experience of residents. In drawing out multiple claims, the innovative technocrats have regularly highlighted the interdependence of different aspects of policy. One common form of this is the notion that good policy is about the social or human dimension as much as it is the technical or physical environment. We will see other examples of this throughout the book. For Jokowi, his focus on revitalising Solo’s identity as a heritage centre in the heart of Java is an early example of these types of links. His attempts to rebuild Solo’s brand and attract tourists included multiple aspects. Efforts to organise public space provided a basis for this rebranding, with Jokowi applying the slogan ‘Solo, the Spirit of Java’. Yet the impacts of this policy were seen as being social as much as they were economic: revitalising Solo’s reputation would bring back tourists and fill hotels, but it would also provide the residents of the city with an improved level of pride in their city (Research Notes 2017). More broadly, complexity and the importance of systems are also key themes in the narratives presented by the innovative technocrats. After all, technical expertise is most needed where complexity is overwhelming. According to the claims made to construct this narrative, the main priority for policymaking is the establishment of effective systems, and thus good representatives are those who can enact and manage these systems. Consider, for instance, this statement by Jokowi in the 2012 gubernatorial debate: This is a system . . . so that funds at the provincial level can truly be controlled, can be managed, can be organized efficiently . . . because we are preparing the systems first . . . not preparing the funds first . . . but preparing the systems and then with these systems the community can feel the benefits directly. (Research Notes 2012)


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Here Jokowi’s claim rejects the notion that representatives can throw money at problems. Funds without effective systems, Jokowi argues, leads to poor results for the community and the increased potential of corruption. If we follow the logic of this claim, we can see its implication – that campaigning politicians who simply promise funds should be trusted less than the leader who has already demonstrated their ability to develop and maintain systems. In one of the 2014 presidential election debates, we see Jokowi returning to this narrative: It is not only about the organisation of funding . . . what is important are the systems that are constructed. As mayor and as governor, [I] have always concentrated on the fields of education and health, because those areas are some of the most controversial . . . if systems are constructed, it provides certainty, protection, and ensures that it reaches the community. Not just funds that are prepared and then can disappear all over the place. (Research Notes 2014) During the same debate, Jokowi credited his establishment of systems in Solo with the significantly larger vote share he received during his re-election bid. He even joked that the incumbent candidate for the Jakarta gubernatorial race, Fauzi Bowo, might have won the first round of voting in that election if he had introduced similar systems in his previous years in office (Research Notes 2014). The claim here is clear: ‘The good representative implements systems so that citizens feel the benefits of public policy more directly, and I achieved this in Solo’. By 2014, Jokowi was drawing on all of his previous track record in Solo and Jakarta and arguing that this approach could be successfully brought to the national level. Consider this statement from one of the debates, citing Jokowi’s experience in applying online systems to prevent opportunities for corruption. We have done it and we have proven it . . . both as mayor and as governor. E budgeting, e procurement, e purchasing, e catalogue, e-audit, online tax . . . . methods like these are what I think we need. And it can be nationalised. It is possible in all areas. The national level can employ it, if JK [Jusuf Kalla – Jokowi’s running mate] and myself are given a mandate by the people to govern. (Research Notes 2014) This narrative contrasted significantly with that of Prabowo during the 2014 presidential election. As we have seen, Prabowo’s narrative was built on the typical populist notion of hostile ‘others’ (in this case foreigners and the Indonesian elite) conspiring so that Indonesia’s natural resources ‘leaked’ overseas. During his moments on the national stage in the 2012 and 2014 campaigns, Jokowi’s narrative remained consistent. There was little discussion in Jokowi’s campaign about identity, ideology or hostile ‘others’. When issues of identity or ideology emerge, Jokowi frequently attempted to shift back to his default technocratic message.

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 61 During the 2012 Jakarta campaign, for instance, Jokowi appeared on live TV following controversial statements made by a famous singer regarding the minority identity of Jokowi’s deputy (Ahok), and during the interview, Jokowi continually shifted the conversation away from identity to ‘vision’ and ‘programmes’. During one exchange, he responded, Yeah enough, the main thing is that issues of identity should be stopped, and then we should start with the issue of how we make programs for a better Jakarta, what type of vision do we have, what do our programs look like for the future, it’s time that we concentrate there. (YouTube: Pengua saha 2012) On some occasions, Jokowi and his campaign engaged in talking about economic elites in Indonesia and the importance of Indonesia’s sovereignty, but these claims were very much on the periphery of Jokowi’s main narrative and were not the ideas that he seemed most interested in putting forward to the audience. Instead, Jokowi’s depiction during one of the debates of the most important thing for Indonesia’s future was ‘managerial oversight’: Plans are important, but what is most important is how to carry it out, how to execute it, how to make a decision, how managerial oversight can be employed from moment to moment, from day to day, from week to week, and from month to month . . . we have to continuously carry out managerial oversight . . . . the most important thing in my opinion in this country, the greatest weakness . . . is managerial oversight. (Research Notes 2014) There are, of course, many other examples of technocratic claims that Jokowi has engaged in as a mayor, governor and as president. Yet this chapter has highlighted the overwhelming emphasis of Jokowi’s representative claims. My aim here is not to analyse the quality of Jokowi’s public policy – that is for his constituents and public policy experts to judge. Yet by analysing Jokowi’s approach to political representation we learn a great deal, not just about Jokowi himself but also about the emerging innovative technocrat repertoire. Jokowi’s choice of technocratic claims, whether through practices, symbolism or through his own words, are a deliberate choice. The ideas that he has generated are built on thousands of separate claims, and a political representative possesses only limited resources, attention, funds and political capital to use. Engaging personally in 54 lunch meetings with street traders is a choice, as is allocating public funds towards their relocation. Relocating riverside communities is a choice, and the exact method in which it is carried out also means many different choices. Jokowi returning continuously to technocratic notions in nationally televised presidential debates is a significant choice. These choices centre our attention on the notion of technocratic focus, the first key foundation of the repertoire explored in this book.


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

Jokowi and innovative engagement: blusukan We have already seen some claims Jokowi has made about innovative engagement in his meetings with the street traders. Yet Jokowi’s development of the practice of blusukan has become perhaps his most well-known form of claimmaking. Blusukan, as previously noted, translates roughly to the practice of an impromptu visit, often with the implication that it is an area that would not normally be visited. As Kastoyo Ramelan (2014, p. 259) argues, despite the term not previously being listed in many dictionaries, it ‘lives in the Javanese mind’. Further, he argues that the practice has a history in Surakarta, being carried out by KGPAA Mangkunagara VII (1916–1944), ‘a king who cared deeply for the wong cilik’ [everyday people] (Ramelan 2014, p. 260). While Ramelan notes the Javanese term used at the time to describe the practice was a different one – mider praja, he sees the two terms as being very similar in meaning: ‘They both are an effort . . . to get out and absorb the aspirations of the community – if we draw from the current parliamentary terminology’ (Ramelan 2014, p. 260). Jokowi’s engagement in blusukan appears to have emerged based on some early experimentation during the campaign for mayor in Solo, where ‘instead of displaying Jokowi and Rudy’s faces on posters or billboards, the couple visited residential areas by motorcycle to promote their platform’ (The Jakarta Post 18 November 2013). A campaign staff member quoted in the Jakarta Post explained that ‘local reporters asked us what our campaign model was called. We spontaneously came up with the term blusukan. We thought we would find a permanent term later, but we never did’ (The Jakarta Post 18 November 2013). Jokowi’s practice of blusukan commonly involves appearing in a kampung (village or suburb), a market, a bureaucratic office or other public space, and meeting citizens. The exact nature of the visit varies, but it is common for Jokowi to sit with citizens, or to engage in a common everyday activity such as eating or praying together. In other cases, Jokowi purchases food from a street stall and sits down to eat. Here, there are important cultural nuances to blusukan. The acts of sitting with citizens on the ground, sharing a meal from a street stall and praying in a small mushola (prayer room) all have deep resonance in Indonesian society. Eating at a street stall is an experience familiar to most Indonesians. In some cases, Jokowi visits city offices, health centres or schools that fall under his own management and examines the condition of the buildings while listening to the views of staff and members of the public. In one example, a day of blusukan shortly after Jokowi began as governor of Jakarta on the 24th of October 2012 was captured by a number of media organisations. On this one day, over six hours Jokowi reportedly visited a Puskesmas (health centre) in central Jakarta, a market (pasar Impres Senen), a local council building, two more markets (pasar Bedeng and pasar Gembrong Lama), a local restaurant serving Sundanese food, a dam gate (pintu air Manggarai), and one last market in East Jakarta (Pasar Induk Beras Cipinang) (TribunNews 24 October 2012). A media contingent followed Jokowi around to each location, and he also met with a range of local people and staff in each location. Jokowi reportedly

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 63 took photos with many people he met, but also listened to a number of complaints by traders at the final location who disagreed with Jokowi’s plan to move their market. A representative of the traders, Nellys Sukidi, asked Jokowi to provide a guarantee that the market would not be moved and that the city would assist in improving the conditions of the market. Nellys noted, for instance, the condition of the street itself – ‘it has been 15 years . . . that road is in a terrible condition and has not been repaired. We ask for the street to be asphalted’ (Kompas 24 October 2012). Jokowi is quoted by multiple media agencies arguing that the views of the traders would be compiled and discussed before making a decision about the issue of relocation. As a claim, Jokowi’s engagement reaches audiences in three distinct ways. Firstly, the individuals he meets while engaging in blusukan are a very direct audience of the claim. Secondly, these individuals share their story through word of mouth to a secondary audience. Lastly, and most importantly, media attention either directly captures the act of blusukan, or reports on its occurrence, sometimes with quotes from individuals who met Jokowi during his visit. Tapsell (2017, p. 103) notes the importance of blusukan as part of Jokowi’s media strategy, arguing that ‘this simple approach to governance was the single most important aspect of Jokowi’s media success . . . Jokowi’s blusukans meant that journalists sought him for news, rather than him seeking out media owners for favourable coverage’. We can see the same dynamics in a second example from November 2015, when President Jokowi met directly with members of a reclusive indigenous group known as the Anak Dalam in the province of Jambi. The direct audience of this engagement were the members of the group, and there is little doubt that the nature of Jokowi’s visit would be shared through word of mouth within this local community. Yet the broader public is an audience for this claim – the event was widely reported in the media, and images widely published show Jokowi sitting on the ground with members of the group, engaged in discussion (Kompas 3 November 2015). These images would later go viral on social media. In this case, just as in many others, the claim was contested – there were suggestions on social media and online forums that Jokowi’s team had staged the meeting with the Anak Dalam, though this claim was rejected by the news organisation Kompas, whose reporters had accompanied the president on the trip (Kompas 3 November 2015). The media clearly play an important role in sharing discursive claims made by Jokowi about the practice of blusukan. Within these discursive claims, Jokowi often reflects on the relationship of the practice to actual policy decisions. In this way, Jokowi projects the impression that he is actively listening and that the act of listening actually leads to outcomes. Where this is not the case, the claim is likely to be seen as merely a gesture without meaning – as pencitraan. For this reason, innovative engagement leading to a direct public policy success story is particularly powerful as a claim, as demonstrated by the Taman Banjarsari case earlier. It is no surprise then that Jokowi’s own discursive claims often try to highlight


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

the utility of the practice. Consider, for instance, his words following the meeting with the Anak Dalam: I’ve often read that they have a number of problems, including access to food and housing. These are the things that we asked directly to them . . . do they want to live in a house and not move around as nomads anymore . . . they wanted to, but on the condition that the houses were placed at some distance from each other, and that they had land. It is going to be carried out. (Kompas 3 November 2015) More broadly, Jokowi as a claim-maker has drawn on other ideational elements, such as the notion of democracy and cultural concepts, in order to contextualise his own approach as a representative. Jokowi has on a number of occasions defined blusukan as part of his own understanding of democracy. Consider, for instance, this response during the first presidential debate in 2014: Democracy for us is listening to the voice of the people and acting on it. For that reason, each day we go to the local neighbourhoods, to the riverbanks, to the markets, to the fish markets . . . because we want to hear the voice of the community. (Research Notes 2014) On occasions, Jokowi has made claims about the rights and responsibilities of citizens that echo some of the ideas presented by advocates of deliberative democracy. This was certainly the case when Jokowi won the 2012 Jakarta campaign, where his dominant message was that it was a collective rather than an individual victory. In his closing speech, Jokowi told voters, Here I remind you, that your rights and responsibilities as citizens of Jakarta do not stop after you vote. After voting, your voice will be heard, you will all be involved in building this city of Jakarta that we love. Because I will not work by myself, or work just for my own interests or other peoples. I will work with all of you. (Research Notes 2012) The message in this speech resembles the definition of good leadership presented by Jokowi in his official biography. Here, he argues, A good leader, in my opinion, is a leader who wants to develop synergy with the community. The word ‘leader’ is not equivalent to ‘distance’, let alone a barrier. Because, often the community possesses their own energy. The community possesses the strength to create positive change. (Endah 2012, p. 11) This notion of the role of citizens between elections connects with an additional practice that the innovative technocrats have regularly engaged in: open offices.

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 65 In Solo, Jokowi employed the idea of an open office where citizens could more freely approach the city administration and Jokowi himself. Like blusukan, representative claims based on open offices can reach the audience in different ways, including direct experience, word of mouth, and media reporting. Jokowi has also drawn on his use of the open office concept in his discursive claims. During the 2012 speech to supporters noted earlier, Jokowi told several jokes about visitors he had met with at his office. While this was a light-hearted moment, the stories clearly conveyed a claim regarding Jokowi’s engagement with the public. In setting up the jokes, Jokowi states, For the seven years that I was mayor . . . I opened up the offices completely for anyone, especially for members of my community in Solo. (YouTube: Jakartabaruchannel 2012) The jokes that followed reflected on some of the characters that Jokowi had met during his time in Solo and the different requests that they had made. As we have seen, stories are a very effective way of connecting with an audience, and these anecdotes focusing on compelling characters and unusual requests allow Jokowi to highlight ideas around openness and engagement in a more entertaining way. Jokowi’s innovative engagement claims have also frequently drawn on notions with strong cultural resonance in Indonesia. Some of the earlier examples, for instance, feature Jokowi sharing a meal with citizens, or engaging in prayer. These practices in themselves have a strong resonance. Beyond the practice itself, Jokowi also often uses discursive claims to link to these cultural concepts. Note, for example, Jokowi’s reference to these ideas in the first presidential debate of 2014: How do we do it? With dialogue. Jusuf Kalla has, I think, often resolved conflict using dialog. For the purposes of musyawarah. In order to benefit the people. The resolution of the problem of Tanah Abang . . . of Wadah Pluit . . . we also resolved these problems through the use of dialog. Permusyawarahan. Inviting people to eat together. Inviting them to pray together . . . and finding advantages for those relocations. (Research Notes 2014) Here, Jokowi not only refers to the importance of eating together and praying together but also the notions of musyawarah (discussion aiming for consensus) and mufakat (a decision based on consensus). These concepts both possess deep historical and social roots in Indonesia. As Koentjaraningrat (1967, p. 397) argues, musyawarah involves the processes that develop general agreement and consensus in village assemblies, which emerge as the unanimous decision or mupakat [alternative spelling of mufakat]. This unanimous decision can be reached by a process in which the majority and minorities approach each other by making the necessary readjustments in their respective viewpoints, or by an integration of the contrasting standpoints in a new conceptual synthesis.


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi Musjawarah [musyawarah] and mupakat thus exclude the possibility that the majority will impose its views on the minorities.

This idealised view of musyawarah and mufakat does not always capture the dynamics of decision making in practice, but these practices do have deep roots in village life in many parts of Indonesia and are still practiced until now in some contexts. The practices also have a role in modern Indonesian institutions, particularly the national parliament where it is the official form of decision making (Ziegenhain 2008). The connection with these terms demonstrates that representative claim-making is always bound within a specific cultural space and time. As Chapter 2 has argued, effective claims often are built upon creative innovations, but maintain a connection to what is familiar for an audience. The use of cultural concepts such as musyawarah and mufakat allows Jokowi to ground this repertoire within established ideas regarding desired political and social practice. It should be noted that within the claim of innovative engagement there are potential ingredients for a populist narrative that separates the people (often denoted using the Javanese term wong cilik – the ‘little people’) from the elite. Ramelan (2014, p. 260), for instance, notes that the concept of blusukan suggests someone who is of the wong cilik rather than the elite, because ‘those who visit places that are often not visited, usually, are the everyday community. The wong cilik. Meanwhile, officials only go to formal places’ (Ramelan 2014, p. 260). Jokowi’s engagement in innovative engagement not only portray a desire to engage with the community but also connects with the idea that Jokowi is a leader who is sederhana. This concept roughly translates as being humble or simple – a leader who is like everyday people. This concept is regularly evoked in advertising billboards by Indonesian leaders around the nation. Jokowi has actively promoted this image of kesederhanaan (simplicity) through various symbolic acts, including giving away his wages, refusing a new official car and choosing to spend time with regular citizens during public events (Hatherell 2014, p. 444). The chequered shirt noted at the beginning of this chapter also carries this idea of simplicity, together with the more technocratic notion of a leader ready to roll up their sleeves and engage in practical tasks (Hatherell 2014, p. 449). The notions of being sederhana or coming from the wong cilik rather than the elite should not be underestimated as powerful ideas that reinforce the practice of innovative engagement. Leaders who can develop these perceptions about themselves can appear more convincing in engaging with everyday citizens during acts of blusukan or meeting with citizens in an open office. Yet the separation between the elite and the everyday people is rarely operationalised by innovative technocrats to make arguments about the threat of the elite. Publicised acts of blusukan typically involve a range of different locations, not just those that are identified with the wong cilik. And the technocratic focus of these representatives, as argued earlier, is the dominant theme of the claims that are made. The innovative technocrats do not present themselves as the protectors of the poor, fighting for their rights against the rich. Instead, the innovative technocrats present a narrative of improving the lived environment and local economy for all citizens. This is true, for instance, of Jokowi’s relocation of street traders at Banjarsari. The traders

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 67 themselves might be identified as part of the wong cilik, and Jokowi’s approach has been perceived as demonstrating an understanding of their needs. Yet at the same time, the cleaning up of Taman Banjarsari was also partly to benefit local business owners and residents. The complexity of some of these claims should be seen in the context of Indonesian society, where rich and poor and the issues that affect them are often intertwined. Finally, the claims made by these representatives are notable because of the way in which they relate to their own identity as claimants. In the case of Jokowi’s claims about establishing technocratic focus or links with citizens, it is notable that the party most identified with Jokowi, PDIP, is rarely employed as a conduit. This is particularly noteworthy considering that Jokowi has a closer perceived relationship with PDIP than many other innovative technocrats have with their party or parties. This is true more broadly of Jokowi’s campaigns, where PDIP, at least ideationally, was often sidelined. In the 2012 governor election, for instance, advertising posters for Jokowi and Ahok tended to feature the two candidates dressed in the chequered shirt, a reference to ‘Number 3’ (the pair were the third pair on the ballot) and a reference to ‘Jakarta Baru’ (A new Jakarta) or ‘Jakarta Berubah’ (Jakarta will change). An icon also often featured on their advertising, depicting the letters J and B (Jakarta Baru), an image of the national monument in Jakarta, and the names of the candidates (Jokowi-Basuki). Political advertising featuring PDIP or Gerindra (the other party supporting the pair in the 2012 election) was relatively rare. Jokowi’s focus on his own track record also tends to distance himself from PDIP. In the 2014 presidential debates, for instance, Jokowi claimed, I’m not the head of a party, but I was made a candidate because of my track record, and there is, in my opinion, a good record. . . . This new tradition is something we have to start . . . that the candidates who run for the presidency don’t have to be heads of parties. Just like me and Jusuf Kalla, we are not heads of parties. This is a new tradition that we have to start, and I think with this approach, in the future those who appear as candidates are the best, not the heads of parties. (Research Notes 2014) Besides these direct references to his separation from the political party system, it is notable that Jokowi rarely discusses PDIP in public discourse. His inauguration speech included no mention of PDIP, and only mentioned PDIP’s leader, Megawati, as the fifth president of Indonesia. As we shall see throughout the book, this pattern of claim-making is very common. In many cases, through their use of technocratic focus and innovative engagement, the ideational capital of the innovative technocrats exceeds that of the parties that support them.

Conclusion: the emerging repertoire Patterns of representative claim-making are not developed in a vacuum or a laboratory – instead, they are trialed, practiced, shaped and impacted by


The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi

engagement with other political actors in a dynamic and intersubjective environment. In this chapter, we have seen the extent to which two sources of representative claim-making – that of technocratic focus and innovative engagement – are likely to be successful within contemporary Indonesian politics. We have also seen the extent to which Jokowi as a representative claim-maker has employed both to develop his own political narratives. The case of Jokowi also demonstrates the power of combining these two forms of claim-making to present a narrative of engaging with different sections of the community in order to address issues that matter to them. To say that Jokowi’s emergence was unique is not, of course, a new argument. From the time that he emerged in Solo, Jokowi has been lauded as a new type of political figure – particularly because of his lack of experience in elite politics. His unique nature has led to a number of attempts to explain his success, including characterisations of Jokowi as a ‘media darling’ within Indonesia itself. While the favourable coverage from large sections of the media is important, this depiction tends to miss the appeal of Jokowi’s narrative itself. Analysis of the relationship between Jokowi and the media needs to be attentive to the power of his form of claim-making, and how this could prompt media attention as an extension of public interest as well as the appeal of these claims to journalists themselves. There is, of course, more to the story, but without a sense of agency on Jokowi’s behalf, and an explanation of Jokowi’s unique approach to political representation, our analysis is incomplete. Similarly, analysis of Jokowi as a ‘populist’ also tends to overly focus on Jokowi’s identity and the fact that some of his policies benefit the poor, while missing the fact that Jokowi’s political narrative demonstrates little interest in a struggle between the ‘elite’ and the ‘people’. Jokowi is not simply important as an example of the innovative technocrat repertoire. His emergence as a particular type of representative claim-maker has significantly impacted the ideational contours of Indonesian politics and contributed towards the popularisation of this approach. The practice of blusukan alone provides an important example of the intersubjective nature of representative claim-making that this study is most interested in. Blusukan began as a representative practice performed by a single politician in a small city, but quickly became a form of claim-making that many other Indonesian would-be leaders tried to emulate. In the 2014 parliamentary election campaign period, Indonesian newspapers were filled with accounts of local and national candidates conducting blusukan, including Jokowi’s opponent Prabowo. The practice and discourse of blusukan, with all of its bundled meaning, had now spread beyond a single leader to influence Indonesian political practice and discourse more broadly. And arguably it had shaped public expectations of what ‘good representation’ looks like. Yet as we will see, a developing repertoire of ideational elements that wouldbe representatives can draw on does not guarantee automatic success to all those who seek to apply them. The example of Jokowi demonstrates the convergence of a number of factors, including a conducive institutional environment, sufficient network connections and financial resources to enter politics in the first place, helpful personality traits and no doubt a certain amount of luck. Chapter 6 will

The first innovative technocrat: Jokowi 69 discuss how the ideational domain fits within the broader political environment in Indonesia. Yet before then, the next two chapters highlight important adopters of this repertoire. These leaders have not only drawn on ideas and practices made famous by Jokowi but have also added their own innovations to the broader repertoire. In the next chapter, we turn to the cases of Risma and Ahok.

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The expanding repertoire Risma and Ahok

Introduction In 2012, Ahok left the Indonesian national parliament to run as Jokowi’s deputy in the Jakarta gubernatorial race. Despite his minority identity as a Christian of Chinese descent, Ahok would become by far the country’s most well-known deputy governor, before taking up the governor position from Jokowi when he left to run for the presidency. Narrowly elected alongside Jokowi in 2012, Ahok’s approval ratings leading up to the 2017 gubernatorial election were consistently high, and he developed a strong level of support within Jakarta, even amongst the majority Muslim community. A group of volunteer supporters, calling themselves Teman Ahok (Friends of Ahok) assisted in collecting over one million identity card photocopies in Jakarta to give him the option of running as an independent candidate. The story of Ahok in Jakarta is a complex and ultimately tragic one, but he is an important character in the broader story that emerges in this book. In the same year and on the other side of the island of Java, Tri Rismaharini, or Risma as she is more commonly known, was two years into her first term as mayor of Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya. Born in 1961 in the East Java city of Kediri as the third of five children, Risma struggled early in her life with asthma. She was encouraged to still actively contribute to her father’s grocery store, however, and would eventually go on to study architecture in Surabaya. Upon graduation, she began a career in the bureaucracy, eventually becoming the head of the Surabaya city public parks department. In this role she began to develop a reputation for small-scale innovations, especially her efforts to increase the number of green spaces available in Surabaya, improving the quality of parks and reducing the impact of annual flooding. Risma was narrowly elected as mayor of Surabaya in 2010 with 38 percent of the vote – just 6 percent more than the next pair of candidates. Five years later in 2015, she was re-elected with 86 percent of the vote. The previous chapter has explored the unique approach to representative claimmaking adopted by Jokowi. The argument in this book, however, goes further – Jokowi’s prominent use of claims based on ‘technocratic focus’ and ‘innovative engagement’ have led to a broader repertoire of claim-making occupying an intersubjective space in Indonesia. This repertoire provides ideas and practices that other leaders can draw on, while also informing the frameworks that the

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 73 audience can apply in order to assess representative claims. Jokowi’s example is important in understanding the emergence of Risma and Ahok, and there is some evidence of direct connections between Jokowi and these leaders. Yet repertoires are dynamic, and other leaders can contribute towards their development. Both of these leaders have played an important role in this development. Notably, Ahok and Risma have contributed their own unique practices and forms of discourse to this repertoire, particularly in relation to the use of anger and efforts to address bureaucratic performance. This chapter considers their adoption of and contribution to the broader repertoire.

Reforming public spaces Taman Bungkul (Bungkul park) is located along Jalan Raya Malang-Surabaya – a busy main road in Surabaya that is now lined in many places with plants and shady trees. The park itself features a small amphitheatre in the centre, a path that runs through well-kept gardens around the edge of the park, a skate park and a children’s play area. During my visit, the skate park was devoid of skaters, but was instead filled with young children trying in vain to climb the steep ramps. In the shady areas around the park, families and young couples were escaping the intense Surabaya heat, and children were playing on the playground. A mother with four kids greeted me with a smile and asked me what I thought of the park. Her pride in this example of public space in Surabaya perhaps reflected the domestic and international awards that it has won. In 2013, for instance, the park won the United Nations Asian Townscape Award for best public park (Tempo 28 November 2013). This park has come to be symbolically tied to Risma and her leadership and is the most prominent of her many technocratic claims. Beginning during her time working for the city bureaucracy, Risma constructed a reputation for developing green space, including but not limited to Taman Bungkul. She has also regularly used her development of ruang terbuka hijau (green space) to link to other claims, such as reducing flooding and better management of waste. While the development of this park did not require the type of complex negotiation with existing traders that took place in the case of Taman Banjarsari, it does represent an important choice for a representative like Risma. Given the low cost of building and maintaining green spaces and the potential benefits a local leader can obtain from this form of claim-making, it may at first glance seem surprising that other leaders had not already done so. Yet as Fiona (2017, p. 12) points out, in the case of Surabaya, The presence of well-maintained parks has been an interesting policy change from those of previous administrations which at one point were notorious for selling off empty spaces to private companies usually for conversion into ruko (rumah toko, or shophouses), malls, or housing estates. As with Jokowi in Solo, engaging in this form of claim-making is a choice, and there are potentially barriers to local leaders choosing to engage in these technocratic claims. In particular, there may be very strong economic reasons to use


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

these types of spaces for other purposes. Selling off land can provide funds for other political purposes, or can improve a relationship with powerful local elites. For this reason, we need to contextualise the factors impacting the choice of claims by political representatives, including the structural, institutional and personal preferences that may influence these decisions. Focusing on the development of public green space is a clear choice for a representative like Risma, and as a claim, it can connect with the public through the simple existence of these parks. Subtle touches can enhance the visual effect of these claims. In Taman Bungkul, bright rubbish bins carry the city government logo (Research Notes 2017). On revitalised footpaths around many parts of the centre of the city, the drain lids have been painted with symbolic images of animals or skyscrapers, and the words Pemerintah Kota Surabaya 2017 (Surabaya City Government 2017) painted in yellow (Research Notes 2017). These links back to the city government are a physical reminder to the audience regarding the subject of these representative claims. These physical reminders are also complemented with Risma’s very public visits to the parks, usually with the presence of local print and television reporters. In September 2017, for instance, Risma took former president Megawati on a tour of Taman Kebun Bibit with a significant media following (YouTube: TransTV Surabaya 11 September 2017), while in another example Risma appeared at Taman Bungkul to open a new electronic card parking system (DetikNews 18 February 2018). Quite often, Risma is captured by the media working directly in these parks in her trademark pink gumboots, with a short interview usually accompanying her symbolic appearance. In January 2017, for instance, Risma is depicted preparing shrubs for planting in a traffic island area on Jalan Frontage Road. She briefly talks with the media, claiming that developing areas like this will mean that The Carbon will be quickly absorbed . . . the oxygen will be quickly released . . . the people of Surabaya will be healthy. (YouTube: CNN TV Indonesia 29 January 2017) In September 2018, Risma even claimed that the development of green space and regular car-free days had reduced the average temperature of the city by 2 percent (Antara Jatim 13 September 2018). As such, we can see in Risma’s claims some of the same ideas that Jokowi presented in Solo and beyond. In particular, Risma’s has also sought to develop a narrative around the importance of the complex relationship between the physical environment and social outcomes. As one example, the parks that Risma has established or developed each have a theme, including Taman Flora, Taman Skate and BMX and Taman Harmoni. These themes have regularly been discussed by Risma as important because they help to create a social function for the parks. Within Risma’s own discourse, there is consistently a focus on the additional facilities provided by the parks, as well as the notion of the role of green public space in bringing together the community. In November 2013, for instance, Risma claimed that there may be more beautiful parks than Taman Bungkul but

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 75 speculated that this park had been selected for the United Nations prize because of the social and community features of the park that provided a space for citizens to socialise. Just before the awarding of the prize, she argued, In Taman Bungkul our concept was the meeting of all citizens of the city. There is no partition between rich and poor . . . there you can find everyone. If that can truly take place at some time then it will certainly be very beautiful. (TribunNews Surabaya 26 November 2013) We are beginning to see how this notion of linking physical reforms to social and cultural factors is an important part of the narrative that innovative technocrats try to construct through their claims. Whether Jokowi’s use of this notion in his claims was a direct or indirect inspiration for Risma, her use of the concept contributes towards its prominence in the broader repertoire. In public discourse, frequent comparisons have been made between Risma and Jokowi. As the previous chapter on Jokowi has demonstrated, the innovative technocrats also regularly make claims regarding their ability to spread successful practices to other locations as well as expanding them to larger problems. Risma is relatively unique in the context of this book because she has not, at the time of writing, sought to use her ideational capital from her position in Surabaya to run for a governor position. This may change, of course, when Risma reaches her term limit in 2020. Yet while Risma has not yet followed Jokowi or other innovative technocrats in advancing to higher office, she has still drawn on claims related to spreading and expanding her practice. Consider, for instance, Risma’s claim in April 2018 regarding how she might build upon the success of her parks programmes to create hutan kota (city forests): We will construct city forests, with several different forest themes, for instance fruit, flowers. I will organise a city forest for medicines . . . we will plant a lot there and there will also be bamboo. At some point in the future it will benefit the development of medicines in Indonesia. (Jatimnow 28 April 2018) This claim follows the expansion of ruang terbuka hijau to various areas within Surabaya and is perhaps the only way that this concept can be advanced further within the bounds of her position as mayor. While Risma’s most famous technocratic policies relate to parks and green space, these are certainly not the limits of her technocratic focus. One notable example is the development of public working spaces that purportedly encourage entrepreneurship and digital innovation. In an old building within central Surabaya, Risma’s city government supports ‘Koridor’ – which in a claim from its official website is a part of the vision of the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, to make Surabaya a centre for creativity and technology at the global level . . . Koridor


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok is an early step in building and strengthening the foundation for a creative economy at the local level. (Koridor 2018)

This space is open 24 hours a day, and during my visit at 11 pm one evening I encountered a very active cohort of young people engaged in discussion around laptops. The facility includes different workspaces, including a green-screen filming facility, a space for small-scale manufacturing, and free wifi access. Just like on the website, the link to the claim-maker within the physical confines of Koridor is made very clear to the audience. In one part of the facility, a very large painting of a smiling Risma adorns an internal wall (Research Notes 2017). In a separate section, several windows are covered with panels featuring trivia questions with not so subtly embedded claims: Which government figure below was not a finalist in the Startup Nations Summit? A.) Maria Jose Vengoechea b.) Justin Trudeau. C.) Tri Rismaharini d.) Petros Kokkalis. On the 18th of May 2017, Ibu Risma was invited to meet Prince Charles in London. Which issue was discussed by them there? A.) the Environment B.) Technology C.) Food D.) Transport. In 2015, the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, was recognised with an award with other figures such as Mark Zuckerberg (CEO, Facebook). What was the award? A.) Forbes Top 30 People B.) 50 World’s Greatest Leaders from Fortune magazine C.) Startup Nations Summit D.) Award for Future Leaders. (Research Notes 2017) When thinking about political leaders, we often focus on the grand claimmaking gestures, such as prominent speeches or debate performances. Yet for a leader like Risma, there are a range of mutually complementary ways in which claims can form a coherent narrative. Practices, discourse and symbolic elements can all be combined to communicate a message to an audience. Risma, like Jokowi, is engaged in a quite elaborate performance that draws on a number of sources. Of course, seeing these leaders as something akin to performers does not suggest that they lack substance or that they are not making a significant difference for the community they serve. They very well may be. Yet if we do not seek to understand the performative and ideational aspects of their approach to representation, we are missing something quite important that can help understand their political success or failure. Risma’s claims about the reform of public space are captured in broader narratives around her leadership. A biography written by Surabaya based journalist Abdul Hakim’s (2014) focuses on several of the technocratic claims that she has made, including the reform and management of ruang terbuka hijau. A whole chapter of the book with the title ‘park enthusiast’, for instance, focuses on her reform of Surabaya’s parks. Noting that Surabaya is now being referred to as the

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 77 ‘City of a Million Parks’, the biography also includes a number of direct quotes from Risma regarding her efforts to develop parks and better manage flooding and garbage. Like we have seen with Jokowi, the consistency and intensity of Risma’s claim-making around public spaces have led to broader narratives, and these are now being shared beyond Surabaya. While Risma is perhaps the innovative technocrat whose identity as a representative is most tied to the development of ruang terbuka hijau, very similar practices are now a well-established aspect of the broader repertoire. Ahok, for instance, also drew on these practices during his time as governor of Jakarta. Jakarta, like Surabaya, is a sprawling and polluted city in desperate need of a greater balance between concrete and green space. Jokowi’s campaign in 2012 was partly based on the notion of increasing green spaces in the city, and Ahok continued to adopt this as part of his own narrative as governor. As such, parks like Taman Jajakarsa in South Jakarta and Taman Kalijodo in West Jakarta became quite well-known symbols of Ahok’s leadership. Each of these parks received considerable media attention, and Ahok sought to connect their development to his own identity as a representative through repeated visits that were captured by the media. A range of other smaller parks and playgrounds were also constructed during Ahok’s time as governor. In particular, Ahok was active in supporting the development of Ruang Publik Terpadu Ramah Anak (RPTRA – Combined Child Friendly Public Area). RPTRA are intended to be spaces that combine a range of activities and social services for children and families, such as playgrounds, green areas, reading rooms and educational activities. Many of the RPTRA provide soccer goals and fields of various sizes, while there have also been plans to provide free wifi. By 2018, there were apparently 290 RPTRA in Jakarta (Metro Tempo 9 April 2018). The concept of RPTRA is consistent with the growing innovative technocrat focus on the linking of physical reforms to social and cultural outcomes: some common themes that these leaders have drawn on include social cohesion of the local community, educational outcomes for children, a healthy lifestyle through exercise and a sense of civic pride amongst citizens. These themes are highlighted, for instance, in a video on YouTube presented by the account ‘Jakarta Smart City’ which is managed by the city government. The video provides images of children playing and using the facilities of the centre, while the narrator discusses the way in which the RPTRA support the development of children. The narrator claims, for instance, that children learn to interact and practice tolerance through their engagement with other children and visitors at the RPTRA. The final segment of the video includes several clips of Ahok visiting RPTRA (YouTube: Jakarta Smart City 4 March 2016). Initiatives such as RPTRA can certainly be assessed purely as public policy, and there is significant value in doing so. Yet they are also important if we are interested in the ideational elements that representatives employ in developing narratives that communicate their representative character to the public. Public policy practices, including the public policy areas a leader chooses to


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

focus on, are an important component in these political narratives. And the RPTRA in Jakarta demonstrate how public policy initiatives can, themselves, enter into debates in the ideational realm. When Anies Baswedan and Sandiago Uno took over as the new governor and deputy governor of Jakarta in 2017, they announced their plan to discontinue the RPTRA, and instead to introduce Taman Maju Bersama (Advance Together Parks) and Taman Pintar (Smart Parks). In a session of the regional parliament in April 2018, there was a debate over whether the Taman Maju Bersama were actually a new concept or just a rebrand of Ahok’s RPTRA (Metro Tempo 9 April 2018). A few months later on the 25th of July, Anies Baswedan attended a formal opening of Taman Lapangan Banteng, where a group of citizens at the ceremony yelled ‘Hidup Ahok’ (roughly translated as ‘Ahok Forever’) and carried a banner declaring ‘warisan gubernur sebelumnya’ (a legacy of the previous governor) (Merdeka 26 July 2018).

The harsher side of public space reform: relocations and evictions In the previous chapter, we have seen the narrative that developed around Jokowi’s representative claims in Solo. His story as a representative is founded on the successful relocation of street traders to new locations, and particularly the notion of achieving a mutually agreeable solution. Yet Risma and Ahok have both engaged in more controversial relocations and evictions, and these practices have shaped their narratives in a way that is not so evident with Jokowi. It is important to keep in mind that the reform of public space in a complex and densely populated country like Indonesia is likely to always be problematic, and even quite peaceful relocations are unlikely to please everyone. Yet Risma’s closure of the Dolly redlight district and Ahok’s relocation of communities in Jakarta are notable for their contested nature. Beyond the political impact of this contestation, it also shaped the identity of these leaders as representative claim-makers. Jokowi and Ahok share a common technocratic focus and their identities as representatives were closely linked during their time campaigning for and leading Jakarta together. Yet while Jokowi has allocated significant political capital and resources to developing a narrative of consensus building, Ahok’s approach to some of the same issues often presents a more direct and uncompromising tone. These differences have been reflected not only in the policy approach itself but also in Ahok’s own discourse. Consider, for instance, a quite extraordinary moment in 2014. Meeting members of a community that was to be relocated in Bidara Cina in East Jakarta, Ahok stated, I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I honestly can’t be like Jokowi in inviting you to eat together and chat together. I can’t. If you are disobeying the rules, I’m sorry but we will remove your homes . . . it is better that I am honest to your face rather than I lie to you politely only so I can be elected again. (Kompas Megapolitan 18 November 2014)

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 79 This claim draws on some quite specific ideational elements: the idea of a leader being direct, honest and tough on what he is framing as ‘rule-breaking’. We have seen this same narrative in the passage included at the beginning of this book. Together with many other examples, these claims present a very specific narrative – Ahok is presenting a story about his leadership, the problem he is dealing with and what the audience want to see in a leader. In other claims that contribute towards this narrative, Ahok regularly presented the idea that some citizens were taking advantage of the relocation policies, by pretending to be members of the relocated community in order to obtain public housing (Poskotanews 18 April 2017). Leaving aside whether these claims are factually accurate, they in themselves generate meaning in a political community, and this meaning can be crafted together to form meaningful narratives. Though these narratives may be meaningful, this does not mean that they are universally accepted. Some members of the community may see this narrative as a fair approach to irresponsible behaviour, while others see it as a callous approach to managing a vulnerable community. Here we can see the importance of Saward’s identification of different audiences of representative claim-making. Those present when Ahok makes the earlier statement may be a very direct audience, but this is also a claim transmitted through the media to the broader community in Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia. As Chapter 7 will suggest, Ahok’s use of anger and direct confrontation like this may have led to support from some sections of society, but it also alienated a part of the community that had previously supported Jokowi, and this was arguably a factor in Ahok’s eventual election loss in 2017. While ideas and the narratives they form are important and help to shape the way in which interests are understood, they are also likely to resonate with some sections of society more than others. Some of the controversy of Ahok’s approach to relocations is also mirrored in Risma’s most contentious policy decision. In June 2014, Risma moved to close down one of Asia’s largest red-light districts, known locally as ‘Dolly’. This was a considerable decision, and Risma faced some opposition from residents, those who relied on the industry, as well as local politicians who feared the loss of city income. The closure of Dolly itself is, as a practice, a form of claim-making. But the discursive claims attached to this practice are revealing. Risma’s own discourse has consistently focused on the theme of human development rather than on themes of morality. When asked about her motivation by a television reporter, for instance, Risma responded, I wanted to save the children there . . . the children there have the same right to have success. I don’t want the children there to fall behind and their freedom to be deprived. They might also want to play . . . maybe they want to go and do homework with their friends . . . they can’t do that. They are there 24 hours a day. This will significantly impact their way of thinking. The development of children is not only about knowledge but also their environment. (Channel News Asia 2017)


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Empowering Small Business with Creativity’ in August 2017, Risma was even more explicit about her focus: I’m not a religious figure. I don’t look at it from a religious perspective, but instead from my perspective as a regional leader. (KumparanNEWS 14 August 2017) Risma went on to describe the story of a 14-year-old child that she observed: At that time, the child was influencing their friends at school. At that moment I thought, ok, Dolly has to be closed. If not, this will not end. (KumparanNEWS 14 August 2017) Indonesian society is significantly shaped by religious and moral perspectives, and all of the innovative technocrats in Indonesia have devoted at least some time to developing their religious identity. Notably, Risma’s efforts to close Dolly were picked up by Islamic organisations such as Front Pembela Islam (FPI – the Islamic Defenders Front) and praised on religious grounds (Kompas 14 May 2014). Yet when given the chance to discuss her decision, Risma returned to a technocratic theme: the closure was important because it would improve the human development of local residents and particularly children, rather than fulfil particular religious principles or moral considerations. As a broader political story, the closure of Dolly also included a range of other technocratic ideas. In particular, many of Risma’s claims at this time were focused on city-funded initiatives to address the future of former Dolly employees and community members. Initiatives to encourage small industries in the affected area were introduced, with a focus on producing handicrafts, and Risma used city funds in order to support these measures. Far from simply enacting the policy, Risma herself regularly appeared in the media engaging with former Dolly employees in locations where these small businesses were operating, and these visits gained significant media attention. This narrative has been continually reinforced over time. In June 2017, for instance, Risma claimed to have spoken about the development of the area that had once been Dolly to representatives from Google: They are shocked that it could be this good now. For this reason, I continually promote this region [Dolly] which contains so much hidden talent. (Media Indonesia 16 June 2017) In June of 2017, Risma attended the Dolly Saiki Expo – an event aimed at showcasing the products developed in Dolly. Here, Risma spoke about the plans for future development in the Dolly area, including play areas and a music facility, while musing, Who knows, maybe there will be a recording artist emerging from Putat Jaya. (DetikNews 15 June 2017)

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 81 A website (dollysaiki.com) has also been developed to support the ongoing development of citizens from the former red-light district. The Dolly closure may have been popular with some audiences for moral or religious reasons, but as an innovative technocrat, this was not the dominant theme in Risma’s claims about the decision. Even so, the closure of Dolly was also a controversial one – both within and outside of Surabaya. At the time of the relocation, protests took place within Dolly, and a number of rights groups argued that the policy had ignored the extent to which the local community relied on the income generated by commercial sex work. Some local politicians, including Risma’s own deputy, Wisnu Sakti Buana, disagreed with the idea of rapidly closing down Dolly (Kompas 13 May 2014). And the fallout from the closure of Dolly continues until now. In late 2018, for example, a group of former Dolly residents sued the city of Surabaya for 270 billion rupiah (approximately 18 million US dollars at the time of writing). Upon hearing that the case had been rejected, Risma returned to the main points of her narrative in a speech at Surabaya University in 2018: Thankfully it could be rejected yesterday. I hope . . . this is not for me, if need be it doesn’t need to be written because I don’t need to be famous. This is for the children, not only in Dolly but in Surabaya. (Elshinta 7 September 2018)

Using anger Representative repertoires, as this book argues, establish common patterns of claim-making – including practices and forms of discourse. Yet while the innovative technocrats have relied on very similar ideas in their claim-making, there are some key differences in style that shape the individual stories that they tell. This is true, I argue, for Ahok and Risma and their use of anger. The use of anger is a very distinct aspect of Risma and Ahok’s form of engagement with the public, in contrast to Jokowi’s calm and passive public demeanour. Perhaps the most well-known example of Risma’s use of anger within her claim-making was her outburst on the 11th of May 2014, targeting organisers of an event that distributed ice cream to residents but had also trampled plants in Taman Bungkul. The outburst received considerable media attention at the time on television, in newspapers and on social media. In television coverage of the event, Risma is seen yelling at event organisers. Some of her remarks were captured in the media at the time: You don’t have permission to organise this, look . . . everything is destroyed! It took us a long time to build this, the financial cost was also significant. And you just went and destroyed it. I’m going to sue you! (Liputan6 11 May 2014) The level of anger displayed by Risma during this incident is jarring, and this anger was widely televised around Indonesia through both traditional media and


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

social media. After scolding the event organisers, Risma is later seen directing efforts to turn over the soil and begin to repair the damage. This form of claim-making has become a frequent part of Risma’s overall narrative and contains many different elements – some of which are clear from the case noted earlier. Firstly, it focuses on a small-scale technocratic concern – the cleanliness of a public space or facility. Secondly, it features direct confrontation and exceptional levels of anger – the audience is shown Risma’s frustration through this anger and the scolding of local staff or irresponsible citizens. In one quite extraordinary episode, Risma even publicly scolded a group of accused drug dealers, waving a bag of confiscated pills at them (YouTube: KompasTV 24 April 2018). Lastly, in these episodes, Risma is presented as dealing with the situation through her own efforts – even if that means getting her hands dirty. Finally, Risma supplements the words captured by the local media and onlookers with direct quotes to the assembled media, summarising the situations and usually discussing what type of sanctions she has in mind. This same combination can be seen in many other cases throughout Risma’s time as walikota of Surabaya. More recently, for instance, a video of a similar incident was posted on YouTube in March 2018, and at the time of writing has already received 2.6 million views. In the video, Risma visits a public office, scolds the staff for the poor condition of the office, and is then seen dusting the office herself (YouTube: lukman cak 2 March 2018). It is clear that these individual claims have contributed towards a very powerful narrative about Risma’s approach to leadership that has become further embedded within Indonesian public discourse at the national level. In one example of the reach of this narrative, Risma appeared on a popular nationally televised talk show. She was joined on the couch by Sujiwo Tejo, a well-known Indonesian singer and actor, who proceeded to mimic Risma’s famous scolding at Taman Bungkul. In setting up his performance, Tejo states, I miss one thing from Bu Risma . . . when she gets angry like that . . . so sometimes I hope that the ice cream comes back to damage the park again. (YouTube: KompasTV Y 8 June 2018) Tejo’s performance draws ecstatic laughter from both Risma and the live audience – reflecting the extent to which this episode has entered the public consciousness as part of the broader narrative of Risma’s approach to representation. During his time in Jakarta, Ahok too became famous for his regular use of anger and confrontation. Even before emerging as the deputy governor in Jakarta, Ahok was already well-known for his confrontational style. In one example, Ahok was involved in a very direct exchange as a member of the national parliament during a session with the electoral oversight committee (Hatherell & Welsh 2017). In this exchange, his direct style of speech and use of gestures contrasts significantly with those of the other speakers, who adopt more indirect mannerisms. Ahok’s distinct use of confrontational discourse and gestures became a very significant part of the way that Ahok was presented to the public. Beyond Ahok’s typical confrontational approach, he has also been known for more explosive uses of anger. These individual cases of anger typically involve

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 83 an exchange with a public official or a member of the public, are regularly caught on video and are then further discussed by Ahok and others through discursive claims. In one example, on the 18th of February 2015, Ahok was preparing to leave his office in order to accompany President Jokowi on a blusukan visit in Jakarta but was confronted by a small crowd. He then engaged in a heated yelling match with one of the members of the crowd, an individual who Ahok later claims was a lawyer complaining about a land ownership case. Video footage of the incident was made available through various forms of media as well as social media, and the print media also reported on the incident. Just like in the episodes involving Risma earlier, the video footage is stunning for anyone accustomed to what is often seen as the typically more indirect nature of public discourse in Indonesia. Later, Ahok also discusses the incident in remarks that were published through the media, stating that the lawyer had threatened him, and asking, Is it ethical to talk like that? I’m not angry with the member of the community, but he was like a terrorist, yeah whatever, [if that happens] I will oppose him. (Kompas Megapolitan 20 February 2015) Through his time as deputy governor and governor in Jakarta, Ahok sometimes connected his use of anger to a very specific narrative. This narrative focused on shadowy officials (Ahok often used the derogatory term oknum pejabat) who were purportedly opposed to Ahok and his mission in Jakarta. This narrative and the claims made using it are the closest the innovative technocrats have come to engaging in a populist form of claim-making in Indonesia. By identifying this enemy as one that hides behind polite language and even religious symbols, Ahok defined his use of anger and confrontation as completely appropriate. This allowed Ahok to develop a ‘discourse based on a clear dichotomy between his rude but supposedly honest style, and the polite but hypocritical (and corrupt) nature of his opponents’ (Hatherell & Welsh 2017, p. 7). This narrative is clearly evident, for instance, in a stunning 50-minute interview on KompasTV from 2015, where Ahok repeatedly swears in response to a conflict with local parliamentarians (YouTube: KompasTV 17 March 2015). The broadcaster was later fined for airing Ahok’s coarse language. The place of anger within this component of the innovative technocrat repertoire is something that the leaders involved have themselves directly discussed. Consider, for instance, Jokowi reflecting on the use of anger and the difference between himself and Ahok at an event at Surabaya University in March 2014: When Ahok gets angry with a local official . . . wow wow wow . . . but the next day they are immediately fired. Even though they are scolded that way, the next day they are fired . . . in my case I don’t get angry, but the next day they will lose their job. (Tempo 2 March 2014) Here Jokowi contrasts Ahok’s anger with his own calmness but challenges the notion that the anger itself is needed in order to be firm. This type of comparison


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

became very common within public discourse and other commentary in Indonesia; indeed, it had become a well-worn comparison since Jokowi and Ahok teamed up to compete for the gubernatorial election in Jakarta in 2012. In one book written about Ahok and Jokowi, author Rangga Warih Adiguna (2013, pp. 54–55) argues that Jokowi and Ahok it turns out possess a different character. Jokowi is more calm, patient and humble . . . this is certainly different with Ahok who appears more assertive, and perhaps even sometimes harsh. Ahok, who appears to be louder than Jokowi, presents himself as a brave soul who is not scared of opposing depravity and mischief. It is important not to overlook the place of human emotions such as anger in the making of representative claims and the development of coherent narratives. These leaders may be genuinely feeling these emotions, but this again points to the importance of separating the maker and the subject of the claim. Whether the makers of the claim, in this case, Risma and Ahok, are genuinely feeling these emotions or putting on a show for the crowd matters less than the ideas these public emotions contribute towards both the subject and the object of the claim. Through using anger, Ahok and Risma can make claims about qualities they possess, such as firmness, assertiveness and commitment. At the same time, the use of anger in these claims can also be understood in relation to what it says about the object of the claim: their definition of the communities that they represent in Indonesia. This may seem like an odd statement, given the common stereotype of interpersonal behaviour within Indonesian culture. To be clear, it is difficult to discuss Indonesian culture without reference to the many different ethnic and cultural communities that make up the nation, and factors like globalisation, domestic and international immigration and the impact of personality make efforts to characterise the cultural traits of the whole nation even more difficult. Yet some generalisations of Indonesian etiquette stress the resonance of the Javanese dichotomy between the notions of halus and kasar. The traditional notion of being halus is, as Anderson (2007, p. 38) argues, to a certain extent covered by the idea of smoothness, the quality of not being disturbed, spotted, uneven, or discoloured. Smoothness of spirit means selfcontrol, smoothness of appearance means beauty and elegance, smoothness of behaviour means politeness and sensitivity. The concept of kasar, on the other hand, evokes a ‘lack of control, irregularity, imbalance, disharmony, ugliness, coarseness, and impurity’ (Anderson 2007, p. 38). Importantly, this traditional dichotomy between halus and kasar is not just about etiquette but also about perceptions of power: Since being kasar is the natural state of man, in which his energies, thoughts, and behaviour lack all control and concentration, no effort is required to

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 85 achieve it. Being halus, on the other hand, requires constant effort and control . . . The connection between halus-ness and Power here is readily evident. . . . In the minds of traditional Javanese, being halus is in itself a sign of Power, since halus-ness is achieved only through the concentration of energy. In Javanese legends and folk history the slight, halus satria [knight] almost invariably overcomes the demonic raseksa (giant), buta (ogre), or wild man from overseas. (Anderson 2007, p. 39) Javanese culture has played an important part in the development of contemporary Indonesia and Javanese politicians have also occupied powerful roles in the development of the political system. Moreover, halus and kasar are no longer purely Javanese concepts: they have become a part of the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, and are used by citizens of non-Javanese heritage. Yet Indonesia is also a nation built upon an immeasurable array of identities, traditions and ideas. And like claims, these ideational foundations for the nation are constantly changing. As Geertz (2007, p. 323) argues, A great part of the problem, of course, is that the country is archipelagic in more than geography. Insofar as it displays a pervasive temper, it is one riven with internal contrasts and contradictions. There are regional differences (the rhetorical combativeness of the Minangkabau and the reflective elusiveness of the Javanese, for example); there are the faith-and-custom ‘ethnic’ divergences among even closely related groups, as in the East Sumatran ‘Boiling pot’; there are the class conflicts . . . there are racial minorities . . . religious minorities . . . local minorities . . . the nationalistic slogan, ‘One People, One Country, One Language’, is a hope, not a description. The diverse array of ideational elements in Indonesia contextualise our study of political representation. In the making of claims and the construction of narratives, there are undoubtedly efforts to tie these to established ideas and cultural concepts. The audience, too, possesses an existing ideational framework with which to inform their assessment of these claims and narratives. Yet with ‘so much meaning lying scattered openly around’ (Geertz 2007, p. 322), we should expect different ideas to underpin claims at different times, and that audiences themselves will all have different perspectives on which ideational elements are most important to their political perspectives. Nor is the ideational terrain fixed – it continues to change in response to both ideational and material forces. Ahok’s kasar approach to political discourse was regularly criticised by media commentators, academics and other politicians, but arguably his confrontational approach was also central to his representative claim-making. This broader narrative surrounding his leadership may have been more compelling because of traditional stereotyping of Chinese-Indonesians as more kasar in their use of language and social behaviour. This link can often be seen reflected in a range of broader cultural depictions of Ahok’s leadership, where he is both portrayed as a strong


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

leader while simultaneously epitomising stereotyped traits related to his ethnic background. A newspaper cartoon praising his approach to tackling local mafias in Jakarta, for instance, portrays Ahok as a Kung Fu fighter in traditional Chinese clothing, engaging in battle against a multiheaded dragon labelled ‘Mafia’ (Hatherell & Welsh 2017, p. 14). The imagery here draws on negative and quite racist stereotypes about Chinese identity but is linked to a positive portrayal of Ahok’s leadership. This example demonstrates the complex ways in which ideational elements interact, and we should expect that this is true too of the audience. By engaging in these acts of anger or confrontation, representatives are not only making a claim about themselves as a subject (this is who I am as a representative) but also about the object of the claim. The use of anger and kasar acts has been evoked by Ahok himself as something that is needed in Indonesia. Consider, for instance, Ahok speaking in 2015 after apologising for a recent outburst: I entered politics for that reason. I was able to enter politics because of anger, because as a business owner I wasn’t able to help poor people . . . so honestly, I became a politician in the midst of that anger, anger in seeing oknum pejabat [officials] who were corrupt, but so santun [polite], yet the people were so poor. So I became angry. That is just the disgust within me. When I can’t hold it in, it will emerge. (Liputan6 22 March 2015) This is a claim that puts forward a narrative about more than just the subject. This is a claim about the object itself: the people themselves need (and want) leaders who are honest and oppose corruption, even if that means being angry or kasar. But like all claims, this one has been adopted, relayed and contested by voices within Indonesia’s civil society and the political system. The head of the Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (United Confederation of Indonesian Workers), Said Iqbal, publicly expressed his disappointment in the new governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan and his deputy governor Sandiago Uno in November 2017, arguing, Their actions are more depraved than Ahok. Ahok was still better. He didn’t lie even though his words were kasar. And yet, they [Anies and Sandiaga] are santun, smart, but liars, deceivers, they break their promises. (Jpnn.com 10 November 2017) This was, of course, not the only perspective expressed. Other voices during Ahok’s time as governor had sought to dispute the link between being kasar and being an honest leader, while others had sought to reclaim the positive connotations of being santun. Altogether, however, we can see how the emotions of anger and the practice of confrontation themselves contribute towards the way in which representatives like Ahok and Risma present narratives about themselves and their communities.

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 87

Cleaning up the bureaucracy The use of anger and technocratic focus combined for Ahok and Risma in one of their most common practices – the pursuit of bureaucratic accountability. As leaders of Indonesia’s two largest cities, Ahok and Risma have been responsible for extensive bureaucratic machines that have a significant impact on the lives of citizens at various levels of society. As leaders, both Ahok and Risma have developed representative claims around their efforts to drive accountability in local bureaucracy, and these claims have become part of larger narratives about their leadership. These narratives regularly draw on ideas such as efficiency, accountability and public service standards. They also regularly invoke themes such as innovation and the use of new technologies. Almost all of Indonesia’s innovative technocrats have engaged with variously electronic means of making bureaucratic processes more transparent. Ahok, for instance, brought this focus on the themes of accountability and transparency to an extreme when he engaged in an ongoing argument with the regional legislature in Jakarta, the Dewan Perwakilan Raykat Daerah (DPRD), over discrepancies in budgeting. At the heart of this disagreement was the use of the new electronic budgeting system, often known in Indonesia as ‘E-budgeting’. This approach to local budgets employs a shared system with custom logins to increase transparency over movement and allocation of funds. As a system, Ahok has regularly made claims about its value in preventing the misuse of funds by officials. In one interview broadcast on television and captured by print media in July 2016, Ahok argued that officials did not like the E-budgeting system – presumably because it was too much of a constraint on their behaviour (YouTube: Berita Satu 15 July 2016). While pushing new ideas and processes such as E-budgeting, both Ahok and Risma have used visits to bureaucratic offices and angry exchanges with staff to make a very prominent claim about their approach to representation. There are numerous examples of these visits with significant accompanying media attention, but one such episode involving Risma is worth reflecting on as an example. This episode was captured by a range of media organisations, presented as a video on YouTube and shared around social media (Research Notes 2017). It is also captured in a narrative form in Arif and Indriastuti’s book ‘Empat Pengawal Uang Rakyat’ (‘Four Guardians of Public Money’). In a chapter focusing on Risma and her achievements in Surabaya, one passage from the book focuses on Risma’s visit to a public civil records office early one morning: Risma looked uncomfortable with the situation that she encountered on that morning. She checked the finger print scanning device, and then cleaned the dust which covered the front of the device. ‘Please check the air conditioning. Is it on or not?’ said Risma to several workers who looked panicked because of the sudden arrival of their superior. . . . Risma tried to be patient. Yet, the situation [in the office] was getting worse. Members of the community were losing their patience. Risma’s emotions began to explode as she encountered


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok one citizen who had to go back and forward in order to obtain her E-identity card. To begin with, Risma asked for an explanation from the head of [the office] about that problem, but she didn’t get a satisfying answer. Risma then asked for an IT expert to be called because she considered that the problem should be possible to solve with a technical solution. (Arif & Indriastuti 2017, p. 6)

Here we see a very common element of these episodes. The innovative technocrat arrives and catches out officials at the local office. They sympathise with members of the public that are being disadvantaged by the poor service, and question why the new systems they have put in place are not being correctly practiced. The narrative continues: ‘Call the IT expert. Why are we working using unprofessional software like this?’ Risma snapped. And yet the person called did not immediately appear. Risma then went to the upper floor to find the IT expert for herself. There, she organised an emergency meeting. In front of her subordinates, Risma states that [the standard of service she had seen] was the equivalent of committing a sin towards the public. Citizens were left to go back and forward organising their E-identity cards, and yet [the system] was already using technology which should have made it efficient and fast. ‘I know all the systems in the city government for E-Government. So this is very shoddy if we are using an electronic system like this’, said Risma, ‘This is so bureaucratic. What is the point then of making an electronic system?’ (Arif & Indriastuti 2017, pp. 6–7) In many of these episodes, the local staff is depicted as caught off guard, and usually respond passively to the confrontational style of the local leader. The same is true in the case of the Taman Bungkul incident discussed earlier. The discursive claims being made are directed at these staff, but they gain a larger audience because of the presence of media and of other citizens capturing these episodes on their smartphones. In this case, Risma continued: The IT experts and staff from the office remained silent. Yet Risma didn’t finish her [scolding]. ‘This is too much. . . . You are committing a sin. . . . The purpose of the electronic system is to trim the bureaucracy’, Risma said while pointing at her subordinates. Scolded by Risma, the officials . . . just bowed their heads. Risma asked them to improve their service for the public. ‘I want today to be corrected. I’ll see tomorrow’. (Arif & Indriastuti 2017, p. 7) Like many of the episodes explored in this book, these claims reach the audience in a number of different ways. The most prominent stories, such as Jokowi’s approach to the relocation of traders from Taman Banjarsari, are relayed by more than just the press – they become narratives that emerge in books and are shared by individuals with their social networks and families.

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 89 The role of the media is, of course, important in sharing these claims widely. As has been discussed, media ownership impacts who can and cannot have their claims picked up by the media, as well as the role the media plays in developing their own narratives about claims. These points are discussed again in Chapter 6. Yet it is interesting to note the lengths the innovative technocrats have gone to in order to develop interesting stories for the media to pick up. In the episode described here, available footage clearly shows that media organisations were already organised to cover the visit by Risma to this particular office, and each of the confrontations between Risma and the staff at the office is captured in a higher level of detail than some other encounters. In a highly stylised and edited KompasTV clip widely viewed on YouTube, Risma’s angry intervention in the office is presented to the audience and linked to other reporting about her leadership (YouTube: KompasTV 17 September 2016). There is, then, an important relationship between leaders who present compelling stories, and media organisations who use these stories because they sell (Tapsell 2017). More broadly, this episode demonstrates the power of using anger to advance both technocratic and innovative engagement claims. Like Ahok, Risma has used anger in this way to argue that she is acting tough on bureaucratic incompetence and is employing a no-nonsense approach to combatting this problem. These are technocratic challenges. Yet Risma is also engaging with the public directly and puts herself in the position of seeing their problems from their perspective. She repeatedly draws on the impact of the standard of the office on their experience. Her use of a term with a religious tone – ‘dosa’ (sin) – and the specific form ‘berdosa’ (have sinned) in this case is especially confronting for the audience but conveys a sense of betrayal on the part of public officials towards the public that they are meant to serve. As Chapter 3 has argued, disappointment with officials and public services in Indonesia has been high during the reformasi period, and claims based on directly confronting incompetent, inefficient or corrupt local officials are likely to resonate strongly with the public, even where these claims employ language that would, in other contexts, be considered inappropriate.

Risma, Ahok and innovative engagement While Risma and Ahok have used inspections of public offices and confrontations with staff to develop a sense of sympathy with the experiences of the public, their innovative engagement claims extend beyond these episodes. Jokowi’s own notion of blusukan had entered popular usage around Indonesia by the time that Risma and Ahok were emerging as leaders in Surabaya and Jakarta, and both of these leaders became well-known proponents of the practice. It may often be difficult to directly chart the links between leaders drawing on the same notions of representation captured within a repertoire. The reasons that a leader engages in a particular practice, for instance, might not even be apparent to them, let alone be observable by a researcher. Perhaps they were unconsciously aware of how another representative acted, and this prior knowledge impacted them in ways of which they were not aware. Perhaps they directly studied the practice of another representative, like Jokowi’s relocation of traders from Taman


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

Banjarsari. As claim-making individuals, they might prefer to present their practice as unique or isolated from the practice of others, even when they know this is not the case. Sometimes leaders themselves reflect publicly on where their approach to leadership originates from, but we should treat these as representative claims in their own right. In the case of Jokowi and Ahok, however, there are clearly much more direct links between their approaches to representative claim-making. Indeed, one of the narratives that emerged in the early days of Jokowi and Ahok’s partnership in Jakarta drew on the notion that the practice of blusukan was part of Jokowi’s role while Ahok occupied a ‘behind the scenes’ position in managing the city office. Both Jokowi and Ahok spoke directly about this arrangement, while it was also played up through the media. Yet over time this narrative changed, with the media seemingly looking for signs that Jokowi might be encouraging Ahok to increasingly engage in blusukan as part of some sort of representative ‘apprenticeship’. In media coverage from February 2014, for instance, it was noted that Jokowi had invited Ahok for a full day blusukan to a number of locations. Yet even here there is some distance evoked by Ahok between himself and the practice of blusukan. Within the media reporting, Ahok is quoted as joking about the challenges of conducting blusukan while there are traffic jams, while also adopting a common Indonesian trope about being out in the sun: Right now it is the rainy season. If I was doing this in the dry season my skin would get darker. (Merdeka.com 28 February 2014) Ahok’s complaints at the time not only distanced him from the practice of blusukan but also may have been invoking racial undertones – lighter skin and working inside are both stereotypes sometimes applied to people of Chinese descent in Indonesia. Yet blusukan gradually became a more significant aspect of Ahok’s approach to political representation. The reported cases of him engaging in blusukan began to increase as Jokowi left to campaign for the presidency, and particularly after Ahok took over as the governor of Jakarta. Ahok’s engagement with the community, including his use of blusukan, reached a peak during the 2017 gubernatorial election. In one of many examples, Ahok visited sick residents in March. At the time Ahok refuted the notion that the effort was in support of his popularity in the ongoing electoral contest, and instead stated, I’m not thinking about getting anything out of it, I just want to see if the programs that I have put in place are appropriate or not. (CNN Indonesia 23 March 2017) The notion of engagement with the public extended beyond the practice of blusukan. Ahok and his team also developed a campaign headquarters in a residential property, known throughout the campaign as Rumah Lembang, a reference to the

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 91 street that the house was located on (Jalan Lembang). Employing these types of campaign headquarters has become a common practice for politicians around Indonesia, typically taking the form of a house, apartment or retail building which is rented and then covered with posters of the candidate. Their use and success as a claim-making tool often varies, with some only acting as a site for advertising and major announcements, while in other cases candidates genuinely use them to meet with members of the public. Ahok’s Rumah Lembang in particular became a very central ideational element of his 2017 campaign. The narrative developed around Rumah Lembang focused on the idea that regular citizens could visit the campaign headquarters in order to speak directly with the candidate. This was not a new claim for Ahok: he had practiced it through his use of the city hall (Balai Kota) during his time as governor. Jokowi too had begun this tradition in Solo by claiming to open up the city hall to members of the community. During the campaign, however, there was significant media attention on the use of Rumah Lembang by the community, and Ahok’s practice of receiving complaints and input from members of the public between 8 and 10 am each day from Monday to Friday (YouTube: TvOneNews 14 November 2016). Through the campaign, there was an interesting interplay between the use of Rumah Lembang and Ahok’s engagement in blusukan, especially in the context of the blasphemy allegation against Ahok that is considered further in Chapter 7. In several cases where Ahok visited communities around the capital, local residents (and in some cases suspected outsiders) protested his presence in their community, arguing that he was a ‘penista agama’ (‘blasphemer’). In this context, Ahok and his team claimed that he would not kapok (give up) and would continue to engage directly with the community in this way. One of Ahok’s campaign team was quoted as arguing, We had already told him not to go there because of the rejection. But Ahok told us we would continue on . . . he is not giving up, in fact he is even more enthusiastic about getting directly into the field again. (TribunNews 6 November 2016) In separating the maker from the subject of a representative claim, we can see how this statement from one of Ahok’s team presents as a claim about the subject (Ahok). In other public engagements at Rumah Lembang, Ahok himself refuted the idea that he was using the facility as a means of avoiding blusukan. Ultimately Ahok’s blusukan activities and his other purported attempts to engage with the community during the 2017 election campaign would be overshadowed by the blasphemy case. However, these events should not distract us from the importance of innovative engagement for Ahok, and his efforts to continue drawing on the type of claims that Jokowi had initiated in Solo. It is particularly interesting that Ahok seemed to feel the need to engage further in blusukan after taking over as governor from Jokowi. We have already seen several examples of Risma’s engagement in ideas related to blusukan. Indeed, the term blusukan itself has regularly been used in news


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

coverage of Risma’s leadership to describe her engagement with the community. To take one example from 2016: Tempo published a story on Risma, with the title ‘Risma engages in Blusukan every morning, eating her breakfast in the car’ (Tempo 11 August 2016). The article claims to be the product of a Tempo reporter accompanying Risma, along with a group of other reporters, from 4:30 am in the morning and observing her activities throughout the morning. The term blusukan is regularly used throughout the article. This same narrative emerges in Hakim’s biography of Risma, where he compares her style to that of Jokowi: They both developed the regions they led with full optimism, not just sitting in their office, but often getting out into the field. They both have a similar type. In building Jakarta, Jokowi always conducts blusukan in to the suburbs, intervening in problems and finding solutions. It turns out that Risma has been conducting blusukan for a long time. Even from when she was a head of the parks authority in Surabaya. (Hakim 2014, p. 53) While there is clearly a strong ideational relationship between the established notion of blusukan and Risma’s own approach to engagement with the community, it is also apparent that Risma’s version of blusukan has some unique characteristics. Risma’s form of claim-making centres more on the act of carrying out work, whereas Jokowi has tended to present himself directly engaging with crowds of people. These differences in tone in Risma’s form of blusukan have also informed popular coverage of Risma’s leadership. Note, for instance, the comparison made by Yayat Supriatna, a public policy analyst from Trisakti University, who was quoted in a news story in March 2014: Risma was elected because she has a good track record. She is a worker, not a politician. Her blusukan exceeds that of others. In her car, Risma has a hoe, broom, rice. At 5am she is already sweeping the street. The community is embarrassed, the mayor is sweeping and the community are not. (TribunNews 28 March 2014) Stories that connect to childhood experiences appear to play an important role in some of the broader narratives that the innovative technocrats and their supporters have developed. This is true of Risma too. Hakim’s biography, for instance, seeks to establish this connection, noting that her parents taught her about hard work and the value of money. He also quotes Risma as saying that ‘Helping others has to be carried out promptly without waiting. According to my parents, that is what religion teaches us’ (Hakim 2014, p. 5). Hakim goes on to argue that this value was carried on to when she became Mayor of Surabaya from 2010. Risma is known as a leader who never abandons her work. If there is a report or complaint from the community, she will quickly respond by getting her hands dirty even if it is outside work hours. (Hakim 2014, p. 5)

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 93 Later in the biography, Hakim (2014, p. 55) quotes Risma as claiming, If I see a dirty environment, I join in sweeping so others will sweep. If I just talk all the time, its tiring. So, it is better to just act. On top of that, I’m not that good at talking. As previous chapters have noted, biographies play a role in developing a narrative about political representatives, even if the writer of the biography is not directly part of their team. Biographies provide, then, an additional layer to what is already a rich array of claims. Risma’s claims of innovative engagement employ symbolic acts (direct activity that is seen in video and photo form through media or in real life, and also reported on in print media), direct discursive claims (Risma’s own words, as reported through the media and through biographies such as Hakim’s), and the deeper level of meaning that can be added through stories about childhood. By considering these different claims we can begin to piece together a broader narrative that contributes towards the ideational capital of a political leader like Risma.

Conclusion: Ahok, Risma and the expanding repertoire This chapter has presented the stories of Ahok and Risma, with particular attention to their own adoption of the characteristics that make up the innovative technocrat repertoire. As we have seen, these two leaders have engaged in claims based on the notions of technocratic focus and innovative engagement, and their practices, symbolic appeals and discourse resemble that of Jokowi. As this chapter has argued, there are some very real connections between Jokowi’s leadership and both Ahok and Risma. This is especially the case for Ahok, whose profile was especially enhanced through his partnership with Jokowi in Jakarta. Ahok and Risma clearly demonstrated that the model Jokowi had initiated could be adopted by other leaders. Ahok and Risma’s engagement in creative forms of direct engagement with the public further informs our understanding of this part of the broader innovative technocratic repertoire. This section has noted a very strong alignment between the approach of Ahok and Risma to that of Jokowi in the previous chapter. All three figures have sought a direct form of engagement with the public, unmediated through formal political institutions such as political parties. In each of these cases, the notion of blusukan provides the leaders and those who assess their claims with a common language to understand their engagement with the repertoire. Yet there is more to the story of Ahok and Risma then just picking up where Jokowi began. These leaders both added aspects of their own personality and behaviour to representative claim-making. Their emphasis on bureaucratic performance and accountability became a much bigger part of their identity than it had for Jokowi, and over time this particular claim became a more central element of the overall repertoire. In addition, Ahok and Risma’s use of anger presented a sharp distinction with Jokowi’s calmer approach and communicated


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

a sense of uncompromising oversight of bureaucratic performance and good government. These leaders are predominantly interested in a narrative that presents them as technocrats who engage directly with the public, but the way in which they have used claims to develop this narrative in their own context differs in important ways. Ahok and Risma are a perfect example of Charles Tilly’s point regarding repertoires: improvisation can occur and is important in further shaping shared scripts in an intersubjective community. The following chapter notes further twists on the theme through the experiences of Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah.

References Adiguna, R.W. (2013) Jokowi Ahok: duet maut pendobrak wajah kaku birokrat + programprogram dahsyat. Jakarta: Palapa. Anderson, B. (2007) The Idea of Power in Javanese Culture. In: Holt, C. (ed.) Culture and Politics in Indonesia. Jakarta: Equinox. Antara Jatim. (13 September 2018) Risma: Suhu di Surabaya Turun 2 Derajat Celcius. https:// jatim.antaranews.com/berita/262848/risma-suhu-di-surabaya-turun-2-derajat-celcius. Arif, A. and Indriastuti, F. (2017) Empat Pengawal Uang Rakyat. Jakarta: PT Gramedia. Channel News Asia. (2017) Indonesia’s Game Changers. www.channelnewsasia.com/ news/video-on-demand/indonesia-game-changers. CNN Indonesia. (23 March 2017) Saat Ahok blusukan ketuk pintu layani dengan hati. www. cnnindonesia.com/kursipanasdki1/20170323175254-516-202326/saat-ahok-blusukanketuk-pintu-layani-dengan-hati/. DetikNews. (15 June 2017) Warga Eks Lokalisasi Pamer Beragam Produk di Dolly Saiki Expo. https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-timur/d-3532232/warga-eks-lokalisasi-pamerberagam-produk-di-dolly-saiki-expo. DetikNews. (18 February 2018) Keren, Risma Resmikan Kartu Parkir Eelektronik di Taman Bungkul. detikNews. https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-timur/d-3872454/keren-rismaresmikan-kartu-parkir-eelektronik-di-taman-bungkul: Hilda Meilisa Rinanda. Elshinta (7 September 2018) Risma bersyukur gugatan eks warga Dolly ditolak. https:// elshinta.com/news/155019/2018/09/07/risma-bersyukur-gugatan-eks-warga-dolly-ditolak. Fiona, U. (2017) Investigating the Popularity of Surabaya’s Mayor Tri Rismaharini. In: Beng, O.K. (ed.) Trends in Southeast Asia. Singapore: ISEAS: Yusok Ishak Institute. Geertz, C. (2007) Afterword: The Politics of Meaning. In: Holt, C. (ed.) Culture and Politics in Indonesia. Jakarta: Equinox. Hakim, A. (2014) Tri Rismaharini/Abdul Hakim. Pejaten, Jakarta Selatan: Change. Hatherell, M. and Welsh, A. (2017) Rebel with a Cause: Ahok and Charismatic Leadership in Indonesia. Asian Studies Review 41: 174–190. Indonesia, M. (16 June 2017) Risma Presentasikan Dolly Saat Ini kepada Google. http:// mediaindonesia.com/read/detail/109357-risma-presentasikan-dolly-saat-ini-kepada-google. Jatimnow. (28 April 2018) Setelah Taman, Wali Kota Risma Fokus Garap Hutan Kota. Jatimnow. https://jatimnow.com/baca-2276-setelah-taman-wali-kota-risma-fokus-garap-hutan-kota. Jpnn.com. (10 November 2017) Ahok Kasar Namun Jujur, Anies-Sandi Santun Tapi Pembohong. www.jpnn.com/news/ahok-kasar-namun-jujur-anies-sandi-santun-tapi-pembohong. Kompas. (13 May 2014) Wakil Wali Kota Surabaya Tolak Penutupan Gang Dolly. https:// regional.kompas.com/read/2014/05/13/1859577/Wakil.Wali.Kota.Surabaya.Tolak. Penutupan.Gang.Dolly.

The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok 95 Kompas. (14 May 2014) FPI Sebut Risma ‘Singa Betina’ karena Berani Tutup Dolly. https://regional.kompas.com/read/2014/05/14/1923343/FPI.Sebut.Risma.Singa.Betina. karena.Berani.Tutup.Dolly. Kompas Megapolitan. (18 November 2014) Saat ‘Blusukan’, Ahok Minta Maaf Tak Bisa Ikuti Gaya Diplomasi Jokowi. https://megapolitan.kompas.com/read/2014/11/18/17533801/ Saat.Blusukan.Ahok.Minta.Maaf.Tak.Bisa.Ikuti.Gaya.Diplomasi.Jokowi. Kompas Megapolitan. (20 February 2015) Penyebab Ahok Marah Besar sampai Gebrak Mobil kepada Seorang Pengacara. https://megapolitan.kompas.com/read/2015/02/20/13164591/ Penyebab.Ahok.Marah.Besar.sampai.Gebrak.Mobil.kepada.Seorang.Pengacara. Koridor. (2018) Koridor Website Homepage. https://koridor.space/. KumparanNEWS. (14 August 2017) Cerita Risma saat Ajak Warga Dolly Jadi Pengusaha. https://kumparan.com/@kumparannews/cerita-risma-saat-ajak-warga-dolly-jadi-pengusaha. Liputan6. (11 May 2014) Taman Rusak karena Es Krim Gratis, Walikota Risma Marah Besar. www.liputan6.com/news/read/2048445/taman-rusak-karena-es-krim-gratis-walikotarisma-marah-besar. Liputan6. (22 March 2015) Pilih Mana, Ahok Jujur Tapi Galak atau Pejabat Santun Korupsi? www.liputan6.com/news/read/2194913/pilih-mana-ahok-jujur-tapi-galak-ataupejabat-santun-korupsi. Merdeka. (26 July 2018) Anies resmikan Lapangan Banteng, spanduk ‘Warisan Gubernur Sebelumnya’ terbentang. Merdeka.com. www.merdeka.com/jakarta/anies-resmikan-lapan gan-banteng-spanduk-warisan-gubernur-sebelumnya-terbentang.html. Merdeka.com. (28 February 2014) Ada apa tiba-tiba Jokowi ajak Ahok blusukan seharian? www.merdeka.com/politik/ada-apa-tiba-tiba-jokowi-ajak-ahok-blusukan-seharian. html. Poskotanews. (18 April 2017) Ahok Bakal Usir Penghuni Rusun Curang. Poskotanews. http://poskotanews.com/2017/04/18/ahok-bakal-usir-penghuni-rusun-curang/. Tapsell, R. (2017) Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. Tempo. (28 November 2013) Surabaya’s Bungkul Park Nabs 2013 Asian Townscape Award Tempo.co. https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2013/11/28/206533070/Surabayas-BungkulPark-Nabs-2013-Asian-Townscape-Award. Tempo. (2 March 2014) Beda Jokowi-Ahok Marah Bikin Risma-Whisnu Ngakak. https:// nasional.tempo.co/read/558697/beda-jokowi-ahok-marah-bikin-risma-whisnu-ngakak/ full&view=ok. Tempo. (11 August 2016) Risma Blusukan Tiap Pagi, Sarapannya di Mobil. https://nasional. tempo.co/read/795003/risma-blusukan-tiap-pagi-sarapannya-di-mobil. Tempo. (9 April 2018) Pembangunan RPTRA Era Ahok Disetop, Diganti Taman Maju Bersama. https://metro.tempo.co/read/1077820/pembangunan-rptra-era-ahok-disetop-digantitaman-maju-bersama. TribunNews. (28 March 2014) Risma Lebih Berani dari Jokowi, Tapi Tidak Maju Capres. www.tribunnews.com/pemilu-2014/2014/03/28/risma-lebih-berani-dari-jokowi-tapi-tidakmaju-capres. TribunNews. (6 November 2016) Insiden Pengusiran di Rawa Belong, Merry Bilang Ahok Tak Kapok dan Malah Semangat. www.tribunnews.com/metropolitan/2016/11/06/insidenpengusiran-di-rawa-belong-merry-bilang-ahok-tak-kapok-dan-malah-semangat. TribunNews Surabaya. (26 November 2013) Taman Bungkul Raih Penghargaan PBB. http://surabaya.tribunnews.com/2013/11/26/taman-bungkul-raih-penghargaan-pbb. YouTube: Berita Satu (15 July 2016) Ahok: Sistem e-Budgeting Tidak Disukai Banyak Orang. www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdjlMgSZa80.


The expanding repertoire: Risma and Ahok

YouTube: CNN TV Indonesia. (29 January 2017) Demi Surabaya Indah & Cantik, Walikota Risma Turun Langsung Membuat Taman Terbuka Hijau. www.youtube.com/ watch?v=SKZ5TU6TUVc. YouTube: Jakarta Smart City. (4 March 2016) Ruang Publik Terpadu Ramah Anak (RPTRA). www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMpen20p6G8. YouTube: KompasTV. (17 March 2015) Eksklusif: Dialog Basuki Tjahaja Purnama bersama Aiman Witjaksono. www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRbohP-4FG0. You Tube: KompasTV Y. (8 June 2016) Reka Ulang Adegan Marah Wali Kota Risma oleh Mbah Jiwo. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrC4wYvdft0. YouTube: KompasTV. (17 September 2016) Emosi Risma Meledak Saat Sidak Pelayanan E-KTP. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yia43KMhJw. YouTube: KompasTV. (24 April 2018) Momen Menegangkan Kala Risma Marahi Pengedar Narkoba. www.youtube.com/watch?v=81hR1eZpaKs. YouTube: lukman cak. (2 March 2018) Walikota Surabaya Tririsma Harini Ngamuk. www. youtube.com/watch?v=Pbwch_hfCyE. YouTube: TransTV Surabaya. (11 September 2017) Risma Pamer Taman Kota ke Megawati. www.youtube.com/watch?v=huKHOryL7-0. CNN Indonesia. YouTube: TvOneNews. (14 November 2016) Ahok Kampanye dengan Menerima Aspirasi Warga di Rumah Lembang. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EWdRgPmVAI.


Innovation Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

Introduction I’ve lost count, who knows how many times I have met with Nurdin Abdullah in national forums, including awards events. I’ve become increasingly close with him. We often exchange our thoughts regarding: what do we have to do as regional leaders to advance the nation? Because in my opinion, the development of the nation originates from the development of regions. Ridwan Kamil’s foreword in Nurdin Abdullah’s autobiography. (Fahruddin 2017, p. xi)

On a windy and cool morning in the West Java capital of Bandung, a band plays in the park that is home to the city government’s offices. At the entrance of the park, several of the large trees that Bandung is famous for hang low over the entrance arch, and besides the entrance, a green banner is held up by a bamboo frame. The banner prominently features an image of the smiling walikota of Bandung, Mochamad Ridwan Kamil. Below the photo of Ridwan Kamil and two other members of his team, the sign reads ‘Four new awards that have been awarded to the city government of Bandung by the end of November 2017’, and the names of the four awards are displayed. On the footpath on the opposite side of the road, a team of city workers are busily lifting old broken path tiles and replacing them with new ones (Research Notes 2017). A little further to the north of Bandung, shoppers weave their way through stalls on Skywalk Cihampelas (also referred to as Teras Cihampelas). The skybridge features a range of stalls, mainly selling t-shirts and souvenirs featuring symbols of Bandung. The skywalk is decorated with plants and includes places to sit and rest in the shade. Humorous signs posted on the stairs to the skywalk and around the side fencing encourage walkers to preserve the cleanliness of the location by putting their rubbish in a bin. At one entrance to the walkway, a sign welcomes visitors: Enjoy your visit to Cihampelas terrace, don’t forget to preserve the cleanliness. (Research Notes 2017)


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

The sign, again, features a photo of Ridwan Kamil, leaving the visitor in no doubt of who is responsible for this piece of city architecture. At the time of my visit to Teras Cihampelas, Ridwan Kamil was in the midst of preparing to contest the 2018 West Java gubernatorial election, a province of close to 50 million inhabitants. Kang Emil or simply Emil, as he is colloquially known and will be referred to throughout this chapter, would later win this election over fierce competition. Far from Bandung, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, Nurdin Abdullah was preparing for a similar contest. Nurdin’s previous position had been different in important respects from that of Emil. While Bandung is a populous and historically significant city on Indonesia’s most populous island, Bantaeng is a regency (kabupaten) built around the small town of the same name, on the south coast of Sulawesi. Bantaeng is about a four-hour bus or car trip from the provincial capital of Makassar, and the policy challenges faced by Nurdin in Bantaeng were significantly different to those of Emil, Ahok, Risma and even Jokowi. Yet, for Nurdin, his leadership of Bantaeng meant just as much from an ideational perspective as Bandung did for Emil. Both leaders have built a national profile based on the perceived success of their local leadership. This chapter draws on the examples of Emil and Nurdin to continue the story of the innovative technocrat in Indonesia. While the careers of Ahok and Risma may have plateaued for different reasons, Emil and Nurdin are, at the time of writing, embarking on the next step of their political rise. In the development of the repertoire presented in this book, both of these leaders are clearly adopters of the forms of claim-making that we have seen so far from Jokowi, Ahok and Risma. Both Emil and Nurdin have, for instance, drawn on the narrative of the ‘reluctant technocrat’ that we have already seen – the technical expert uninterested in politics but called home to help their community. Yet analysing Emil and Nurdin also reveals how the repertoire itself continues to evolve as a broader range of leaders draw on its basic ideas. The claims that Nurdin has made about international investment and Emil’s use of social media as a means of engaging with the community are both important in understanding the full shape of the current repertoire.

Ridwan Kamil and technocratic claims: the architect and ‘reluctant politician’ Previous chapters have noted the way in which leaders like Jokowi present a narrative of themselves as technical experts reluctantly drawn into the world of politics to help their community. This has become a very central element of the broader repertoire, and it is notable how many of the innovative technocrats have advanced qualifications or technical expertise. Emil has also drawn extensively on these ideational elements in constructing his narrative as a representative. Emil studied architecture in Indonesia and later took a Master of Urban Design at the University of California. He went on to establish a company called ‘Urbane Indonesia’ in 2004 and is still listed as one of the commissioners of the company on its official website (Urbane.co.id 2018). Emil’s background as an architect is regularly cited in media reporting and special interest stories, where a common theme is to identify a list of buildings in Indonesia and overseas that

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 99 have been designed by Emil. More importantly for our analysis here, Emil himself has drawn on his architecture background both implicitly and explicitly in his representative claim-making. Explicitly, he has regularly cited his previous career during interviews, speeches and other public engagements. His autobiography, for instance, includes five chapters which all use the Indonesian word for ‘architect’ – Aristek Kehidupan (Architect of Life), Aristek Bangunan (Architect of Buildings), Aristek Komunitas (Architect of Community), Aristek Kota (Architect of the City) and Aristek Mimpi (Architect of Dreams) (Kamil 2015). In another example, one of Emil’s Instagram posts from October 2018 features a sketch of a mosque and then a photo of the same mosque in its almost complete form. Below the images, Emil notes, [In] 2016 I was asked to design Masjid Raya [the great mosque] in South Sulawesi by the Governor at that time, Syahrul Yasin Limpo. Today the form is starting to become visible. Let’s hope for a smooth construction process and that it can become the pride of the people of South Sulawesi. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 11 October 2018) South Sulawesi is, of course, a different region of Indonesia to that which is led by Emil, so this is not a representative claim about his work within his own jurisdiction. This is a claim regarding his technical expertise that had been called on for such a major and religiously significant project. Emil also draws on more implicit references to his technical background as an architect. One example of this is his Twitter and Instagram accounts, which regularly feature well-drawn mind maps and concept drawings. One Instagram post from April 2018, for instance, features a concept drawing for a tourist site called ‘Situ Wangi’ for the city of Ciamis in West Java (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 4 April 2018). Just like the mosque in South Sulawesi noted earlier, the first image in the post is the drawing, the second is a photo of the existing lake, and then in the third image, the concept drawing is held up alongside the lake. Throughout Emil’s time in Bandung and now in West Java, there are hundreds of examples of these drawings with accompanying discursive claims that tie his role as a representative to his own technical background as an architect. In all of these examples, the concepts and mind maps are presented as his own drawings and his own concepts, rather than that of a team working for the mayor. Some minor touches add to this idea, such as the way in which his reading glasses are often placed in these photos to give a sense of intimacy. In other claims, Emil has sought to physically locate himself in moments of planning and public work. An Instagram post in November 2017, for instance, features Emil standing with three workers, with Emil pointing at an empty lot that is being transformed into an Alun-alun (plaza). Emil’s left hand in the photo grips the surveying device, subtly suggesting his connection to the work being carried out (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 21 November 2017). In some claims, Emil draws upon his international travel as an experienced architect to suggest that he, as a professional, has drawn on lessons from other nations. After being elected governor, for instance, Emil posted on Twitter an image made up of four photos. The top two photos are of a beautiful and well-kept


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

river in South Korea – the Cheyonggyecheon river in Seoul. The bottom two photos are of Emil himself along the sides of the Malang river in the West Java city of Bekasi. Below the images, Emil’s post reads, Beloved citizens of Bekasi, next week we will already begin designing and planning the revitalisation of Malang river. Let’s hope it can be as great as the Cheyonngyecheon river in Seoul. (Twitter: Ridwan Kamil 12 September 2018) These claims have become a common part of the broader repertoire. Many of the innovative technocrats have used their international experience to draw out comparisons with other cities in the world, either to show what their city must try and emulate or to make a claim about what they have already achieved. Yet this form of claim-making also carries other meaning. It suggests that, as experts, the innovative technocrat has travelled and drawn on the lessons of countries and cities that they have visited. Jokowi too often adopted this same form of claimmaking, particularly in focusing on the value of his experience as a businessman visiting cities in Europe. Emil’s background as an architect is important in claims about his reluctant entry into the world of politics. In one interview conducted in English with the Financial Times, a newly elected Emil explains his reasons for running for mayor: The city [Bandung] is in ruins . . . while 17 years of my life have been dedicated to fixing other people’s cities, I feel very uncomfortable seeing my home town like this. (Financial Times 31 August 2013) This narrative is presented in more detail in a later autobiography published in 2015. Here Emil (2015, pp. 25–26) tells a story about an encounter with a citizen: I managed an architecture firm that I had established, Urbane. I was active in Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF), organising many festivals and channelling my flaring creativity in the community. Once when I was involved in organising a creative activity in the Balubur district, an old lady asked me, ‘Why is it, Kang, that your creativity is only enjoyed by a certain class? That creativity doesn’t have value if it can’t solve our problems, don’t you think?’ That old lady’s question stunned me for a moment . . . for all this time I had forgotten to direct my creativity and that of my friends in the community to solve the problems of a larger group of people. In progressing this narrative, Emil continues to discuss the words of his mother Emil, a good person is someone who is of most use to other people. (Kamil 2015, p. 26)

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 101 We can clearly see the links of this narrative back to the technocratic core of his claim-making: To live is to give [This phrase is written in English-italics in original] became my life philosophy. Alhamdulillah [praise be to Allah] I already had enough in my life and I possessed abilities as an architect. I believe in a theory that says that the future will take place in cities. The thing that I can do for the people around me is to improve the city so that it is comfortable to live in. My ideas focused on solutions to public problems . . . (Kamil 2015, pp. 26–27) Emil’s narrative of the architect who reluctantly enters politics resembles that of the other leaders considered in this book. It also links to his technocratic focus. This aspect of the repertoire, as this book has argued, means engaging in claims that centre on the expert or skilled leader bringing about changes through smallscale improvements to the lives of citizens. The examples of Jokowi, Risma and Ahok provide important models of the form these improvements can take, including the development of public space, the pursuit of bureaucratic accountability and efficiency, and a focus on the interconnected physical and social implications of policies. These types of technocratic claims have clearly been the focus of Emil’s leadership in Bandung and now in West Java. Some of his most well-known practices have been the development of public parks and public spaces, improvements to basic city infrastructure and a focus on the link between the physical environment and the social sphere. The popular Cihampelas Skywalk which was mentioned in the opening of this chapter, for example, reveals similar patterns of practice and discourse as Jokowi’s claims regarding Taman Banjarsari. Ikom (2018, p. 88), an Indonesian writer working in Bandung, uses this story in his book on Emil: Emil’s thinking also weighed up the situation of the pedagang kaki lima [street traders] in Cihampelas who were difficult to move or be relocated to another area. This was because their source of business was in Cihampelas . . . Skywalk in Bandung was a solution that avoided creating conflict between the government and the community. To create skywalk, Emil first communicated with the [street traders], so that they were prepared to be relocated to the skywalk. Intense communication was also carried out with the community in Cihampelas. . . . The idea, development and completion of Cihampelas Skywalk featured prominently on Emil’s social media account and was widely reported in local media. As a narrative presented by Emil through his practices, use of symbols and discourse, we can see many common themes with Jokowi’s approach to relocations in Solo and Jakarta. And on the 12th of April 2017, President Jokowi appeared in a media event strolling along the skywalk with Emil. Following the walk, he told the group of attending local and national media that


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah this is a good model for the regulation of street traders, one example of a good city regulation where there is no longer land available for regulation. I think other cities can see it, and easily copy it. Come here, have a look and copy it. (Merdeka 12 April 2017)

While some of Emil’s technocratic claims resemble those of other leaders, there are also innovations that further shape the broader repertoire. His establishment of the Bandung Command Centre is, I would argue, the single most explicit claim about the idea of technocratic leadership in Indonesia. The Bandung Command Centre is home to an array of screens tracking camera feeds from around the city, GPS tracking of a range of service and emergency vehicles, and the capability to provide detailed statistics about various aspects of the city. The effectiveness of this command centre as a feature of local city management deserves serious study, as do the ethical and privacy implications. Yet for the purposes of this study, the presence and function of this facility are in themselves an interesting claim about Emil’s technocratic style of leadership. The nature and purpose of the Centre have certainly been widely publicised through the media in Bandung and more broadly in Indonesia, and it has become a symbol for Emil’s leadership in Bandung. Emil himself has promoted the centre through his own discourse. Speaking to the media in 2015, for instance, he argued, we often meet here because we need to consume information. What is going on, what are the nature of problems we face, and the like. After the information is obtained we process it, and then we make decisions. So this is like a centre for data to make decisions . . . we have started a new way of providing improved public services. Now, with the existence of this command centre, we are using technology to know about problems and information more quickly, and then make decisions faster so that citizens can be well served. (Rappler 2 May 2015) A similar message is delivered by Emil in one episode of the popular comedy sinetron (soap opera) Preman Pensiun. In the episode, Emil takes the main character on a tour of sites in Bandung, before showing him the Bandung Command Centre. Standing in front of the futuristic control panel, Emil explained, Now . . . I conduct blusukan here. It is called digital blusukan. In this way, I can monitor all the problems in Bandung. (YouTube: RCTI Layar Drama Indonesia 3 August 2018) Beyond the attention the command centre has received through media coverage and Emil’s own discourse, it also has its own slick and futuristic website (Bandung Command Centre 2018). This website is filled with both English and Indonesian phrases invoking terms such as ‘innovation’ and ‘collaboration’. At the time

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 103 of writing the website itself also includes links back to the leadership of Emil, though this may change as a new mayor takes over. The Bandung Command Centre thus stands as a symbol for Emil’s technocratic focus. Such centres may prove to be an attractive approach to city management as advances in artificial intelligence and big data allow for a more detailed appreciation of the conditions of a city. In other contexts, these command centres may be the domain of city bureaucrats and managers of issue areas like security and transportation. Yet Emil’s command centre has presented the representative himself as occupying the driving seat, directly managing the city, much like a captain on the bridge of their ship. Within Emil’s discourse, this approach has been complemented by the provision and popularisation of various mobile service teams for citizens, which have been connected to an idea frequently employed by Emil: Negara yang datang ke rumah warga, bukan warga yang datang ke negara (A state that comes to the home of the citizens, not citizens which have to come to the state). One example of these teams, called Layad Rawat, is claimed by Emil in an Instagram post from July 2018 to be a service where doctors and medical staff visit and care for poor citizens in their own homes. Thousands of citizens have been facilitated by this service. Contact 119 for this service. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 18 July 2018) Beyond these services, Emil has regularly promoted the ability of technological solutions to overcome difficult problems. This includes issues like poor performance of bureaucracies and corruption. Speaking in the debate for the 2018 west governor position, Emil argued, We have hundreds of anti-corruption apps . . . two months ago the KPK [Indonesian anti-corruption commission] instructed 30 regions from around Indonesia to come to Bandung and copy what we have done . . . if myself and Pak Uu are elected to become governor, then we will require the 27 regions in West Java to use the anti-corruption app system that has already been decorated and approved by the KPK. (YouTube: KompasTV 12 March 2018) This form of discourse resembles that of the other innovative technocrats presented in this study. Here, Emil is presenting a concrete example of a technocratic solution to a problem that has particular resonance within Indonesian society, and external recognition from the independent and popular anti-corruption commission is useful in reinforcing this claim. Just as Jokowi presented the idea of scaling up his successful local and regional policies to a higher political office, Emil highlights the idea of bringing his technocratic solutions from the city level to the whole province of West Java. This has been a broader narrative in Emil’s


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

claim-making during and after the 2018 election. In a media appearance just after the election, for instance, Emil outlined his approach to the first 100 days of his administration, stating, In the first 100 days I will standardise public services in all of West Java, and in fact West Java has the city of Bandung as an example, because it has been recognised as the number one city in Indonesia for accountability of performance. (Wartakota 5 July 2018) The same claim was made in relation to the Layad Rawat service mentioned earlier, where Emil argued on Instagram that this health service innovation is a stand out example from the city of Bandung. It will be carried over to become the best service for all poor citizens of West Java. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 18 July 2018) And in a separate Instagram post from May 2018, Emil projects this same narrative in relation to a range of services: Doctors and nurses coming to the houses of poor citizens, Curhat [slang term that roughly translates to ‘venting’] vehicles for mental health counselling to prevent stress, motorbike transport to send healthy food for babies and children that are malnourished, doctors consultation apps for community health centres. That is the range of award-winning innovations and health-service reforms for Bandung citizens which will be brought to the citizens of West Java. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 12 May 2018) This narrative was central to Emil’s 2018 campaign. It resembles a similar narrative employed by Jokowi, and we will also see next how it has been employed by Nurdin. As an increasingly common component of the broader repertoire, it is clear that these leaders are not simply content to let their track record speak for itself. They have also made a range of discursive claims to highlight why their previous track record should matter to an entirely new audience. In doing so, innovative technocrats face some challenges. West Java, for instance, is a very different electorate to Bandung, just as Jakarta and the whole of Indonesia are very different electorates to the city of Solo. Adapting claims made in a previous office for a new audience is a critically important practice for the innovative technocrats. Significantly, Emil has frequently employed a specific notion that is increasingly common within this repertoire: the potential for ‘innovasi’ (innovation) to solve many of the problems facing Indonesia. This term has very strong links to the perception of Emil’s background as an architect, and his involvement in

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 105 the Bandung Creative Community Forum (BCCF). The concept of innovation is frequently referenced by Emil in his claims, through discursive choices, practices and symbolic appeals. The prominence of this concept within his discourse can be seen clearly in a Twitter post from April 2016, in which Emil posted a photo of buses that had brought participants into the heart of Bandung for a labour rally. Attached to this image, Emil argues that prosperity can be achieved through a range of innovations that reduce spending. It doesn’t always have to be with rises in the minimum wage. #Mayday. (Twitter: Ridwan Kamil 30 April 2016) This short post is revealing. Discussions about the Upah Minimum (minimum wage) in Indonesia are very significant, and, importantly, minimum wage standards are set at the local and regional level. Bandung, for instance, possesses its own Upah Minimum Kota (UMK – City minimum wage). As such the politics of wages for workers in Indonesia is a potentially rich source of claim-making appealing to a larger number of voters. Yet on this May Day in 2016, Emil chooses to claim that ‘innovation’ was an alternative solution. The importance of ideas around innovation and creativity are an increasingly important part of the broader innovative technocrat repertoire because they reflect broader changes within industry and civil society in Indonesia. Communities of practice, such as the Bandung Creative Community Forum mentioned earlier, have proliferated. New companies introducing innovative services have also captured the attention of large numbers of Indonesian citizens. Innovative transportation businesses centred on the use of digital technology have become popular, including start-ups like Go-Jek and Grab. These businesses are built around popular smartphone apps that connect commuters with traditional style motorbike transport called Ojek. They have also branched out into a range of other mobile services, such as shopping and massage. Sites like Kaskus.co.id seek to provide an online community for Indonesians to engage with each other and buy and sell items, while media sites like Detik.com are expanding their business into a range of areas related to the everyday life of citizens. These developments are important because they help us to understand the broader ideational terrain of Indonesia. Representatives who can present themselves as innovative stand to benefit from the relationship between politics and popular culture. Lastly, Emil demonstrates the value of awards that can be used to consolidate the notion of success in technocratic achievements. All of the leaders explored in this book have been increasingly recognised, both domestically and internationally, for their public policy achievements, and have used these different forms of recognitions extensively when making explicit claims about their leadership. Emil has highlighted these awards in public advertising in Bandung as well as through his own use of discourse. Speaking about his continuing commitment to the people of Bandung despite becoming governor of the whole province, Emil argued in September 2018 that


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 345 awards provide historical evidence of how I have changed 345 things which in the past were delayed or dirty or poor to become better and amazing. But of course there are still inadequacies. (Kompas 5 September 2018)

While many of these awards are domestic, the recognition of international organisations and nations has also been used by the innovative technocrats to provide additional support for their claims. In one example, Emil used his Twitter account in March 2016 to claim that the city of Bandung has won an International Award from Australia for the management of the city’s sanitation. Thank you @DubesAustralia [the Australian Ambassador’s account]. (Twitter: Ridwan Kamil 14 March 2016) The Australian Ambassador replied to this post, stating, Congratulations Pak @ridwankamil, #BandungJuara [Bandung is the champion] in the management of sanitation. (Twitter: Dubes Australia 14 March 2016) Both accounts included photos on their posts of a smiling Emil holding a plague from the Australian government. Beyond the winning of awards, it is interesting to consider the extent to which the regime of awards for regional and urban development could be considered, in themselves, a part of the broader repertoire that is developing around the innovative technocrats. Many of the available domestic awards have emerged or become more prominent in conjunction with the rise of these wellknown local leaders. Some existing award bodies, such as the Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (IAI – Indonesian Architects Association), have been featured more prominently in Indonesian media reporting as they have given awards to popular figures such as Emil and Risma. The same is true of a number of international awards that Indonesian local and regional leaders began to win on a more regular basis over the past decade. Other awards have emerged to decorate local and regional leaders and, in some cases, to draw on their popularity. A good example of this is the Sindo Government Awards, awarded by the Sindo Weekly media organisation. A story on Sindo’s own website in April 2018 notes that 27 regional leaders and 8 ‘inspiring figures’ had won awards in the 2018 Sindo Government Awards. The story quotes the owner of the national media organisation MNC Group, Hary Tanoesoedibjo arguing, We are fighting together for an Indonesia that is progressive and prosperous . . . Indonesia needs many progressive regional leaders who have a record of achievement, Indonesia advances if the majority of regions advance. (SindoNews 6 April 2018)

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 107 Tanoesoedibjo is, himself, the leader of a political party, and hence this discourse should not be seen as that of a disinterested association awarding prizes. We should be attentive to the potential political dimensions of prizes and awards like the Sindo Government Awards, even if those who win the awards may seem deserving in some cases. As such, awards should be treated as potentially political in the same way as many of the other elements considered in this study, and we should also pay attention to the way in which powerful political and economic actors might try to co-opt the ideational power of the innovative technocrats.

Emil’s technocratic claims, identity and religion This book has thus far discussed the technocratic focus of the innovative technocrats. This form of claim-making allows leaders like Emil to present narratives about their role as a representative and the value of their claims within the current context of cities like Bandung and regions like West Java. The innovative technocrats choose a very specific form of storytelling and do so in an environment where ingredients exist for other types of narratives. In the context of Indonesia, some notable ideational elements that representatives can draw on include ethnic identity and religion. In representative claims that draw on the notion of descriptive representation, the representative associates themselves with symbols and discourse that identify them as part of the ethnic or religious identity group of the audience (Pitkin 1967, p. 87; Phillips 1995). Wearing Islamic-themed dress is a common and very basic claim used in Indonesia, as is the wearing of clothing that originates from a local ethnic or cultural community. Engaging in religious practices, such as Friday prayers, is also a very powerful descriptive claim. These claims present the subject as being close in identity to the object of the claim – ‘I am a good representative because I am like you’. In some cases appeals to religion have gone further through, including local leaders who have enacted Shariainspired bylaws within their jurisdiction (Buehler 2008). While these types of descriptive claims in Indonesia are common, their potential for developing useful levels of ideational power is questionable, and the innovative technocrats have not made these ideas a central component of their claim-making. The extent to which the innovative technocrats have avoided religious forms of claim-making has, however, left them open to attacks based on their faith. These attacks were evident during the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election as well as the 2014 presidential election, where Ahok and Jokowi were both the subject of public disinformation campaigns. We can also see evidence of this in the 2018 West Java gubernatorial election, where Emil’s core approach was challenged by the need to address other sources of representative legitimacy, such as identity. Having been challenged on religious grounds in the past and needing to appeal to the broader province of West Java rather than just the urban population of Bandung, it was clear that Emil increasingly sought to emphasise his religious credentials. Emil’s choice of deputy itself seemed to be a compromise between notions of technocracy and religious identity. Uu Ruzhanul Ulum was the regent of the district of Tasikmalaya, and Ridwan Kamil spoke publicly about


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

the importance of selecting someone with a background in local leadership (Kompas 23 October 2017). In his own media appearances, Uu also discussed his own strengths as a candidate, focusing in particular on his political background and his network of links throughout regions and cities in West Java. Yet Uu also projects a strong Islamic identity, as the grandson of K.H. Choer Affandi, the founder and original Kiai (Islamic spiritual leader) of Pesantren Miftahul Huda Manonjaya (an Islamic school), and the son of another kiai KH Sholeh Nasihin. Uu also grew up within the environment of the pesantren. Pesantren are traditional religious learning communities built around the Kiai and his followers and students (often referred to as Santri). Despite their traditional background, pesantren in contemporary Indonesia still occupy an important social and religious role within society, and larger pesantren even offer higher education opportunities. For our purposes in this book, it is important to consider the ideational resonance of the pesantren within Indonesian public discourse, as they are commonly thought of as places of Islamic learning and identity. A leader claiming a connection to a pesantren or to have ‘grown up in a pesantren environment’ is a claim in Indonesia that carries with it an important meaning about identity and religious devotion. Beyond this background, Uu’s political career has also been closely tied to the Islamic party Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP – the United Development Party). During the West Java gubernatorial debates, Uu projected an Islamic identity with white robes and a green sash, in contrast to Emil’s more neutral clothing choices, and indeed those of many of the other candidates. More broadly, Emil adjusted some aspects of his own approach and image during the election. His campaign graphics drew heavily on the colour green, which possesses symbolic connections to Islamic identity. During campaign events and speeches, Emil regularly spoke for extended periods of time in Arabic. Beginning speeches with Arabic phrases of welcome is quite standard in contemporary Indonesia, but Emil’s use of Arabic in these contexts extended beyond what is commonly expected and appeared to be intended to use his memorisation of long phrases in Arabic to project his own Islamic identity. Throughout several of his speeches, Emil also discussed the importance of citizens of West Java being close to their religion and their local Sundanese culture (Research Notes 2017). Yet these measures were still a very small component of Emil’s claim-making. Most of his claims congealed to form a very distinct narrative about his purported record of technocratic achievement in Bandung, and his ability to bring those achievements to the rest of West Java. In a slickly produced speech at the beginning of his formal campaign in February 2018, Emil spent the first five minutes of the speech focusing on identity, religion and thanking important guests and supporters. The speech then shifted into the core component of Emil’s narrative: Friends, we [are known as] Rindu, Ridwan Kamil and Uu, but this word ‘Rindu’ [the word means to miss or long for something in Indonesian] is defining, because it points to the fact that there exists some emotion in regards to something that we long for. We long for all the development in

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 109 West Java to be even, do you agree? We long for there no longer to be radicalism or terrorism which causes harm in West Java. I will oppose it together with you. We long for all citizens being provided with public services that are satisfying. . . . A state that reaches out to the public, not a public that has to reach out to the state. We long for all citizens of West Java [to truly be] happy. Happiness is not about wealth, happiness is there within our own hearts. We want everyone to be happy. We also long for mothers smiling because the price of basic goods, Godwilling, we can control. . . . We also deeply care for those who provide our livelihoods, farmers and fisherman, there can no longer be anyone who is left behind in poverty. This is what we long for, and that I am expressing tonight. (YouTube: RK Jabar Juara 14 February 2018) This broad starting point shifts into a more specific focus on individual policy areas, including the development of children, the management of funds for the welfare of religious schools, the welfare of teachers, the future of villages, the improvement of infrastructure and the revitalisation of rivers. To these themes, Emil adds that it is important that they are not just things that are longed for but should be achieved through hard work and the right mentality. Here spiritualitas (spirituality) is again invoked with reference to his running mate Uu. But to this Emil adds that they will build a system with knowledge, truth, development, logic. We will build love for perfection, the beauty of asthetics. (YouTube: RK Jabar Juara 14 February 2018) Here some religious and spiritual elements are connected with references to science, as well as Emil’s background and identity as an architect. This leads into a section of discourse that combines religious symbolism with a strong focus on technocratic themes, particularly the mentality of respecting time and working hard: Friends, one thing that becomes a characteristic . . . for me, is innovation. Those who innovate, they will win the age. Those who don’t innovate will be left behind . . . I have a dream together with Kak Uu, we will demonstrate that Indonesia, and at a minimum West Java under our leadership, can become a nation that leads innovation, not a nation that follows, like it does at this time. Japan progressed because of innovation, West Java can do that too. Korea advanced because of innovation, Godwilling we can too. The United States . . . I have lived there before, they advanced because of innovation. I already know the formula, Godwilling the young people of West Java can too. There is only one way. Think back to the teachings of religion, what do they tell us? Our weakness is that we are humans who always waste time. People in Japan, people in Scandinavia, people in Hong Kong . . . all of them on average are productive in respecting their time. (YouTube: RK Jabar Juara 14 February 2018)


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

This is followed by a heavy reliance on Arabic phrases to drive home the point with reference to Islamic teachings – the message is that apart from the time that is dedicated to prayer, the rest of the time in the day should be respected to give back to the community through hard work – like those in a diverse range of other parts of the world. As Emil progresses through the speech, the screen behind him displays images that connect with the content of his speech, from scenes of workers in Japan and the United States, to the text of the Arabic phrases he is drawing on through his discourse. The use of examples from culturally and religiously diverse settings is significant here – Emil is projecting the idea that it does not matter that the workers of these countries may be Christians, Buddhists or have no religion at all. What is important is their example of hard work and the productive use of time. Islamic themes and teachings are used by Emil to highlight this lesson, rather than to suggest that the religious texts are, in themselves, the answer. Religion and identity are important sources of representative claims in Indonesia, and we should not be surprised that all politicians sometimes refer back to these forms of identity. Claims based on identity can be made through the way that representatives dress, the words they use and some of the decisions that they make. Yet in a context where many thousands of representative claims are being made, we should look for the way in which these claims form larger stories about the representative and their community. The narratives developed by the innovative technocrats may sometimes be dressed in religious packaging, but at their core, they are stories about a technocratic focus and innovative engagement.

Nurdin Abdullah: the reluctant bupati and the story of Bantaeng Nurdin Abdullah’s first position as a regional leader was quite different to that of Emil. Following a career in industry and academia, Nurdin was elected in 2009 as the bupati of the region of Bantaeng, a kabupaten on the southern tip of the Island of Sulawesi. Unlike the major urban centre of Bandung, Bantaeng is a rural region with a small population of approximately 200,000 inhabitants. It features a long coastal area, where seaweed farming is a common occupation. In the north of Kabupaten Bantaeng, there are a number of farming areas. The main settlement in the district is the town of Bantaeng, which is so small that it only makes up a kecamatan (smaller district) within the broader kabupatan (district), rather than constituting a kota (city) district like Indonesia’s other sizeable cities. Bantaeng, then, presents very different public policy challenges compared to large cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya or even Solo. Some of the issues that impact people in a kabupaten like Bantaeng are likely to be quite different to those affecting citizens in Bandung. For a technocratic leader aiming to present themselves as achieving improvements to the lives of everyday citizens, fixing footpaths and establishing green spaces is likely to have relatively less impact in Bantaeng than it does in Jakarta or Surabaya. Instead, Nurdin Abdullah has relied heavily upon claims related to his management of investment relationships and improvements in the productive capacity of the district.

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 111 Just as Emil presented himself as the reluctant mayor called upon by the needs of his community, this narrative has also been evident in the claims made by Nurdin. Nurdin, too, possesses a recognisable technical background, having studied agriculture and forestry in Makassar before going to Japan for a master’s and PhD in agriculture. His background is notable not only for the idea of his skill set but also his deep relationship with Japan. Returning to Indonesia, Nurdin worked in a number of roles, including starting his own business exporting forestry goods to Japan, and was also a Professor at a University in Makassar. Employing this technical background, Nurdin has often presented himself as the reluctant leader who was quite literally called upon by the community. This narrative is presented in its most detailed form in Nurdin’s autobiography, where he notes his uncertainty about running for the position of bupati: I was often emotional, when Haji Andi Abdullah – my father, often asked me to lead the Kabupaten of Bantaeng. . . . How could I? I was an academic and a businessman, I didn’t have the qualities of a bupati . . . additionally I felt that politics was not my world. My world was that of a scientist and a professional. (Fahruddin 2017, pp. 64–65) Nurdin’s biography repeatedly makes this claim, separating the political world from that of the expert or scientist. Indeed, the narrative presented in this book presents Nurdin as only deciding to join the campaign for bupati after being begged to do so by his father shortly before his death, and by the people of Bantaeng themselves: Actually the people of Bantaeng had already often ambushed me to ask me to become Bupati . . . thousands of members of the community of Bantaeng from various groups had met me at my office. . . . It was difficult for me to contain their desire. I told them, to become Bupati it would not be easy. Certainly, I would need a ‘vehicle’ [meaning a political party]. One of them replied plainly that ‘when it comes to that we are prepared to give you a lift using a becak [a traditional form of transport in Indonesia]’. I could only smile hearing their innocence. (Fahruddin 2017, p. 67) Nurdin’s narrative presents a distinction between himself and his supporters, with an interest in bringing real change to Bantaeng through his expertise, and the real world of politics, where political parties compete for power and constellations of party competition are important, even for candidates seeking executive office at the regional or local level. Nurdin continues this narrative to describe his acceptance of the idea of becoming bupati: While that was the case, my heart still wanted to reject the idea. I couldn’t lie to myself about what I wanted. Indeed, I had always avoided public office.


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah ‘I never dreamed to become a Bupati’. This sentence always emerged in my mind. . . . Finally, after a long process, my heart melted. I decided to put myself forward as a candidate for Bupati of Bantaeng. The people of Bantaeng were happy to hear my decision. Indeed, they were the ones who had melted my heart and strengthened it so that I was prepared to lead Bantaeng . . . they were the ones who had asked for it, they were the ones who fought for it, until finally I made a decision. And yet, my decision to become Bupati was absolutely not based on the aim of chasing material wealth. Instead, it was solely based on a conscious calling to serve the community and advance Bantaeng so that it improved and could become more prosperous. (Fahruddin 2017, pp. 67–68)

It would be difficult to find a more explicit claim about the notion of the reluctant leader. This narrative separates the world of politics and power-hungry politicians from the world of this reluctant technocrat, in possession of skills and knowledge that the community desperately want in order to improve their region. Nurdin presents himself as only agreeing to compete for the bupati position based on the calling of those people, and the idea of improving their lives. Nurdin’s efforts to separate his technocratic leadership from party politics has been a consistent part of his narrative throughout his career in Bantaeng and beyond. Following his election as governor of South Sulawesi, Nurdin Abdullah was pressed by several interviewers, including the famous television host Najwa Shihab on her programme Mata Najwa, about the political parties who had supported his bid for the governor position. This was a particularly interesting case, given that one of the parties that supported him, PDIP, is recognised as the party of Jokowi, while the other two, PKS and PAN, were supporting the Ganti Presiden (replace the president) movement. In each of these interviews, Nurdin expressed his support for Jokowi and stated that this was not a problem with the coalition of parties that had supported him because he himself had joined no parties and was ‘non-partisan’. Nurdin also proudly noted that during his time in Bantaeng, he had barely needed to campaign or engage in ‘politics’, because of the initial support of the community, and then his purported performance which had allowed him to be re-elected (YouTube: Najwa Shihab 31 August 2018). These claims continued to feed the narrative of Nurdin as a technocratic outsider who used parties only when they were needed. This claim is also made in his book, where he declares, The principle that I have held until now: I don’t want to enter into any of the political parties, even though there have been offers to become a party leader. Basically, I’m still unwavering in my principle of being independent. (Fahruddin 2017, p. 83) Nurdin’s operationalisation of his technical background was also a feature of his campaign for the governor position in South Sulawesi. His campaign advertising

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 113 and materials regularly used the title ‘Prof Andalan’, including on large signs and billboards posted all around Makassar and other parts of the province. Prof here refers to Nurdin’s academic title, while ‘andalan’ means something close to ‘reliable’ and is also a play on his deputy’s name (Andi Sudirman Sulaiman). This is a common practice in Indonesian campaigns. The advertising campaign often included the slogan ‘pemimpin harapan rakyat’ (leadership desired by the community) – linking quite clearly to the narrative presented in Nurdin’s book (Research Notes 2017). Other adjectives – kerja nyata (real results), jujur (honest) and cerdas (smart) were also used in the advertising campaign, and while these are very regularly used words on political advertising in Indonesia, they are consistent with the narrative that a technocratic leader like Nurdin is trying to establish (Research Notes 2017). More specifically, Nurdin has used his experience working with foreign companies, particularly companies from Japan, to complement his claim-making. This theme is presented by Nurdin in a range of discourse collected by the media, in public appearances and in campaign events. But as a narrative, it is best captured in his biography, where he states, I reflected on the farming sector in Japan. It should be the case that I could take their farming system as an example, based on my observations, when I was studying there. When I studied in Japan, I studied agriculture, while my wife studied fisheries. It turns out, the combination of these two disciplines was suitable for us to apply to the natural conditions of Bantaeng. (Fahruddin 2017, p. 118) This connection to Japan and ideas around investment have heavily influenced Nurdin’s form of technocratic claim-making. As a representative in Bantaeng, Nurdin’s has engaged in many of the same technocratic claims that are by now quite familiar. Tackling bureaucratic efficiency and corruption have both been themes of Nurdin’s representative claim-making, for instance. Yet given the context of Bantaeng and the much smaller bureaucracy, there is limited potential to these types of claims. Instead, the majority of Nurdin’s technocratic claims have focused on boosting the potential of the district. Speaking to a team of researchers and the media in 2017, Nurdin argued, Our funding could be increased because the potential is there. We have developed Bantaeng through regionalisation based on potential. Me and my team have built a tourist region at Marina beach, built a commercial flower region, built a hospital, and built a farming region. All of this has been part of a system and integrated . . . in a collaborative manner by the team. (Rakyatku 17 August 2017) Investment projects have been a key part of this approach to building the capacity of the region. A Bantaeng industrial park was established, and relationships


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

were developed with external companies and nations, particularly from Japan. The most well-known manifestation of these relationships was the provision of eight modern ambulances and new fire engines as a gift from Japan. Nurdin’s discursive claims regularly focus on the range of developments in Bantaeng. Speaking about healthcare services in 2018, for instance, he argued, In terms of innovative services, in the past in Bantaeng, the rate of deaths due to childbirth was very high, but now it is not the case. Why? Now a range of innovative services are focused on fast service in all sectors . . . one example is the existence of a 119 service [emergency phone number] . . . all services have to be made easier. (Tribun Timur 19 April 2018) There are numerous examples of these types of explicit claims. Yet for the audience of these claims, the discursive sources of the narrative are complemented by physical manifestations of the policy, as well as independent sources of statistics. The development of Bantaeng and the narrative around this development has drawn additional visitors from Makassar and other nearby regions. There has also been widespread media reporting on the physical improvements in the region. A 2014 story in Detik News, for instance, provides an extensive analysis of a visit to Bantaeng, including eight photos of physical attractions and facilities, and excerpts from an interview with Nurdin himself. The story covers the full range of physical manifestations of Nurdin’s work, from new tourist attractions at the Marina beach, to the appearance of the fancy new fire trucks. Statistics are also used in the article to present the difference in key measures of development since Nurdin began as bupati (DetikNews 31 August 2016). These figures are often drawn on by Nurdin in his own claim-making, and the low starting base of Bantaeng (being amongst the poorest kabupaten in Indonesia when Nurdin took office) makes for some very eye-catching evidence. Having developed this reputation for the development of Bantaeng, Nurdin extensively drew on this record in the gubernatorial election for South Sulawesi. In presenting his vision and mission statement at the beginning of one of the debates, Nurdin framed his message in terms of the notion of hasil kerja nyata (evidence of real results). As Nurdin delivered this introduction, his running mate held up ‘before and after’ photos from Bantaeng to illustrate the points being made. One of these points focused on the promise of establishing international standard hospitals in several parts of the province, a promise that was built on the hasil kerja nyata of Bantaeng’s new hospital accompanying Nurdin’s discourse. In response to a question from the moderator about concrete measures that can be put in place to develop South Sulawesi, Nurdin unsurprisingly structured his one-minute response around the example of Bantaeng: I think development has to be made up of three aspects, the first is economic, the second is ecological, and the third is social. They have to work together if we want sustainable development. There is a good example in Bantaeng.

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 115 In the past when people returned [to Bantaeng], the land was there. But there was a quite simple problem – water. How do we get the water . . . well I think we have the technology [to do that]. The second problem is getting seeds that are high in quality. The third problem is arranging a market. And I think . . . mbak Rosi [the moderator] has travelled down to Bantaeng, and you can see, from dragon fruit to durian, it is all there now . . . if you go to the top of the mountain [you can find] vegetables. The small area of Bantaeng has become the sixth largest supplier of vegetables to South Sulawesi. (YouTube: KompasTv 28 March 2018) Indeed, Nurdin’s use of this example in the debate creates a quite distinct separation between himself and the other candidates. There was nothing particularly distinct about Nurdin’s executive experience – several of the other candidates in the election also had previous executive experience to draw on. Yet Nurdin’s answer to this question contrasts to those of the other candidates because of the way that he constructs a greater sense of narrative through his discourse. If we pull apart his response, we can begin to see the structure of this narrative. Nurdin’s response begins with broad principles (the three aspects of development) before shifting to some tangible examples of key issues that had been faced in Bantaeng. By beginning this way, Nurdin establishes himself as a technocratic leader who understands the relationship between different factors that impact development. Most importantly, the narrative then shifts again to focus on ideas that have a direct relationship to the senses of the audience – the taste of well-known fruit and the sight of visiting Bantaeng and taking in the new scenery. His reference to the moderator and the fact that she has probably travelled to Bantaeng is also deliberate. Many of those watching the debates from Makassar and nearby regions have likely either travelled to Bantaeng or know of people that have and heard their stories (Research Notes 2017). In this way, referring to the moderator’s experience can act as a placeholder for those people. Even in a short response such as this, the power of storytelling is evident when compared to the performances of the other candidates. Each of the other candidates used many of the same terms and slogans, but they remained at a very abstract level. Even Agus Arifin Numang, the incumbent deputy governor of Sulawesi Selatan, struggled to talk about a cohesive example of what he had achieved or what he and his running mate aimed to achieve. The final two pairs provided even more abstract responses, even if their answers were in response to a basically technocratic question. In this example, we can see the extent to which being a successful innovative technocrat means more than just referencing technocratic ideas. It also means being able to craft these notions into a compelling narrative. This focus on the technocratic achievements of Bantaeng played a key role through the whole campaign. Having won the election, Nurdin Abdullah later reflected in a TV interview on the role of the example in his campaign: Certainly my source of capital is, for almost 10 years, leading the regency of Bantaeng. And a Bantaeng which back then was a district that was extremely


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah left behind. In 10 years it has changed to become one of the centres of economic growth in the southern part of South Sulawesi. We have already constructed lots of infrastructure, so even many regional events are now being held in Bantaeng. Now this has become one of the key aspects for why we have appeared in the gubernatorial election for South Sulawesi. (YouTube: CNN Indonesia 28 June 2018)

Yet in the same interview, Nurdin reflected on how the model from Bantaeng can be exported to the rest of South Sulawesi: Yes certainly there are many good things in Bantaeng that we can bring to the rest of South Sulawesi. One of those is how can we build a bureaucracy which serves [the public]. Secondly, we will turn Sulawesi Selatan into an investment friendly province. So that [many] companies will invest in South Sulawesi. We in Sulawesi Selatan are known as the bread basket of the nation, but we are still limited in raw materials. Now in the future, we have to push Sulawesi Selatan, not only for the industry of raw materials, but we need to bring about a management industry, by building our international market network. (YouTube: CNN Indonesia 28 June 2018) Here we see a common theme with other innovative technocrats. Bantaeng acts not only as a useful example for campaigning but also a model that can be built on over a whole province. Voters, according to this theme in claim-making, are not only electing a leader but also the blueprints that they have been experimenting with on a smaller scale for some time.

Nurdin, Emil and innovative engagement Nurdin Abdullah and Ridwan Kamil not only share the narrative of technocratic focus of the other leaders explored in this book – they have also engaged in the same level of innovative engagement with their communities and made this an important part of their claim-making. Many of these claims look a lot like those explored in the previous chapters. Nurdin Abdullah, for instance, has regularly highlighted his openness to his community throughout his political career. In a chapter of Nurdin’s biography titled ‘Resolving Problems Through Dialogue’, he focuses at length on the type of community engagement measures that he purportedly employed in Bantaeng. The first measure highlighted in the book is the use of Friday as a day for getting out and meeting the community: If I want to engage in dialogue with the people, I get out to the villages to meet the community. Usually, I use Friday as a moment for dialogue with the community alongside carrying out Shalat Jumat [Friday Prayers] together with the populace. Following Shalat Jumat is a valuable time to engage in dialogue with the community . . . through this dialogue, I can directly assess problems or the condition of the local area. (Fahruddin 2017, p. 155)

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 117 Nurdin continues to discuss a time when he visited a particular district that was unhappy with one of his projects and noted his success in bringing them around by giving a short speech. Drawing on the term blusukan, Nurdin continues to claim, With the dialogue and blusukan that I conducted routinely with the community, it was successful in opening up hundreds of hectars for an industry region: the Bantaeng Smelter Industrial Park. There were almost no protests from citizens. Because of this activity I also, quite often, needed to return home late at night and then wake again while it was still dark outside. (Fahruddin 2017, p. 157) Within this claim, there is a very evident connection to the broader repertoire. We know that Nurdin Abdullah admires Jokowi and his political approach: he has often reflected on this fact in media interviews. And the use of the term blusukan here makes a very direct ideational connection back to the practice initiated by Jokowi. Emil too has frequently presented himself as engaging with the public in an innovative manner. One well-known example of this form of claim-making from Emil is his use of a famous blue bike to get around the city. Like many of the claims explored in this book, the act of riding a bike can be used as a claim without accompanying discursive claim-making. Whatever the truth regarding the regularity of Emil’s bike riding habits, even infrequent rides can be presented to the public with some media attention and as a direct claim to anyone witnessing the act. Emil also regularly uses social media in order to present claim’s regarding his cycling. In some cases, these claims have been expanded through more detailed discursive claims, connecting the act of bike riding to a philosophy about leadership at the local level. In one prominent example from March 2016, Emil wrote a lengthy column for Kompas exploring in depth what cycling meant for his style of leadership. The following excerpts are drawn from that story: On one cool Monday in Java street, Bandung, my bike was pinned by a motorbike. Puffing, a lady, the type of lady who often puts on her right turning indicator but turns left, opened her helmet and said ‘Mister mayor, I’m sorry that I chased you, I wanted to tell you something. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the new parks. My children are now happy to go to the parks and not the mall’ . . . that is one fragment of a story from thousands of routine stories that take place when I get to the office on my bike. There are those who ask me to stop to take a selfie. There are those who stop me to offer a product. I’ve even been stopped by newspaper deliveryman, to ask me to help him because he was having trouble paying for his child who was going to a private university in Bandung . . . I ride almost everyday. From my home to the city office. I also ride from one event to the next event if the distance is not too far. If the situation is not conducive, then that is when I will replace the bike with my official car. (Kompas 27 March 2016)


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

Emil goes on to note the different benefits of getting out in the city on his bike: I often see problems directly with my own eyes . . . I can stop and talk to people who are passing . . . I often get ideas for solutions when the breeze is prompting clear thinking . . . I have to be consistent in becoming an example for the ‘bike to work’ program . . . I have to walk the talk. (Kompas 27 March 2016) The significance of Ridwan Kamil’s bike as a form of claim-making was emphasised when he became governor of West Java, and a ceremony was carried out to retire his old bike. He noted to reporters that he would be getting a new bike for his new position as governor. These are just a couple of examples that illustrate practices and forms of discourse used by these two leaders in order to develop a narrative about their leadership. Nurdin and Emil, therefore, contribute to our broader understanding of the way in which the innovative technocrats have engaged in the construction of particular narratives. As with the other technocrats, the claims that make up these narratives are not mediated by political parties or other institutions. They also draw on symbolic notions that have high levels of cultural significance in Indonesia. In a nation where car ownership was until recently only possible for wealthy families, bike riding has significant traditional resonance. Nurdin’s use of Friday prayers as a forum for engagement also has significant cultural and religious resonance. In Nurdin and Emil, we can see many examples of the type of innovative engagement claims that are now a very central component of the broader repertoire.

Ridwan Kamil and the use of social media While both leaders explored in this chapter have engaged in a number of claims related to creative and direct engagement with citizens, Emil is significant within the development of the broader repertoire for a different reason. His extensive use of social media as a form of claim-making is quite remarkable, and the claims delivered through social media have a very large audience. More importantly for the purposes of this book, Emil’s use of social media has contributed to the broader repertoire, and we can now see social media being increasingly used by a number of other innovative technocrats. The relationship between the innovative technocrat and social media is a particularly interesting one. When Jokowi first became mayor in Solo, social media had not yet emerged as a significant social and political force. In 2005, The social networking site ‘Friendster’ was used by many Indonesians, and other forms of engagement online, such as online games and blogs, were emerging. Facebook had not yet gained a strong foothold and Twitter would not be introduced to consumers for another year. It is little surprise then, that Jokowi’s initial claim-making featured very little use of digital technology, and Jokowi has also been a slow adopter of social media platforms.

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 119 And yet, social media is, in theory, a perfect fit for the innovative technocrat repertoire. Just as populists like Donald Trump have used social media with the aim of connecting directly with supporters without the mediation of the traditional media, technocrats like Jokowi and Emil can use social media to directly advance claims based on technocratic focus and innovative engagement. Social media in Indonesia has also proven to be a very useful medium in which to focus on technocratic solutions at the city and region level. More broadly, the sophisticated use of social media in itself can come to symbolise a leader who is apt at using the latest technology to facilitate their work as a representative. This is a shift that Jokowi has made, and by 2018, he was employing social media more regularly and more creatively. On the 15th of December 2018, for instance, Jokowi posted a ‘selfie’ video of himself and a group of teenagers from Aceh who he claims are part of the local ‘creative industry’ (Twitter: Joko Widodo 15 December 2018). It is Emil though who has played an important role in developing a model and a set of expectations for how social media can be used. The scope of his use of social media is an important starting point. He has worked across a number of different platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He has a significant number of followers and is a prolific producer of posts rich in claim-making material. At the time of writing, Emil’s Twitter profile has 3.3 million followers, his Facebook account has 3.3 million likes and 3.4 million followers, and his Instagram account is followed by 10 million accounts. His posting is regular and consistent – Emil’s Instagram account, for instance, has over 5,700 posts. Yet for the impact and significance of Emil’s use of social media, we need to move beyond simple numbers. In assessing the use of social media, it is important to apply the fundamental principles of the approach introduced here in this book. Social media is a very effective means of delivering representative claims, allowing the claim-maker almost complete control over the framing and timing of messages. Social media has also proven to be a very flexible means of claim-making, given that it can combine different ways of delivering discourse (both spoken and written discourse) as well as a wide range of visual imagery (including photos, graphics and videos). Emil’s social media accounts make full use of all of these different possibilities and do so in a way that is much more innovative than some other leaders who have become known for their use of social media (such as Donald Trump). In Indonesia, social media is also a highly effective means of delivering representative claims, given the high usage of social media as discussed in Chapter 2. While the use of social media may skew more towards younger Indonesians, the age profile of the Indonesian population, as well as the regular secondary reporting of social media claims through other media (such as television), means that these claims can reach a very large part of the voting public. When assessing the use of social media, we should also keep in mind the choices that a representative possesses. Representatives must make decisions about their use of time, the way their brand is presented, the themes and topics that they focus on the most, the public policy issues they prioritise, and the way in which they apply limited resources, including economic resources and political capital. Some


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

of these choices look very different in a world where social media is increasingly influential. The financial costs of political marketing, for instance, are less of an issue when using social media. But other questions are still important. Claims made through social media are likely to be effective when they reinforce common themes, just like other forms of claim-making. Through analysing the discursive and symbolic aspects of Emil’s social media posting, we can quickly see evidence of a sophisticated social media strategy that draws on technocratic claims as well as innovative engagement with the community. Indeed, Emil’s approach to social media is heavily built upon these two types of claim-making that have been highlighted within this book. In assessing Emil’s use of social media, it is worth returning to a point made earlier in Chapter 2. Politicians are, of course, supported to different degrees by advisers and other staff. Politicians campaigning for office have a campaign team, and larger campaigns hire people specifically to manage different aspects of the campaign, including social media. This is also true, in some cases, of politicians in office. Yet if we are assessing representation as a performance that is fundamentally about the subject (in this case Emil himself) then the exact identity of the maker of the claim is of much less important. The foundations of this study that suggest performance and claim-making are a normal part of human interaction suggest that dichotomies between the ‘real’ politician and their performative self are also not particularly useful for this analysis. Having made this point, it is worth noting an increasingly common practice in Indonesian politics, where a separation between the representative and their staff is made explicit on social media accounts. This is a practice adopted by other Indonesian leaders, such as former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose Twitter account explicitly states in its description: Managed by personal staff. Tweets from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono are signed with *SBY*. Tweets without the *SBY* signature are relatively common, and these tweets typically refer to Yudhoyono in the third person. Unlike Yudhoyono’s account, admin tagged posts are the exception on Emil’s Twitter account and are tagged as *admin*. Yet when they are used, they are sometimes employed as part of the claim, being presented as an immediate and direct report on Emil’s engagement with a particular community, while suggesting that he is too busy to write the post himself. At other times, they allow for the posting of material that might seem too boastful when posted directly by Emil himself. Consider, for instance, a post labelled as admin generated on Emil’s Instagram account from April 2018. In this post, a smiling image of Emil is accompanied by the following text: *Admin*. Kang Emil this week was chosen to enter a historic list, the Fortune World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2018 by Fortune Magazine, the only one from Indonesia. In the list there is also Bill Gates, Tim Cook from Apple, the President of France Emmanuel Macron and the President of South Korea

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 121 Moon Jae-in. Hopefully this will give enthusiasm to the young generation of Indonesia to always work in an innovative manner and work with sincerity for Indonesia. Hopefully this news gives inspiration. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 20 April 2018) Here the use of the admin tag allows for the post to be presented as an observation of Emil’s achievement rather than his own reporting of it. Like many of the other claims assessed for this study and presented in this book, the post itself draws heavily on the theme of innovation, and it also employs the ideational value of external awards. While these admin posts have emerged a little more during the campaign for the governorship of West Java, during Emil’s time as mayor of Bandung the vast majority of his posts were delivered with a very personal tone focusing on Emil’s own agency. This is true of the text included with posts, which is presented in the first person. Yet this sense of direct agency is also portrayed through the way in which images and videos are used. Many posts include images of Emil or are purportedly from his perspective. Selfies are a good example of this and place the device firmly in Emil’s own hands in a manner recognisable to most modern citizens. The same is true of the video selfie employed by Jokowi earlier – this is a common component of Emil’s own repertoire. In a similar way, images and videos through Emil’s own perspective are particularly effective in connecting the audience to his own viewpoint. One example of this is a post on Instagram from February 2018, focusing on a campaign event at a teacher’s forum. Besides the attached discourse noting the support of 3,000 teachers for Emil’s campaign for governor, the post includes a video purportedly from the perspective of Emil himself. A hand in front of the camera holds up a piece of paper containing the lyrics for a song about Emil, while a band performs the song in front of the camera. The video is viewed as if from Emil’s own eyes (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 22 February 2018). Beyond the use of perspective in this way, a sense of intimacy and connection has been shaped to a significant extent by Emil’s use of slang and humour as part of his broader approach to social media. Unlike a number of other official Twitter or social media accounts from other leaders, Emil’s accounts often feature more informal posts. As Ikom (2018, p. 66) has noted, although Emil was ‘entering a political realm, the political communication which he developed was not rigid and normative’. Ikom quotes Emil as arguing that ‘If I am joking, there can be millions who like or comment [on my posts], but if I’m serious then the response is only hundreds of thousands’ (in Ikom 2018, p. 66) Some very common themes in Emil’s use of humour are love and singledom. The term jomblo is a slang term used in Indonesia to mean someone who is single and is often used in popular culture for humorous effect. This word has particular power in a society where the norm is to marry and to marry at a relatively young age. One Indonesian romantic comedy from 2006 was simply called ‘Jomblo’, and a remake was released in 2017. Both films featured four single men trying to find love in Jakarta – a theme that perhaps would not be out of place in Hollywood.


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

The term jomblo is often leveraged by Emil in his social media posting. He regularly interacts with other social media accounts who reach out to him to ask for help in obtaining a life partner. In other posts, Emil has responded to tweets from others to give advice about love. In one exchange from the 14th of February 2017, for instance, Emil responded to the following post: @ticaDarsa: kang @ridwankamil please let me know your tips so I can quickly move on from an ex who has already got married before me . . . please kang @ridwankamil: That means that God has already saved you from a person that was not suitable for you. (Research Notes 2018) Other posts have drawn on popular cultural references. In one example, Emil’s Instagram account forwarded a photoshopped image featuring Emil and Robert Downey Jr in a car with seatbelts, and the attached message from Emil argues that followers should not forget to wear a seatbelt. Marvel and Star Wars references have regularly appeared. Premier League football is also a very common topic of discussion for Indonesian leaders on Twitter, reflecting the intense interest in the Premier League within Indonesian society. Emil’s own Twitter account has been used to discuss Premier League results and particularly to support his chosen team, Liverpool FC. He regularly tweets the Liverpool hashtag #YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone) and engages in banter with Indonesian supporters of other major Premier League teams such as Manchester United and Chelsea (Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, a noted Manchester United supporter, is one frequent target). Closer to home, Emil has regularly posted in support of Bandung’s own team, Persib Bandung. These types of posts have often complemented the more serious posts focused on technocratic initiatives. And Emil himself has reflected on the use of these less serious posts as part of his social media strategy in an interview with BBC Indonesia: The Facebook office said this [to me] . . . mister mayor, Indonesians, it turns out . . . their engagement is limited if the text of the news is serious. If you want a higher level of interaction, you should convey your message in a way that is not too serious. Just because of this Facebook research, returning from America, I changed, it turns out the Indonesian community are now changing . . . they want to see their leaders as they really are . . . behind the scenes . . . if you become a leader do you always need to protect your image? It turns out you don’t. (YouTube: BBC Indonesia 9 January 2018) Emil continues in the same interview to discuss his regular use of humour related to the notion of jomblo, mixing his Indonesian with some English: 70 percent of my social media followers are single, so if I employ an issue that is connected to their emotions . . . being single, ex’s, [encouragements to

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 123 get] married . . . for those the rating is always high . . . just a strategy . . . just key words to make it more interactive. (YouTube: BBC Indonesia 9 January 2018) Emil’s own relationship with his wife, Atalia Praratya, is also a key component of his social media approach and helps to establish this notion of an intimate relationship between leader and public. Their ‘love story’ is a frequently used trope in tweets and Facebook/Instagram posts. Highly stylised photos of the couple in various locations have been regularly posted and combined with discourse that focuses on the everyday ‘reality’ of their loving relationship. An Instagram post in February 2018, for example, features the couple sitting in a coffee shop and dressed in coats and scarves. Emil is wearing a stylish hat and looking into the distance with a serene smile. Atalia’s eyes are closed, but she is smiling, and her head is resting on his shoulder. The text attached to the image builds on a joke about spoiling oneself after payday – an event that usually occurs at the beginning of the month for many Indonesians. The mood at the beginning of the month. Harap maklum [Hope you understand]. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 8 February 2018) Posts such as this one are highly stylised, and the two lovers are presented in a range of different styles of clothing. In some posts, the two are wearing religious dress and preparing to celebrate an Islamic event. In others, they are wearing motorcycle jackets or European soccer jerseys. Together, all of these individual posts present a narrative about their relationship that can be accessed by the public. At the time of writing, Atalia has almost one million followers on her own Instagram account, and this account acts in part as an alternative source of claimmaking for Emil. Atalia also appears frequently on Emil’s social media accounts. Atalia’s own posts often focus on the more humorous or personal aspects of their life. Here, aspects of their relationship are brought to the fore, and create the impression of a relationship just like any other. Various couple’s photos are regularly posted on both accounts, but Atalia also regularly makes fun of her husband on her account. A post from September 2018, for instance, includes a photo of Emil climbing over a toilet cubicle door and accompanies this with the following text: An exciting incident today . . . Kang Emil was locked in the toilet. The handle on the door was broken. Oh dear. . . . Thank God in his younger days he liked to climb [trees]. He’s safe. He was able to get down with some assistance . . . if he can still get about like that, it means that his weight is still under control. Right? (Instagram: Ataliapr 13 September 2018) These chiding remarks between husband and wife are a common feature of humour in Indonesia as well as many other nations. They are also a very


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regular element of the social media presentation of Atalia and Emil’s relationship. Together, these different aspects of the approach Emil, his wife Atalia and his team have taken to social media have allowed for claim-making that presents itself as more intimate, personal and genuine than many other examples of representatives using social media. Beyond establishing a more personal connection with the audience, Emil’s use of social media has centred on his technocratic focus, and particularly highlighted small-scale initiatives. Technocratic ideas are highlighted in different ways, ranging from the conceptual stage to the final stage where there is a tangible output to visit, photograph, video and post. Emil’s use of mind maps and concept drawings have been discussed earlier in this chapter and are frequently used to draw out the conceptual stage of an idea. Some of these drawings take the form of mind maps, connecting different organisations, teams or parts of the community. Others are architectural drawings or drawings of simple maps. These images provide important context for the related text and connect with locations with which the audience of the claim are familiar. To take one example, in September 2018, Emil posted on Facebook two images – one a photo of a container ship, and the other a concept drawing featuring a simple map which includes the port of Tanjung Priok and the city of Cikarang in Bekasi, West Java. The drawing clearly shows how industrial output from Cikarang is leading to 4,000 container trucks a day clogging the toll road to Jakarta, but also visually depicts an alternative. This alternative is further elaborated on in the text: The congestion on the Bekasi-Jakarta toll road will be drastically reduced with the Cikarang Canal innovation. . . . This innovation will involve making a wide canal from the sea that enters the mainland so that the containers can be brought to Tanjung Priok via the water passage rather than via the toll road. This will remove 4,000 container trucks every day who enter the toll road. Hopefully this innovation can become a solution for all parties. We are now studying whether the Cikarang Canal can also be used as a transportation route for people going to Jakarta. Asking for your prayers. Thank you. (Facebook: Ridwan Kamil 27 September 2018) In other cases, Emil has used social media to highlight a completed project. An Instagram post from October 2017, for instance, features Emil standing beside a mobile phone charging post, his famous blue bike placed in the foreground. In the photo, he holds his phone as it is connected to the charging station. The attached caption both highlights the completed initiative and includes the type of humour mentioned earlier: If your battery is empty, charge it here. If your love is empty, charge at home #Smart City [this is a hashtag written in English]. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 31 October 2017)

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 125 Not all of the technocratic solutions highlighted by Emil focus on infrastructure or physical improvements. Some common claims have also focused on the importance of changing attitudes and behaviour. Respecting the physical environment is one very common theme, and this has been developed through both Emil’s social media as well as signage around the city. One other area of behaviour is that of riding or walking rather than always using vehicles. A Twitter post in February 2017, for instance, included four photos of Emil walking with school children to school. The text of the tweet reads, Educating and accompanying [them] every Wednesday so that children walk to school. Healthy, affordable, anti-congestion. A happy city is a walkable city [this line is written in English]. (Twitter: Ridwan Kamil 28 February 2017) Another common theme developed through Emil’s use of social media is his innovative engagement. This theme engages with more deeply embedded concepts within the repertoire, such as blusukan. Emil frequently uses social media to highlight the diversity and extent of his trips around Bandung and beyond. An Instagram post in August 2018, for instance, features seven photos of Emil greeting and sitting with a number of different residents in a district of Bandung. The attached text claims that Emil is visiting and giving respect to our elders at the Tulus Kasih nursing home on Sarijadi Street . . . this home is dedicated to the elderly who have health problems. Already more than 40 residents have passed away here. They don’t have family anymore or are unable to be cared for by their family. If you have some money please help this noble place. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 25 August 2018) These types of posts claim that Emil is present in the community and conscious of the problems faced by different citizens. They are, then, an extension of the notion of blusukan first developed by Jokowi, where the claim-maker is able to explicitly shape claims about their acts of blusukan. An analysis of Emil’s use of social media quickly uncovers hundreds of similar claims in diverse settings around Bandung and more recently in West Java. As this book has begun to uncover, these two themes are often interwoven into more complex claims. Just as Jokowi first combined the two to suggest his engagement with the traders at Taman Banjarsari had led to a more successful technocratic outcome, Emil regularly draws on the two themes simultaneously through his social media posts. One example is provided through a Twitter post in February 2017, which includes a photo of two women sitting on a table on an outdoor footpath. The post implies that Emil is taking the photo himself. One of the women is elderly and sitting in a wheelchair with a blanket. The other woman is younger and sits next to her. Both are eating and look relaxed. More striking


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in the photo, however, is the quality of the footpath and street around them. The footpath itself is extremely clean and well-maintained, especially when compared to the general state of footpaths across many cities in Indonesia. The street is lined by old trees and well-maintained shrubs, creating ample shade for the two women. In the background, some shop signage clearly identifies this as the Dago area of Bandung. The discursive addition to this tweet is relatively short but meaningful: When a city is humanised once more, stories of love . . . and humanity slowly appear again on a daily basis. Our elderly, who are usually lonely at home, are beginning to emerge again to enjoy the space of the city. Because a city should be for all groups. Let’s keep it free of rubbish and not destroy it, don’t let our beloved elderly become disappointed again. (Instagram: Ridwan Kamil 23 February 2017) The power of Emil’s use of social media is, then, not just about the frequency of his posts and the many different claims made there. Instead, he uses this medium to develop different narratives that tell a story about himself as the subject and the community and lived environment as objects of the claim. These narratives draw on powerful ideas of love, family, community and development, and the prominence of Emil’s use of social media contributes towards the broader repertoire explored in this book.

Conclusion This chapter has considered two innovative technocrats who have achieved recent electoral success. While Jokowi runs for his second presidential term and the careers of both Risma and Ahok have stalled for different reasons, Nurdin and Emil are the latest innovative technocrats to use their track record from the local level to successfully climb to gubernatorial positions. The provinces they now lead, South Sulawesi and West Java, are both populous and important provinces within the broader national economy of Indonesia. Both will be drawn, willingly or unwillingly, into debates that inform the 2019 presidential election, and both are likely to be seen as future contenders for national office. Importantly, this chapter identifies both continuity and change that are important for our continued analysis of this particular style of political representation. Both Nurdin and Emil epitomise the two key foundations of the innovative technocrat repertoire in their approach to representative claim-making. Both are primarily focused on technocratic policy solutions and have sought to present themselves as technical experts rather than politicians. They have both presented themselves as reluctant leaders, drawn into the world of politics because they felt a need to bring their skills to help their communities. Notably, the technocratic claims they have made have been adapted to the particular offices they hold. For Emil, his focus has been mainly on improving the living conditions of a large and quite modern city. For Nurdin, his focus previously has been on developing the basic infrastructure and industries of a small and underdeveloped district. Both

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 127 leaders will need to adjust their technocratic claim-making to meet the expectations of larger and more populous provinces. Both leaders have also engaged in innovative forms of engagement with the public. Jokowi’s ideas of blusukan have been taken up enthusiastically by both leaders, whether it is meeting citizens after Friday prayers or engaging with citizens while riding around the city. Emil has gone further though to employ a creative and sophisticated social media strategy. His use of different social media platforms to both connect with the public while emphasising his technocratic achievements has become an important part of his claim-making. More broadly, other leaders are experimenting with the use of social media, and this is becoming an increasingly important part of the innovative technocrat repertoire. Nurdin and Emil demonstrate that the innovative technocrat repertoire continues to evolve and prosper. Nurdin Abdullah’s experience developing a district with a low population and poor economy is very different to all of the other innovative technocrats considered in the book so far, and his approach to drawing on overseas investment is likely to further inform the repertoire and become an example for other local bupati facing similar circumstances. Emil’s example demonstrates the power of claims based on innovation, urban planning and the creative use of new technologies. Both leaders have and will continue to impact the way in which political representation is practiced and perceived within Indonesia.

References Bandung Command Centre. (Accessed 2018) Bandung Command Centre Website. https:// commandcenter.bandung.go.id/. Buehler, M. (2008) The Rise of Shari’a By-Laws in Indonesian Districts an Indication for Changing Patterns of Power Accumulation and Political Corruption. South East Asia Research 16: 255–285. DetikNews. (31 August 2016) Menengok Bantaeng yang Bahagia Dipimpin Raja Nurdin. https://news.detik.com/berita/3287623/menengok-bantaeng-yang-bahagia-dipimpinraja-nurdin. Facebook: Ridwan Kamil. (27 September 2018) www.facebook.com/mochamadridwankamil/ photos/a.169914043160425/1215065385311947/?type=3&theater. Fahruddin. (2017) Nurdin Abdullah: Act Locally, Think Globally. Jakarta Selatan: Noura Books. Financial Times. (31 August 2013) Architect Ridwan Kamil, the New Face of Indonesian Politics. www.ft.com/content/a69e276e-0a6d-11e3-9cec-00144feabdc0. Ikom, P.M. (2018) Komunikasi Simbolik Ridwan Kamil. Jakarta: PT Grasindo. Instagram: Ataliapr. (13 September 2018) www.instagram.com/p/Bnqe5Jenp01/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (2015) Mengubah Dunia Bareng Bareng. Bandung: Kaifa. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (23 February 2017) https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ2QaO AD4tY/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (31 October 2017) www.instagram.com/p/Ba39OFEjxkQ/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (21 November 2017) www.instagram.com/p/Bbv5X0Sj2vK/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (8 February 2018) www.instagram.com/p/Be7hMmKjpgq/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (22 February 2018) www.instagram.com/p/BffvBoDDeVy/.


Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah

Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (4 April 2018) www.instagram.com/p/BhIT_08jvpq/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (20 April 2018) www.instagram.com/p/BhyfYbbDdVr/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (12 May 2018) www.instagram.com/p/Biq1i4oj9nL/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (18 July 2018) www.instagram.com/p/BlXB9CbjYbb/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (25 August 2018) www.instagram.com/p/Bm45EuuD5tM/. Instagram: Ridwan Kamil. (11 October 2018) www.instagram.com/p/BoxuWY7nvY5/. Kamil, R. (2015) Mengubah Dunia Bareng Bareng. Bandung: Kaifa. Kompas. (27 March 2016) ‘Flaneur’ dan Pelacur. https://regional.kompas.com/read/ 2016/03/27/18333311/.Flaneur.dan.Pelacur. Kompas. (23 October 2017) Ridwan Kamil: Pak Uu Memenuhi Dua Syarat yang Saya Inginkan. https://regional.kompas.com/read/2017/10/23/19082291/ridwan-kamil-pak-uumemenuhi-dua-syarat-yang-saya-inginkan. Kompas. (5 September 2018) Ridwan Kamil: Saya Akan Menolong Warga Bandung dengan Cara Baru. https://regional.kompas.com/read/2018/09/05/10465481/ridwan-kamil-sayaakan-menolong-warga-bandung-dengan-cara-baru. Merdeka. (12 April 2017) Jokowi: Teras Cihampelas jadi contoh tata PKL yang tidak punya lahan. www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/jokowi-teras-cihampelas-jadi-contoh-tata-pkl-yangtidak-punya-lahan.html. Phillips, A. (1995) The Politics of Presence. Oxford: Clarendon. Pitkin, H. (1967) The Concept of Political Representation. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press. Rakyatku. (17 August 2017) Nurdin Abdullah Cerita Soal Kepemimpinannya di Bantaeng. http://pilkada.rakyatku.com/read/61438/2017/08/17/nurdin-abdullah-cerita-soalkepemimpinannya-di-bantaeng. Rappler. (2 May 2015) Bandung Command Center, langkah menuju Smart City. www.rappler. com/world/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/91876-bandung-command-center-smart-city. SindoNews. (6 April 2018) SINDO Award 2018 Bersama Membangun Indonesia. https:// nasional.sindonews.com/read/1295593/15/sindo-award-2018-bersama-membangunindonesia-1522970596. Tribun Timur. (19 April 2018) Soal Pemerintahan Inovatif, Nurdin Abdullah: Semua Pelayanan Harus Dimudahkan. http://makassar.tribunnews.com/2018/04/19/soal-pemerintahaninovatif-nurdin-abdullah-semua-pelayanan-harus-dimudahkan. Twitter: Dubes Australia. (14 March 2016) https://twitter.com/DubesAustralia/status/ 709631939175522305. Twitter: Joko Widodo. (15 December 2018) https://twitter.com/jokowi/status/10741771 18051885056. Twitter: Ridwan Kamil. (14 March 2016) https://twitter.com/DubesAustralia/status/7096319 39175522305. Twitter: Ridwan Kamil. (30 April 2016) https://twitter.com/ridwankamil/status/72661576 6024359938. Twitter: Ridwan Kamil. (28 February 2017) https://twitter.com/ridwankamil/status/83677 3169826390016?lang=en. Twitter: Ridwan Kamil. (12 September 2018). https://twitter.com/ridwankamil/status/103 9790155614236672?lang=en. Urbane.co.id. (2018) Official Website. www.urbane.co.id/about/profile-people/. Wartakota. (5 July 2018) Ini Target 100 Hari Ridwan Kamil Sebagai Gubernur Jawa Barat. http://wartakota.tribunnews.com/2018/07/05/ini-target-100-hari-ridwan-kamil-sebagaigubernur-jawa-barat. YouTube: BBC Indonesia. (9 January 2018) Ridwan Kamil, jomblo dan media sosial. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xwHqaNDk1E.

Innovation: Ridwan Kamil and Nurdin Abdullah 129 YouTube: CNN Indonesia. (28 June 2018) Menang di Pilkada Sulsel, Nurdin Abdullah akan Dukung Jokowi di Tahun Politik. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgL5Q3noNMs. YouTube: KompasTV. (12 March 2018) Trik Jitu Ridwan Kamil Mengatasi Korupsi. www. youtube.com/watch?v=F3YFBbtreAc. YouTube: KompasTV. (28 March 2018) Debat Publik Pertama Pilgub Sulawesi Selatan. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq7YCqIKYGw&t=6364s. YouTube: Najwa Shihab. (31 August 2018) Catatan Najwa Part 1 – Mari Bicara: Diramal BJ Habibie, Nurdin Abdullah Terbukti Jadi Gubernur. www.youtube.com/watch?v= LCoPkxG6bGk&t=200s. YouTube: RCTI Layar Drama Indonesia. (3August 2018) PREMAN PENSIUN – Canggihnya Peralatan Kang Ridwan Kamil [2 Agustus 2018]. www.youtube.com/watch?v= Fal8HU0xedM. YouTube: RK Jabar Juara. (14 February 2018) Pidato Politik Kang Ridwan Kamil. www. youtube.com/watch?v=uW3M5_DF070&t=198s.


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

Introduction Thus far, this book has considered five leaders who have played an important role in practicing and developing a repertoire of representative claim-making in Indonesia – that of the innovative technocrat. In the preceding three chapters, the most common representative claims that these leaders draw on have been examined, and I have argued that these claims typically centre on two notions: technocratic focus and innovative engagement. Through these two types of claim, these leaders construct cohesive narratives about themselves as subjects, but also about their relationship with their communities and regions as the object of their claims. These findings reinforce the idea that political representation is, in part, a performative and meaning-making activity. Having considered these different leaders, it is worth pausing for a moment to chart the overall repertoire as it now stands. The innovative technocrats •

• •

• •

Make claims based on their own identity rather than drawing on the brand of other representative claim-making actors (such as political parties). Political parties and other actors are used when they are needed but are avoided wherever possible. Initially compete for offices where technocratic policy can be demonstrated and become the source of claims – generally at the kota (walikota) or kabupaten (bupati) level. Present themselves as technical experts, called upon for their expertise and ability to manage policy solutions. To some extent, they present narratives about themselves as apolitical or reluctant politicians drawn to public life because the community needs their expertise. Devote significant resources to develop tangible and often small-scale policy solutions while also complementing these policy solutions with their own discursive and symbolic claims. Construct a narrative around the scalability of their successful representative claims – success at the local level, they argue, can be expanded to the regional and even national level.

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 131 • • • •

Engage in claims about identity, nationalism, ethnicity and religion where necessary or expected, but do not use identity as the core component of the narratives that they develop. Employ claims about their direct engagement with the community, including through impromptu visits (blusukan) and social media. Use domestic and international awards to claim the success of their technocratic solutions. Avoid populist forms of claim-making.

Based on these points, we now have a much more detailed picture of the innovative technocrats, their most common forms of claim-making, and the narratives that these claims can be used to produce. Significantly, through considering the claims and the narratives generated by the five key leaders in this book, we can begin to understand the extent to which these claims and narratives are becoming a repertoire within Indonesian politics. This repertoire has been formed because of the very public activities of multiple claim-makers practicing, adapting and publicising different ways of being a representative, and also the response of a range of other actors within the political system. Looking further, it is possible to see the repertoire expanding and being drawn on by a range of leaders. There are, it should be noted, other local and regional leaders who could have been included in this book. In East Java, for instance, the bupati of the district of Banyuwangi, Abdullah Azwar Anas, also presents himself as an innovative technocrat. A former journalist and member of the national parliament, Anas failed to win back his seat in parliament for the 2009–2014 period. Responding to this failure, he returned to his home town and was successful in winning the post of bupati. Like the other leaders considered here, he has engaged in a number of local level initiatives, including establishing a Jazz Festival as well as an International Cycling event called the Tour de Banyuwangi-Ijen. His political discourse is shaped significantly by references to innovation. Accepting an award in December 2017, for instance, Anas claimed, Innovation is like breathing for local government, because it is only in that way that we can improve public services. These days the expectations of the community are high, and if we don’t innovate, local government will stall. (TribunNews 5 December 2017) There are also new leaders emerging who draw on this broader repertoire. Emil Dardak is one example. Dardak possesses a technical background: he studied for a diploma and bachelor’s degree in Australia, before completing his master’s and PhD in Economic Development in Japan. He returned to Indonesia, working for the World Bank, and later became an executive for a large infrastructure company. In 2016, at the age of 31, he was elected as the bupati of the district of Trenggalek, a relatively poor district on the south coast of Java. Just like Nurdin Abdullah in


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

Bantaeng, Dardak focused his practices and discursive claims on the development of infrastructure for his district and has also presented himself as a technical expert called upon to improve his hometown. In this position, he regularly discussed, for instance, his efforts to develop Trenggalek as an alternative southern route from the large city of Yogyakarta to the East Java city of Malang. When asked during an interview why he chose to become a bupati at such a young age, Emil Dardak argued, I felt a calling to return to Trenggalek, to also prove to Indonesia that it is already the time for its skilled workforce to also begin thinking about developing the regions. Let’s not just focus on wanting to stay in the big cities. (YouTube: Official NET News 17 December 2016) Just like Ridwan Kamil and Atalia in Bandung, Emil Dardak presents aspects of his life to the audience, with a particular focus on his marriage to the actress Arumi Bachsin. In 2018, on the same day that Emil and Nurdin were celebrating their respective victories, Emil Dardak was elected as the deputy governor of East Java. Still in his mid-30s, Dardak may end up pursuing higher political office. There are many other examples that could be drawn on too, including Ganjar Pranowo, the governor of Central Java; Bima Arya, the mayor of Bogor; and Danny Pomanto, the mayor of Makassar. Other leaders might not fit the entire profile of the innovative technocrat but have still drawn on some of the same ideas in order to develop their ideational capital. The former governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat, Muhammad Zainul Majdi, for instance, possesses a background as an Islamic religious scholar, but adopted many practices and discursive claims drawing on the idea of innovation at the local level. As the next chapter will argue, Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno’s campaign to defeat Ahok in the 2017 gubernatorial election was also based to some extent on some of the same claims discussed here in this book. By examining the way in which different leaders develop representative claims around technocratic focus and innovative engagement to develop compelling narratives, we are in a better position to understand some important outcomes in contemporary Indonesian politics. But does any of this actually matter? This book may have highlighted a consistent form of claim-making and narrative construction, but do these approaches to political representation tell us anything about the exercise of power in contemporary Indonesia? This book has already noted the other relevant factors at play within Indonesian politics, including institutional and structural forms of power. Political storytelling and narratives may be interesting, but it is essential to explore how they produce political capital in their own right, as well as the relationship they form with other types of power. This is a possibility made clear by the work of Carstensen and Schmidt (2016) cited earlier in this book. By considering power through, over and in ideas, Carstensen and Schmidt (2016, p. 333) highlight how ‘thinking of the relation between ideas and power from a more specifically ideational vantage point might also enable a clearer analysis of how

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 133 different kinds of power – be it compulsory, structural, institutional or ideational – are connected’. Ideas as a factor may be harder to observe than some structural factors, such as raw economic power or the socio-economic cleavages in society. Yet, as Parsons (2007, pp. 113–114) argues, without ‘denying that culture, ideas, norms, or identities are relatively intangible sorts of causes, the first step to countering this objection is to recognize that even the most concrete structural claims rely on intangibles’. Structural and institutional factors may be easier to measure or describe due to their physical and organisational manifestations, but their relationship to political outcomes still relies on individual humans making decisions about their lives and their political world. Explaining a campaign victory requires an explanation of why countless people decided to vote for a candidate while explaining a policy decision requires an explanation of why the stakeholders made the decisions that they did. Structural and institutional factors may indeed play an important role, but their causal role still requires passing through the cognitive processes of humans. The challenge with ideational explanations lies not in our ability to identify them, but instead emerges from the fact that specifying ‘the degree of their autonomy from structural and institutional conditions is very hard’ (Parsons 2007, p. 115). As Parsons argues, ideational explanations must detail the limits of competing logics’ ability to account for the ideational elements in question. Given that empirical ideational claims always allow for some intersubjective reality, and that most allow for some general psychological predilections among humans, they effectively need to make their competitors’ arguments as far as possible in order to delineate the causal space within which ideational elements were decisive. (Parsons 2007, p. 130) The remainder of this chapter considers how ideational explanations fit alongside structural and institutional conditions. It begins by considering what ideational explanations can add alongside structural analysis of Indonesian politics. Here, it is argued that structural explanations can explain the support sometimes provided to the innovative technocrats from oligarchic interests as well as the reasons why the narratives these leaders offer resonate with some parts of society and not others. Secondly, this chapter suggests that institutional design also matters in shaping the success of the innovative technocrats by comparing their rise to the relative failure of the political parties to develop compelling ideational power.

Ideational power versus structural power The broader success of the leaders who draw on this repertoire provides some important evidence of the ideational power that they have been able to accrue from the narratives that they have developed. The local and regional representatives assessed in this study have experienced significant political success that has


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

often run counter to expectation as well as structural and institutional realities. Jokowi barely won his first election with just 36.62 percent of the vote, leaving him just 20,000 votes ahead of the second placed pairing. In this victory, Jokowi had very little ideational power to draw on, and the victory appeared to be just as much about the promise of a new candidate and the political connections of his deputy, FX Hadi Rudyatmo, as it did with Jokowi’s profile as a leader. Yet following his first five-year term in office and the narrative around his representative approach that was already beginning to build, Jokowi and his deputy were re-elected with 90.09 percent of the vote in the 2010 election. Jokowi then built on this success to win the 2012 gubernatorial election in Jakarta against the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo, who arguably had a much stronger structural and institutional power base, including close relationships with a number of powerful local organisations and ethnic groups, and the support of a coalition of parties who held 77 percent of the seats in the regional parliament (Hamid 2012, p. 332). As Fealy (2013, p. 107) argues, Fauzi Bowo had deep roots in Jakarta elite politics . . . he spent most of his career working in the Jakarta administration and building a political base, which included holding senior positions in the regime party, GOLKAR, during the late Soeharto period . . . despite his questionable record, he was nonetheless seen, in early 2012, as almost unbeatable for a second term, given the support of the president and major parties as well as his substantial war chest. Jokowi possessed some non-ideational advantages in 2012, such as the support of Prabowo, Megawati and their political parties, yet this support was minimal compared to that possessed by Fauzi Bowo. In this case, we quickly reach the limited explanatory power of structural forms of power. Instead, we need to turn to Jokowi’s generation of ideational capital to understand his ultimate victory in 2012. After not even serving for two years as governor of Jakarta, Jokowi convinced the leadership of PDIP to nominate him as their presidential candidate – no mean feat considering Megawati’s apparent desire to again nominate herself for that position and the risks of bringing a popular ‘outsider’ into such a position of power. Yet the potential ‘coattail effects’ for PDIP in nominating Jokowi were finally too hard to resist. Having been nominated, Jokowi competed for and won the presidential election against Prabowo, who also possessed a very strong power base, his own political party, and a populist narrative that, in itself, produced a quantum of ideational power for Prabowo. Nine years after barely being elected for the minor post of mayor of Solo, Jokowi won the votes of over 70 million Indonesians across a diverse archipelago. This pattern of success is evident in the case of many of the other leaders explored in this book. Risma was re-elected with 86.34 percent of the vote in 2015, which was also a significant increase over her first election victory in 2010 when she had won just 38.52 percent of the vote, narrowly ahead of the next closest pairing who won 35.25 percent in that year. These election outcomes closely

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 135 mirror those of Jokowi in Solo. In Bantaeng, Nurdin Abdullah won 76,660 votes of a total of 92,830 in 2013, a significant increase from 2008 when he had won just under half of the total votes. In the gubernatorial election in 2018, Nurdin won even more votes in the electorate of Bantaeng – 84,606. In the 2010 election for bupati of Banyuwangi, Abdullah Azwar Anas won 49.23 percent of the vote and increased this to 88.96 percent in the 2015 election. There is, therefore, a very similar pattern amongst these leaders – while they were elected with narrow margins, their success has led to dominant victories the second time around. Incumbency allows leaders to reinforce their power locally to some extent, but these significant shifts in winning margin cannot be explained simply by changing patterns of support from political parties or changing structural conditions. Of the leaders considered in this book, only Ahok has experienced an electoral defeat after having the opportunity to develop a significant stock of ideational capital. The unusual circumstances of Ahok’s loss in the 2017 gubernatorial election are important and are considered in the final chapter. But it is worth noting here that even in this exceptional case, Ahok’s possession of ideational capital was clearly evident. Some innovative technocrats have used their ideational power to seek higher office, following in the footsteps of Jokowi. As we have seen, Nurdin and Emil used their local success as an important basis for successful gubernatorial election victories in 2018. These victories were especially important because both candidates competed against other candidates with their own structural, institutional and ideational advantages. Both candidates choose to run with support from political party coalitions, rather than attempting the more difficult independent route. And in late 2017, both Nurdin and Emil faced considerable challenges in ensuring that they would have a party coalition with significant seats to legally make their election bid. While both were able to narrowly pass the threshold needed, they then faced challengers with significant backing and name recognition. In West Java, Emil and Uu faced three other sets of candidates. The most prominent was the pairing of Dedy Mizwar, a former popular actor and the incumbent deputy governor of West Java together with his deputy candidate Dedi Mulyadi, the well-known bupati of the city of Purwakarta. Yet this pair were overtaken in the final vote tally by the pairing of Sudrajat, a former major general in the Indonesian army, defence attaché to Washington and Indonesian ambassador to China, and his deputy candidate Ahmad Syaikhu, the deputy mayor of the large city of Bekasi. In opinion polling leading up to the election, Emil consistently led the other candidates both in terms of name recognition and popularity. In South Sulawesi, Nurdin Abdullah’s also faced three other candidate pairs. His nearest challenger was Nurdin Halid, the former chief of the Indonesian football federation and the chief executive of the Golkar political party, who teamed with Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar, a representative in the Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD – Regional Representative Council) and a well-known religious figure in the region. The other candidates included the incumbent deputy governor of the province and a pairing of former bupati’s from Gowa and Luwu, the former also being the brother of the popular retiring incumbent governor. Thus, like Emil,


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

Nurdin was facing a set of candidates with some important starting brand recognition, as well as extensive networks and structural political advantages. Nurdin Halid, for instance, had the support of political parties with a combined 35 seats in the regional parliament, compared with 21 for Nurdin Abdullah. Beyond these quite incredible political successes, more detailed survey data from Indonesia over some time continues to attest to the sources of the innovative technocrats’ success. Surveys taken from around Indonesia tell a quite consistent story – large portions of those surveyed have a positive view of these leaders for reasons directly related to their narratives identified in this book. A Saiful Mujani Researching and Consulting survey in 2016, for instance, found high levels of satisfaction with Ahok in Jakarta, and of those who planned to vote for Ahok, the most likely reason was that there was ‘already real evidence of the result of his work’ (48.8 percent) followed by him being ‘determined and commanding’ (16.9 percent) and ‘experienced in government’ (15 percent). Many other potential choices, such as ‘sharing the same religion’, being ‘friendly’, being a ‘political party figure’ or being a ‘native of Jakarta’ were not selected by any respondents. ‘Coming from the party that I support’ was only selected by .9 percent of respondents (Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting 2016). Similar results can be seen in the case of Emil, with a poll just prior to the 2018 gubernatorial election finding that he had the highest level of support amongst likely voters, and that the top reasons for selecting him were that there was ‘already real evidence of the result of his work’ (31 percent), ‘experience in government’ (15 percent) and ‘he cares for the community’ (10 percent) (Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting 2018). The same responses can be seen in an Indobarometer survey in 2018 focusing on the South Sulawesi gubernatorial election. When asked about the reason for selecting a candidate, the most frequent response was ‘good job performance’. Of those who selected this response, 71.3 percent chose Nurdin Abdullah as their preferred candidate of the four (IndoBarometer 2018). These are just some examples of a growing body of evidence demonstrating the way in which the narrative of the innovative technocrats has resonance amongst the voting public. The same is true of social media, where Indonesian netizens regularly demonstrate recognition of the narratives presented by these leaders, even if some make their own counter-claims. Overall, the political success of the innovative technocrats is remarkable. These leaders have all drawn on a very similar set of practices, symbolic acts and claims, and we have seen in each of their cases how these claims come together to form cohesive narratives. In almost all cases, these leaders have achieved quite stunning victories when seeking re-election, or even been able to transfer their success at the local or regional level to higher political office. The link between these very similar narratives and their significant political success should bring our attention to the contribution of ideational forms of power, and therefore how ideational power itself matters in the broader pattern of Indonesian politics. Other explanations, such as those offered by structural and institutional approaches, cannot by themselves explain the success of these leaders. Whether we think of this power as ideational power or ‘mobilisation power’ (Winters 2013, p. 13), identifying its source and nature allows us to chart the

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 137 relationship with structural forms of power and structural explanations of political outcomes. It is clear that patterns of material power in Indonesia do shape opportunities for compelling forms of representative claim-making to emerge. Winters (2013, p. 12) outlines the significance of inequality in both material and political power in Indonesia, noting, The starting point for understanding contemporary Indonesian politics is the observation that extreme material inequality necessarily produces extreme political inequality. . . . Whatever other more dispersed power resources exist across society – such as the small individual influence conferred by oneperson-one-vote under Indonesia’s democracy, or leverage based on mobilization and direct action by activists and labor – it is this gross asymmetry in material power that shapes, dominates, and warps the country’s ordinary politics. While I see a greater potential for the power of mobilisation based on compelling representative claim-making in Indonesia than Winters observed in 2013, it is worth acknowledging that the innovative technocrats have not adopted policies that fundamentally reconfigure existing power relations in Indonesia. They have shown relatively little interest in challenging what has been described by Winters and others as the oligarchic nature of Indonesian politics. While the leaders explored in this book have sought to separate themselves from the existing political parties and have presented claims about empowering different parts of the community, they have also largely played within this system, and made symbolic gestures towards existing political elites when it has benefitted their career. While the possibility of running as an independent is open and has been suggested by some of the volunteer groups supporting these leaders, few have chosen to adopt this approach. Instead, they have also used their ideational power to attract the support of political parties, the unpopular organisations closely identified with the oligarchic structure of Indonesian politics. Winters (2013, p. 25) draws on this point in explaining the importance of oligarchic support for Jokowi in the 2012 Jakarta election: The wildly popular Jokowi’s victory over the sitting governor was due to a groundswell of support from scores of groups ranging from students to housewives’ associations that helped propel him to victory. This important democratic part of the story was made possible, however, by a prior oligarchic move in which the power of wealth placed Jokowi before the voters in the first place. Even if he did come to enjoy grassroots support, he did not arrive at the gubernatorial contest as a consequence of grassroots initiatives or politics. There is truth in this statement, but the argument cuts both ways. Jokowi would also not have been of interests to oligarchs in Jakarta without the ideational capital he had already generated through successful claim-making in Solo. Without this


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

ideational capital, Jokowi had nothing to offer. Even so, we should not discount the impact of structural factors, and particularly the role of material wealth and oligarchic interests in shaping who can and cannot present representative claims. Tapsell’s detailed analysis (2017) of oligarchy and the media in Indonesia also suggests that material power does sometimes shape whose narratives are shared and whose are not. Additionally, it is evident that the innovative technocrats have been successful in some regions but have not even emerged in others. As Ziegenhain (2017, p. 37) notes, Despite the entry of new faces in many local governments, patrimonial relationships and practices still dominate in many regions. In many areas, voters are frustrated since they have no real alternatives to vote for, because potential replacements regularly belong to the same pool of corrupted business and administrative elites. This structural constraint does not mean that we should ignore the ideational domain, however. Indonesian leaders who possess material wealth are regularly unable to turn this wealth into compelling forms of representative claim-making. Some, like Prabowo, have been relatively successful not only because of material wealth, but because they have been able to develop their own narratives with deep resonance in Indonesian society. In the case of Jokowi noted earlier, material interests, such as the support he received from Prabowo, his brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo and their Gerindra political party (Winters 2013, p. 24), may have been important. But this case also demonstrates that these material interests are not able to completely control the leader who possesses their own quantum of ideational power. Within two years Jokowi had used this power to defeat Prabowo in the 2014 presidential election. Jokowi had the support of Megawati and her PDIP in that election, but even here ideas and narratives were important: Jokowi store of ideational power arguably energised the PDIP party in the parliamentary campaign and allowed them to win a much larger share of the national parliament than they had in the previous election in 2009. In other words, beyond the ability of structural and institutional power to shape the development of ideational power, we should also consider how ideational power informs shifts in structural and institutional power. And despite the support of both Prabowo and Megawati, Jokowi was able to win an office that those two powerful party leaders had wanted to win themselves. Fealy (2012, p. 7), for instance, argued at the time that the Jakarta election ‘showed that conventional political strategies relying on big money and establishment figures were now vulnerable to independent candidates who could connect with electors and draw favourable media attention’. Whether we see the innovative technocrats as providing a new path for Indonesian politics or as an isolated phenomenon within the existing oligarchic state of Indonesian politics, it is clear that these leaders have not simply relied on material power to achieve success. While Tapsell (2017, p. 111) has acknowledged the ongoing importance of powerful interests shaping the traditional media environment, he has also argued for the emergence of competing trends, including citizens

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 139 who have ‘individually and collectively used both the hybrid digital mainstream media, and new digital media “mass-self communication” platforms to circumvent the influence of the media oligarchs’. We can also see the ideational power of the innovative technocrats in their ability to mobilise citizens for their cause. This includes, for example, the support of various civil society organisations for their leadership, including unions and community organisations. To give one interesting example, the organisation known as the Sexy Auto Club Indonesia is a union for public transport drivers in West Java who declared their support for Emil in the 2017 gubernatorial election. The head of the organisation, Eman Hidayat, argued, All of our members are fully prepared to help Ridwan Kamil win, because for us Pak Ridwan is a role model who also makes innovations in building a city, like in the city of Bandung. (Berita Satu 6 June 2018) Yet the more revealing evidence of the ability of the innovative technocrats to mobilise the public is in the emergence of large volunteer organisations. The role of volunteerism was a very important and well-known factor in Jokowi’s 2014 presidential election, where many volunteer organisations formed around his campaign. Nugroho and Setia (2014), for instance, identified as many as 148 separate volunteer networks supporting Jokowi in the 2014 election. Lay (2018, p. 101) has studied Jokowi’s 2014 volunteer support in more depth, noting that amongst the Pro-Jokowi volunteers he studied in Solo, ‘A sense of personal obligation to a particular recipient and a feeling of spontaneity have become central to volunteers’ motivations and approaches’. While Jokowi’s volunteer networks in 2014 were the most extensive, similar patterns of volunteerism have been seen in the cases of other innovative technocrats. The organisation Teman Ahok (Friends of Ahok), for instance, was a prominent feature of Ahok’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign. The organisation took it upon themselves in 2016 to collect photocopies of identity cards to allow Ahok to run as an independent candidate and achieved their target of collecting one million identity cards in support of Ahok. A spokesperson for Teman Ahok argued in June 2016 that the reason for collecting the identity cards was to prevent Ahok having a political debt so that Ahok can become a governor who is independent and is not hostage to political interests, even those of Teman Ahok itself. Ahok’s debt is to the people who elect him directly, not the ones who facilitate his ticket. (BBC Indonesia 19 June 2016) In some cases, material resources can be used by leaders to encourage members of the community to take part in supporter organisations. But it is difficult to explain the volunteer support for innovative technocrats without also understanding the ideational capital that they have developed. Quite often, the narratives presented by these volunteer organisations reflect the claim-making patterns of the candidate they support and provide examples of the way in which the precise nature of


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

these claims comes to be processed and reflected by the community. Consider, for instance, the message provided by Budi Zaboer Irawan, the head of a volunteer organisation called BARKA who were active in supporting Emil’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign in different parts of West Java: The result of his work is evident in Bandung . . . we hope that he can . . . that the development he has achieved in Bandung can be brought to other areas. (YouTube: AntaraTV 3 April 2017) A similar message is evident in the words of one of Nurdin Abdullah’s volunteers in the district of Tana Toraja – a district at the opposite end of the province from Bantaeng: The community hopes that the development in Bantaeng can become an example for development in South Sulawesi when Professor Nurdin Abdullah takes over as the governor of South Sulawesi. (SindoNews Makassar 8 June 2018) In this way, the experience of the innovative technocrats fits into what some scholars have described as a broader trend of popular movements and even counteroligarchic politics. Tapsell (2017, p. 108) argues that Jokowi’s success was to a large extent driven by grass-roots campaigning and volunteer communities, as well as new media initiatives and the ‘prod-user’, and many in the general public who yearned for news of a politician who represented a break from the familiar faces of Indonesian politics. More broadly, Aspinall (2013, p. 199) argues that we should no longer write subordinate groups out of the frame, but, rather, should pay closer attention to the ways that they express themselves politically and, in doing so, challenge, contend with, or are conciliated or incorporated by, oligarchic power. We have become over-used to viewing Indonesia as a site of political domination; it remains equally a place of contestation – in the contentious politics of street protests and social movements that have become central to political life, and in the perpetual frictions that occur between oligarchic, popular, and other interests within arenas like parliaments, parties, and electoral politics. That these struggles are complex, and take place in contradictory and fragmented ways, involving ever-shifting political coalitions and conflicts, reflects the complexity of Indonesian democracy and the kaleidoscopic patterns of social interest that underpin it. Indonesia’s innovative technocrats may not represent a dramatic shift from the broader power structures of Indonesian politics, but they are impacting the political terrain in interesting and important ways. And if we avoid considering their claims in isolation and instead take note of the shared ideational elements that

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 141 they have developed, we may find that they are increasingly providing vital models for local and regional leaders in other parts of Indonesia to adopt.

Combining ideational and structural explanations Acknowledging the distinct ideational power of the innovative technocrats also opens up opportunities to better link ideational and structural explanations of political outcomes. The different interests of groups within society may help in understanding why particular parts of the broader repertoire are popular, and why they are popular with people of different class, cultural or religious backgrounds. Basic healthcare and education cards and programmes, in particular, are a type of policy that presents benefits for poorer families, as opposed to more wealthy families who can afford a higher level of healthcare and education than these cards typically offer. Jokowi’s favouring of revitalising traditional markets over constructing new malls also suggests benefits for some citizens over others, while Risma and Emil’s focus on improving public parks is a policy that can be enjoying by Indonesians from different segments of society – as they themselves have argued. Alternatively, some of the claims made by the innovative technocrats could benefit middle-class voters, millennials or city elites. We can see some examples of the type of policies or practices that might appeal to these audiences, such as innovation hubs, support for diversity, and more conducive city environments. Here ideational factors and attention to the way in which political stories are told can help us to fill the gaps in structural accounts. Each of the leaders explored in this book undoubtedly can be assessed on an individual basis, and their appeals to different audiences are likely to vary to some extent. We have seen, for instance, how Jokowi and Ahok differed in their approach to evictions and relocations, and these differences do matter. Yet by ignoring the many common ideational elements within the political approaches of these leaders, we would miss important details. To begin with, the policies adopted by the innovative technocrats converge much more than they diverge, and it is difficult to find a pattern that would see them clearly appealing to one audience over another. Some policies, such as healthcare programmes and education programmes, favour poorer families, while others, such as the development of innovative hubs, appeal to middle-class millennials. Many of the claims made by the innovative technocrats are intended to resonate with multiple audiences. Do we focus on the Jokowi who worked alongside and sympathised with less well-off street traders to move peacefully from Taman Banjarsari, or the Jokowi who chose to begin his political career by working on this initative that was actually called for by local business owners and more wealthy citizens around Taman Banjarsari? Do we focus on the Jokowi who has introduced healthcare services for the poor at each of the three levels of government in which he has operated, or the Jokowi who chose to reduce the fuel subsidy upon taking office as president in 2014? While structural explanations can help to explain why some forms of claimmaking have deep resonance within Indonesia, the pursuit of some pro-poor policies by themselves do not help us explain why the innovative technocrats have


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

been able to experience high levels of success in their campaigns. While policies that help poorer citizens and families are part of their broader repertoire of claims, they are also part of the claim-making of most Indonesian political representatives. It would be difficult to find, for instance, a political candidate who does not discuss programmes to help the lower class, simply because the size of this class as a voting block is significant. Additionally, there is no clear ideological economic divide between left and right in Indonesia, meaning that the role of the state in supporting prosperity and basic living standards is not contested in Indonesia as much as it is in Europe or the United States. In this context, the pro-poor pronouncements of the innovative technocrats are hardly unusual. If we want to explain why Nurdin was successful in South Sulawesi over other former local executives or why Emil was successful over other high profile local and regional leaders who also discussed programmes to help the everyday people of West Java, we need to consider how these leaders were able to develop compelling narratives that connected their previous track record with these voters. For even where voter’s decisions are shaped by their interests understood in structural terms: Even the strongest structural claim cannot coherently insist that people react to structural positions in the same physical way that the apple is compelled by gravity. They incorporate meanings as well: to offer a causal claim with a mechanism (as opposed to a model that just correlates structural positions to action without claiming to capture what is going on) they must posit and show that people assign the right, intersubjective, rational meanings to structural conditions. (Parsons 2007, p. 112) This is particularly the case where the innovative technocrats have been able to convert success at one level into success at another. Even if we leave aside the role of ideas and narrative in re-election campaigns, the innovative technocrats have been able to develop a profile and experience political success beyond their first executive office. Interests may be an important factor in the decision making of voters when they consider a successful local leader from a different part of their region or country, but it is the representatives’ ability to craft a narrative about why they will benefit those voters’ interests that allow them to be successful. Voters in South Sulawesi were presented with a narrative about Nurdin Abdullah from Bantaeng just as voters in Jakarta were presented with a narrative about Jokowi from Solo. This narrative may be grounded in real-world policy impacts, but these impacts are never allowed to simply speak for themselves. As we have seen throughout this book, the innovative technocrats have engaged in significant levels of claim-making that generates important meaning. The broad and cross-cutting appeal of the innovative technocrats is also captured in survey and voting data. When Jokowi competed for the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2012, his support base tended to be richer and more educated than that of his opponent, Fauzi Bowo. In a joint Lembaga Survei Indonesia/Tempo poll from September 2012, for instance, Fauzi Bowo was supported by 55 percent of participants with only a primary school education while Jokowi only received 41 percent

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 143 from that group. Jokowi was much more popular with those with a tertiary education, receiving 56 percent of the vote to Fauzi Bowo’s 27 percent. The pattern was the same for income – Fauzi Bowo won by a margin of 52–40 in the segment of participants with a monthly income under 1.5 million, while Jokowi won 54–35 in the segment with an income between 1.6 million and 3 million, and 47–40 in the segment with an income over 3 million (Lembaga Survei Indonesia 2012). This pattern was flipped in the campaign against Prabowo in 2014, where numerous exit polls showed Jokowi had a higher level of support from poorer and less educated voters while Prabowo did better with better educated and wealthy citizens. Of course, structural explanations can be based on more than just material wealth. Pepinsky (2013, p. 99), for instance, has sought to present how an approach based on ‘critical pluralism’ might ‘challenge oligarchy by providing competing explanations’. This pluralist approach shares a structural starting point, but has two aims: ‘First, it characterizes the objectives of materially endowed actors. Second, it places material interests alongside non-material interests in order to understand how they interact to shape political action’ (Pepinsky 2013, p. 87). Drawing from this approach, we might seek to understand how the innovative technocrats have drawn on and shaped political competition based on different formations of interests. We have seen throughout this book how the representative claims provided by the innovative technocrats seek to shape the interests of their communities. Combining an ideational and critical pluralist approach might, for instance, help us to understand the electoral map in the 2014 presidential election. The map itself features a range of structural divides based on both material and non-material factors, with plenty of interplay between the two. Jakarta, East Java and Papua are fundamentally different electorates, with very different existing conceptualisations of what interests are politically relevant. Yet to understand the overall result, we need to consider the different narratives of the candidates and the extent to which they resonated with different audiences. Here we might consider ideational factors as affecting action ‘within the range of ambiguity permitted by structural and institutional conditions’ (Parsons 2007, p. 101). This approach can help to understand why Jokowi’s technocratic narrative was persuasive across different classes, but particularly so for lower class voters. It can also help to understand why Prabowo’s populist narrative was more persuasive for middle-class voters and some city dwellers. But we would need to go further to understand why Jokowi defeated Prabowo by a wide margin in Surabaya and most of the areas of Jakarta, while Prabowo’s message was much more persuasive in many rural areas of West Java. The efforts of political representatives to draw on ideas and narratives are important if we are to understand how power can operate through, over and in ideas (Carstensen & Schmidt 2016), thus leading to important political outcomes.

Institutional constraints, ideational power and the political parties Beyond the interplay between structural and ideational explanations, there are clearly important ways in which institutional design shapes and is shaped by ideas. Chapter 3 explored the importance of the process of decentralisation and


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

the introduction of direct local and regional elections. Direct elections have provided some incentives for would-be representatives to make compelling appeals to the voters rather than focusing their attention on the local assemblies and the political parties that occupy them. To see the difference, it is useful to think about the 2012 gubernatorial election in Jakarta. If Jokowi and Ahok had competed for that election under a system that favoured selection by the local assembly, they would likely have lost to Fauzi Bowo, who had a much higher level of support in the DPRD. In all likelihood, Jokowi would probably not have even run for the election or been supported by Prabowo and Megawati under those conditions. Equally, a system without direct election would remove some of the incentives for the innovative technocrats to present the claims that they do. Would Emil engage with the public on social media if they ultimately play little direct role in his future re-election? Or would he spend more of his political capital and time developing his relationship with local party leaders? Would Risma have exerted so much of her energy and time on developing green spaces if selling these spaces to developers might bring her more support from the DPRD members who would later decide her fate? Perhaps neither leader would have even chosen to enter local politics under these conditions, or may not have been elected even if they did. Like structural forms of power, different institutional realities can fundamentally shape the terrain in which ideas operate. Moving beyond this point, however, we can potentially combine institutional and ideational explanations to understand the divergent experiences of the innovative technocrats and Indonesia’s political parties. Significantly, while the innovative technocrats have benefitted from ideational capital, Indonesia’s political parties have struggled to achieve the same success. The poor ideational performance of political parties is surprising given the important advantages that they do possess. Indonesia’s political parties remain the only organisations able to nominate candidates for local, regional and national legislative elections, and they occupy an important role in nominating candidates for executive posts, particularly the presidency. The continued central position of political parties is clearly evident in the challenges Jokowi faced in obtaining PDIP’s backing for his presidential nomination in 2014 – despite his high personal approval ratings at the time. Even where local and regional candidates for executive office are able to run independently, most candidates seek the support of parties. Importantly, the political parties occupy the national parliament – the government body through which changes to party regulation and electoral systems must pass. For this reason, it is difficult to see the constitutional role of political parties in Indonesian politics being weakened. And yet, in comparison to the innovative technocrats, Indonesia’s political parties are almost completely lacking in ideational power. As noted in Chapter 3, their connections to the electorate itself in Indonesia have weakened over time. Very few Indonesian citizens express a close connection to one of the parties over the others. In the ideational domain, the dominant player in contemporary Indonesian politics has been that of the innovative technocrats, who have captured the public and media’s attention in a way that the political parties have been unable

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 145 to match. Given this contrast, it is worth asking why Indonesia’s political parties seem completely incapable of drawing on the types of claims described in this book. Why is it that this handful of innovative local and regional leaders have been able to present such compelling narratives, and have been able to build levels of ideational capital that can be used to capture the attention of the media and the public? Why have Indonesia’s political parties, with all of their institutional and structural advantages, lacked the capability to achieve similar levels of ideational capital? To answer these questions, the impact of a particular form of institutional engineering – the party nationalisation requirement – is worth considering. Indonesia’s party nationalisation requirement has steadily expanded during Indonesia’s reformasi era to become possibly the strictest nationalisation measure in the world. This requirement was first introduced before the 1999 election based on suggestions by a team of institutional experts and academics put together to advise on Indonesia’s new institutional make-up in the post-Suharto era. Suharto’s regime had lasted for over 32 years, and thus there was relatively little experience with any alternative form of governmental structure. On top of this, a range of social and political tensions that had been suppressed by the Suharto regime had emerged dramatically during the years between 1997 and 1999. Ethnic conflicts in locations such as Ambon, Kalimantan and Java flared violently. Provinces that had long sought autonomy or independence stirred, including Aceh, Papua and East Timor. In the case of East Timor, the ongoing violence there eventually resulted in an UN-sanctioned vote on independence. And even in provinces where tensions did not reach these extremes ‘There were various forms of ethnic political mobilization – for example, movements aiming to create new provinces or districts or demanding that preference be given to locals over migrants in government employment’ (Aspinall 2011, p. 289). These events undoubtedly had a significant influence on the various individuals involved in drafting electoral regulations at the time. As Aspinall (2011, p. 289) highlights, after the fall of Suharto, Indonesia went ‘from being a highly centralized polity that repressed ethnonationalist mobilization to one that was both decentralized and affected by severe communal and separatist violence in several provinces’. And importantly, this sudden shift in the relationship between regions and the central government was occurring at the same time as greater attention was being given to the development of the party system. Under Suharto, the electoral system used had little significance, as tight controls on the number of parties meant that these factors had more influence on the result than the electoral system itself. Following reformasi, political parties would play a much more powerful role in the execution of decision making and power than they had under the New Order. Beyond the social and political climate, it is also important to acknowledge that the design of new political institutions is often subject to political considerations, and this has certainly been the case in Indonesia. As Macintyre (2003, p. 143) notes, while many politicians debating the new architecture of party and election regulation were former Suharto-era politicians, ‘all had their eyes clearly focused


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

on the new game of competitive elections, understanding full well that the design of the institutional framework would favor some interests over others’. Thus for decision makers involved in the process of institution design, normative concerns regarding the integrity of the Indonesian state were combined with self-interested calculations regarding which institutional requirements were best able to protect or foster success for individual careers and political parties. It was in this context that Tim Tujuh, an advisory team headed by the director general in the ministry of home affairs, Ryaas Rasyid, and made up mainly of academics (Ellis 2000, p. 241), combined with the political parties to put together party registration laws with a nationalisation requirement (Macintyre 2003, p. 143). In their initial form, these laws dictated that parties should be loyal to the state ideology Pancasila (Election Law, article 43), through acknowledging that Pancasila is the state ideology of Indonesia and that the party’s ‘principles or characteristics, aspirations and programs do not contradict Pancasila’ (Party Law, article 2). Further, the political party ‘may not endanger national unity and integrity’ (Article 3). Article 9 further required political parties ‘to maintain the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia’ and ‘maintain the unity and integrity of the nation’ (Article 9). Political parties that were deemed to not adhere to these requirements would not be registered for the election. Beyond these descriptive requirements, the party law put in place for the first time a geographical branch requirement. This meant that to be eligible to compete in the 1999 elections for the DPR, a party must have established party organizations in at least one-third (nine) of Indonesia’s 27 provinces and in at least one half of the regencies/municipalities within those nine provinces. (Election Law, Article 82.) Once a party has qualified under these rules, it is eligible to run candidates anywhere in the country (Election Law, Article 41). (National Democratic Institute 1999, p. 6) These requirements have been gradually expanded during each election, and by the 2014 election parties were required to register in all of Indonesia’s 34 provinces, 75 percent of the kabupaten/kota regions, and 50 percent of the kecamatan districts within those kabupaten/kota regions. In practice, this means that political parties must demonstrate a network of offices, local office holders and card-carrying party members at all of these political levels. Through the enforcement carried out by the Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU – General Election Commission), these restrictions have effectively prevented small parties or regional parties from emerging, and even larger nationally organised parties, like the former Partai Damai Sejahtera, have been disbanded. For many parties, the membership requirement is the most difficult to pass, and where a political party fails in one part of the requirement they have effectively failed to register as a legal political party and cannot compete for elections anywhere in the country (Research Notes 2013). The very effective nationalisation of Indonesia’s political parties highlights a very important institutional reality: the path to developing a political party heavily

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 147 favours material power over the development of ideational power. Political parties in Indonesia cannot follow the approach of the innovative technocrats because they must immediately form as a national organisation, rather than emerging at the local or regional level and achieving small-scale outcomes on which to base their reputation. While some of the original arguments made in favour of party nationalisation focused on the importance of preventing regional parties and ‘simplifying’ the party system, it also makes it difficult for bottom-up movements in individual districts or regions to build success from those levels to the wider political system. Consider, for instance, a hypothetical workers’ party that improves working conditions and wages for workers in Surabaya. This party might use deliberative forms of decision making to ensure a high level of consultation with members of the party. Over time, this party gains headlines outside of Surabaya, and, eventually, the party begins to establish branches in other parts of Indonesia. At the same time, other political parties try to draw on its successful claims themselves. Another hypothetical case might involve a political party that decides to establish itself via social media rather than through geographical coverage across Indonesia’s many provinces. Starting as a network of young professionals in Denpasar, Mataram and Makassar, its success in winning seats in the DPRD of these cities as well as the innovative means it has adopted of communication and cadre development are widely covered by traditional media, and the party begins to expand to other parts of Indonesia, winning seats in more provinces and amongst other segments of the population. There are many potential ways in which innovation in the development and organisation of political parties could take place, but Indonesia’s current institutional design does not provide the opportunity for political parties to develop these types of ideas and practices at the local level before bringing them to the national level. This is not to suggest that representatives at the local or regional level will always develop successful representative claims that lead to meaningful levels of ideational power. For every Jokowi there are numerous other politicians who were not able to make representative claims that resonated with the public. Choi (2011, p. 108) notes this fact in her own research, arguing that the practical effects of direct local elections depend not on formal institutional reforms, but on how local actors interpret and respond to these formal reforms on the ground . . . political practices and behavior require much more time than formal or procedural changes. A Darwinian process of political competition and judgement means that politicians who are able to prove their success at the local level can then use that profile and political capital in higher positions, while many others are not able to match that achievement. We have already seen, in a number of different contexts, the inventiveness of different organisations and individuals within Indonesian politics. WikiDPR, a group of young volunteers reporting on the national parliament (Hatherell 2015) and Kawal Pemilu, ‘an initiative of civilian internet users to


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

crowdsource voting tabulation around the country’ during the 2014 election (Tapsell 2017, p. 108) are two examples of the innovation that is evident within Indonesian civil society. Yet for now, these types of initiatives are limited to watching over the political parties rather than coming up with innovative new approaches to party formation and organisation. This institutional factor contributes to a situation where Indonesia is left with a dichotomy between two very different types of representative claim-makers. The political parties and those associated with them, on one hand, possess enormous institutional and structural power. They effectively are able to shape their own competitive landscape through their legislative powers, and the same national parties are a powerful force at the local and regional level. And yet beyond the inherited identity of some leaders and slight differences in their perceived closeness to political Islam, the political parties are ideationally weak. The innovative technocrats, on the other hand, are often weak in terms of institutional and structural power. They emerge outside of existing power structures at the local level and have often competed against candidates with a much more significant level of political and financial support. Most of the innovative technocrats are financially secure, but not wealthy to the extent that they can completely fund an extravagant political campaign. And yet, they often possess a significant reserve of ideational capital that has led to a greater awareness of their work, leverage and political success in elections. This dichotomy between Indonesia’s political parties and the innovative technocrats has led to at least one case of very real political tension. Following Prabowo’s loss to Jokowi in the 2014 presidential election, Prabowo chose to mobilise his Koalisi Merah Putih (red and white coalition) whose majority in the national parliament had failed to push Prabowo to victory. They did, however, have the numbers in the national parliament to push through a bill that would eradicate direct local elections and instead see local and regional executive posts appointed by the legislative bodies within the same jurisdiction. Constitutionally these assemblies, as we have seen, can only be occupied by members of the political parties. In the narrative presented by the supporters of this bill, local elections were depicted as wasteful and open to money politics. Some members of civil society, however, saw this as payback for Jokowi’s victory. Ray Rangkuti, a political analyst and activist, argued, They have sacrificed the achievement of principles . . . in reformasi only for the purpose of fulfilling short term political interests . . . [it is] pragmatic in nature and also smacks of revenge. (DetikNews 5 September 2014) Many of the innovative technocrats analysed in this book immediately criticised the idea of the bill. Jokowi argued, Regional leaders will be morally burdened . . . if they are selected by the people, they have to pay attention to the people, because they are elected by

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 149 them, not so if they are elected by members [of the assembly]. Of course it will be different. (Liputan6 25 September 2014) Ahok was characteristically more confrontational in his response: If . . . elected by the DPRD then I don’t want to nominate myself. Yeah I don’t want to become a slave and be controlled like that. Just look how we are already having problems right now. (YouTube: Official NET News 26 September 2014) Emil was reported to be joining with other local leaders to advance a challenge to the constitutional court. He argued in an interview that for us direct elections continue to be a fundamental right. We can compare it to choosing a jodoh [true love partner]. Do you want to elect for an arranged marriage or choose your own partner? For us it is [a simple choice]. (YouTube: Official NET News 26 September 2014) The proposed change to the law was only overturned after pressure on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led to him enacting a Peraturan President Pengganti Undang-Undang (Perppu – effectively a presidential legislative override) (Republika 2 October 2014). An important part of this pressure emerged from the public itself, with both polls and social media campaigns clearly suggesting that the public supported the direct election of local and regional leaders. A joint LSIIFES poll in October 2014, for instance, found that 84 percent of those surveyed supported direct election, with 6 percent supporting the selection by DPRD, 7 percent happy with either and 3 percent unsure. Remarkably, the figures were not much different for supporters of Prabowo Subianto, with 78 percent of his supporters responding that the direct election should remain (Lembaga Survei Indonesia 2014b). These results were consistent with a Lingkaran Survei Indonesia poll (2014), as well as a separate Lembaga Survei Indonesia poll from the 25th of October to the 3rd of November 2014 (2014a), which found that the majority of participants actually accepted the Koalisi Merah Putih argument that local and regional elections were expensive, but viewed this cost as being worth it for the public’s views to be heard. Despite the ultimate failure of the law to be passed, it does demonstrate a path by which the political parties can use their structural and institutional advantages to cut off an important source of ideational power within Indonesian politics, and effectively put an end to the emergence of the innovative technocrats.

Conclusion This chapter has sought to contextualise the innovative technocrat’s unique form of representative claim-making within the broader context of Indonesian politics. We


Ideational power and Indonesian politics

can see through the political success of the innovative technocrats that they have developed a quantum of ideational power that they have used to build their profile, gain leverage with other political actors, and ultimately achieve electoral success. Most of the innovative technocrats have either won significant public support in re-election campaigns or have been able to use their successful claim-making to jump to new political offices. Structural explanations are useful in setting the boundaries within which ideational factors can play a role, however, shaping in many cases who can and cannot make representative claims and have these claims reach the public. Yet structural explanations are limited in some important cases like the emergence of the innovative technocrats. Instead, we need to complement our understanding of structure with detailed analysis of the construction of ideas and narratives. A combination of structural and ideational explanations could help, for instance, to explain why claims and narratives appeal to some audiences and not others. While the creation of meaning is important in the way in which we all understand our interests, our environment and our perception of it plays a significant role in shaping how we see our interests. Tangible differences in material wealth do matter. At the same time, we should also consider non-material sources of interests, such as religious identity. Religion and ethnicity as sources of identity can significantly shape how an individual sees the political world, causing two people of identical class background to see the world in completely different ways. Additionally, the explanatory power of material and non-material structural factors on one hand and ideational factors on the other is likely to depend on the details of the specific case. Where representatives are able to develop coherent and compelling narratives, such as the innovative technocrats, there may be more potential for ideational explanations to help our understanding. Lastly, institutional factors also shape the terrain in which ideas and narratives operate. The simple fact that local and regional leaders in Indonesia are directly elected by the public is crucial to the success of the innovative technocrats, particularly because it shifts the incentives and constraints that they face. Ideational power gains political relevance where the public has a greater say in the election of formal representatives. At the same time, the example of the party nationalisation requirement in Indonesia shows how the emergence of political parties operates under a very different set of incentives and constraints. This institutional reality by itself cannot explain the failure of Indonesia’s political parties to connect with citizens, but it does restrict alternative forms of party formation that could challenge the existing party system.

References Aspinall, E. (2011) Democratization and Ethnic Politics in Indonesia: Nine Theses. Journal of East Asian Studies 11: 289–319. Aspinall, E. (2013) Popular Agency and Interests in Indonesia’s Democratic Transition and Consolidation. Indonesia: 101.

Ideational power and Indonesian politics 151 BBC Indonesia. (19 June 2016)TemanAhok lampaui target, kumpulkan lebih dari satu juta KTP. www.bbc.com/indonesia/berita_indonesia/2016/06/160619_indonesia_ahok_1000ktp. Berita Satu. (6 June 2018) Kampanye di Bojong Gede, Ridwan Kamil Panen Dukungan. http://id.beritasatu.com/home/kampanye-di-bojong-gede-ridwan-kamil-panen-dukungan/ 176495. Carstensen, M.B. and Schmidt, V.A. (2016) Power through, over and in Ideas: Conceptualizing Ideational Power in Discursive Institutionalism. Journal of European Public Policy 23: 318–337. Choi, N. (2011) Local Politics in Indonesia: Pathways to Power. London; New York: Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series. DetikNews. (5 September 2014) Hapus Pilkada Langsung, Koalisi Merah Putih Dianggap ‘Balas Dendam’. https://news.detik.com/berita/2682025/hapus-pilkada-langsungkoalisi-merah-putih-dianggap-balas-dendam. Ellis, A. (2000) The Politics of Electoral Systems in Transition: The 1999 Elections in Indonesia and Beyond. Representation 37: 241–248. Fealy, G. (2012) Indonesian Politics: Seeking Change Amid Graft and Intolerance. In: ISEAS Year in Review: Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Fealy, G. (2013) Indonesian Politics in 2012: Graft, Intolerance, and Hope of Change in the Late Yudhoyono Period. Southeast Asian Affairs: 103–120. Hamid, S. (2012) Indonesian Politics in 2012: Coalitions, Accountability and the Future of Democracy. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 48: 325–345. Hatherell, M. (2015) Engaging Young Indonesians in Politics and the Case of WikiDPR. Inside Indonesia. www.insideindonesia.org/engaging-young-indonesians-in-politics-andthe-case-of-wikidpr. IndoBarometer. (2018) Dinamika Pilgub Sulawesi Selatan 2018: Siapakah Calon Pemenang? www.indobarometer.com/publish/admin/file/content/201806201555-survei-DINAMIKA%20PILGUB%20SULSEL%202018,%20SIAPAKAH%20CALON%20 PEMENANG%20(JUNI%20-%202018)%20-%20FINAL%201.0.pdf. Lay, C. (2018) Hometown Volunteers: A Case Study of Volunteer Organizations in Surakarta Supporting Joko Widodo’s Presidential Campaign. The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 36: 79–105. Lembaga Survei Indonesia. (2012) Pilkada DKI Jakarta, Protes Kelas Menengah. www. lsi.or.id. Lembaga Survei Indonesia. (2014a) Survei Nasional Pasca Pemilihan Umum Presiden 2014. www.lsi.or.id/riset/434/Rilis-Survei-Pasca-Pileg-dan-Pilpres-2014: Lembaga Survei Indonesia–IFES. Lembaga Survei Indonesia. (2014b) Pro-Kontra Pilkada Langsung. www.lsi.or.id/riset/435/ Rilis-Survei-Pro-Kontra-Pilkada-Langsung: Lembaga Survei Indonesia. Lingkaran Survei Indonesia. (2014) Pilkada oleh DPRD Dinilai Publik Sebagai Penghianatan Partai. http://lsi.co.id/lsi/2014/09/09/pilkada-oleh-dprd-dinilai-publik-sebagaipenghianatan-partai/: Lingkaran Survei Indonesia. Liputan6. (25 September 2014) Jokowi Tunggu Hasil Paripurna RUU Pilkada. www.liputan6.com/news/read/2110180/jokowi-tunggu-hasil-paripurna-ruu-pilkada. MacIntyre, A.J. (2003) The Power of Institutions: Political Architecture and Governance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. National Democratic Institute. (1999) The New Legal Framework for Elections in Indonesia: A Report of an NDI Assessment Team. https://www.ndi.org/sites/default/files/215_ id_framework_5.pdf


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Nugroho, B. and Setia, M.Y.P. (2014) Jokowi: People Power. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. Parsons, C. (2007) How to Map Arguments in Political Science. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Pepinsky, T.B. (2013) Pluralism and Political Conflict in Indonesia. Indonesia: 81. Republika. (2 October 2014) SBY Teken Perppu Pilkada Langsung. www.republika.co.id/ berita/nasional/umum/14/10/02/nctovc-sby-teken-perppu-pilkada-langsung. Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting. (2016) Kinerja Petahana dan Peluang Para Penantang pada Pilkada Jakarta. www.slideshare.net/saidimanahmad/survei-smrc-tentangkinerja-petahana-dan-peluang-para-penantang-pada-pilkada-jakarta. Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting. (2018) Kecenderuangan Elektabilitas Calon Gubernur dan Efeknya Terhadap Pilpres di 3 Provinsi Terbesar. www.slideshare.net/ saidimanahmad/survei-smrc-arah-dukungan-pemilih-di-pilkada-jabar-jateng-dan-jatim. SindoNews Makassar. (8 June 2018) Masyarakat Toraja Harap Pembangunan Bantaeng Jadi Percontohan. https://makassar.sindonews.com/read/9931/1/masyarakat-torajaharap-pembangunan-bantaeng-jadi-percontohan-1528466806. Tapsell, R. (2017) Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. TribunNews. (5 December 2017) Inovasi Banyuwangi Kembali Jadi Terbaik, Anas Makin Pede Songsong Pilgub Jatim. http://surabaya.tribunnews.com/2017/12/05/ inovasi-banyuwangi-kembali-jadi-terbaik-anas-makin-pede-songsong-pilgub-jatim. Winters, J.A. (2013) Oligarchy and Democracy in Indonesia. Indonesia 96: 11–33. YouTube: AntaraTV. (3 April 2017) Relawan Dukung Ridwan Kamil Maju Pilgub Jabar. www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXQMMdkk2PE. YouTube: Official NET News. (26 September 2014) Jokowi, Ahok dan Ridwan Kamil kecewa atas keputusan sidang Paripurna mengenai RUU Pilkada – NET12. www. youtube.com/watch?v=nkHNroYoos0. YouTube: Official NET News. (17 December 2016) Satu Indonesia Bersama Emil Dardak Bupati Termuda yang Berprestasi. www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV58Lk1RUHI& t=1056s. Ziegenhain, P. (2017) Decentralisation and Its Impact on the Democratisation Process. In: Haug, M., Rossler, M. and Grumblies, A.T. (eds.) Rethinking Power Relations in Indonesia: Transforming the Margins. London; New York: Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series.


The innovative technocrats in context

Introduction The scene is Indonesia; but the goal, still far enough away to sustain ambition, is an understanding of how it is that every people gets the politics it imagines. (Geertz 2007, p. 321)

This book has argued that the ideational domain deserves more attention in the study of Indonesian politics. Our understanding of contemporary political dynamics has benefitted from the contribution of scholars offering explanations based on structural forces, whether they are understood purely as structures of economic distribution that favour the agency of oligarchs (Winters 2013; Hadiz & Robison 2013) or a plurality of groups with interests shaped by more than just class (Pepinsky 2013). We have also benefitted from the work of researchers such as Mietzner (2013) and Aspinall and Fraenkel (2013), who have offered insight into the workings of key political institutions such as the party system. Yet in our analysis of Indonesian politics, there has been less systematic study of the role of ideas and narratives. There is an awareness within the literature of the importance of leaders like Jokowi, but so far explanations of his success have not drawn sufficiently on the ideas and narratives that he has deployed as a leader. Instead, much existing analysis tends to explain away the success of leaders like Jokowi as simply the result of populism and distributive policies that advantage particular groups within Indonesian society. Even where analysis of individual leaders has gone further to consider their political style, there have been very few efforts to identify common ideational elements within the political approaches of prominent leaders. This book has argued that a set of leaders in Indonesia have used similar types of representative claim-making to develop compelling narratives. I have labelled the leaders who draw on this form of claim-making as innovative technocrats. The innovative technocrats present a very specific set of claims regarding what makes them ‘good’ as opposed to ‘bad’ representatives. This narrative is built upon two key foundations – technocratic focus and innovative engagement. Throughout this book, we have seen a number of different ways in which leaders in Indonesia have presented this narrative. Jokowi’s engagement in the practice of blusukan and the relocation of local traders, Risma’s development of local parks and angry tirades


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against those who dare damage them and Ahok’s engagement with the public in his campaign headquarters at Rumah Lembang are all part of the common set of political stories these leaders tell about themselves and their community. So too is Emil’s posting of architectural drawings on social media and Nurdin’s narrative of the ‘reluctant technocrat’ called upon to help the people of Bantaeng. As the theoretical foundations of this study suggest, this form of political storytelling did not emerge out of thin air. It has deep historical, social, political and economic roots in Indonesia. The use of local culture, symbolic gestures and forms of language specific to the context are an important part of the construction of these narratives. When Jokowi sits down for meals with the local community or Emil jokes about jomblo (singles) and jodoh (true loves), they are drawing on cultural and linguistic content with existing meaning and deep resonance. Yet through our analysis, we might also notice narratives that reflect human nature itself and the type of human desires that can be found in societies all around the world. Many of the individual claims outlined in this book would be recognisable to an international reader and would have resonance in their own society. Improving the lived environment of cities and engaging directly with the community through public acts and social media are not ideas unique to Indonesia, and are one reason why these leaders have won accolades, attention and even supporters beyond Indonesia’s borders. I suspect that a reader of this book who has never been to Indonesia would still find that many of the claims presented here are familiar. The claims of the innovative technocrats, therefore, can be understood as resting on a basis of both generic human desires and the specific Indonesian cultural and societal context. But the leaders analysed in this book have not just drawn on an existing script – they have all played a role in innovating. This is particularly true of Jokowi, whose representative claim-making bloomed into an unprecedented political narrative in post-reformasi Indonesia, which in itself has shaped the ideational terrain of political representation. But the other leaders considered in this book have also played a role through their claims in developing new ideas and expectations about just what it is that a political representative should be and, more importantly, do. They have each played a role in shaping the overall repertoire of claims within the Indonesian context, a repertoire that exists in an intersubjective space and that can be drawn on by other would-be claimants, as well as the citizens who judge them. Overall, this book has drawn upon a significant collection of publicly available evidence in order to chart a particularly important form of political narrative in Indonesia. The idea that these leaders are united in their approach to political representation might not satisfy some readers both inside and outside of Indonesia, who find one or more of the leaders presented in this book as more credible or compelling than others. One may like the representative claims of Jokowi, but not those of Ahok. One may be drawn to the story that Emil has crafted about his identity as a representative, but not of Risma. There is, of course, variance in the tone and individual approaches to claim-making that each of the leaders presented in this book employ. Members of the audience come to the stories presented by these

The innovative technocrats in context 155 leaders in different ways, and they may have heard of some but not of others. And we are all part of the audience, an audience that will respond for different reasons to some representative claimants and their narratives and not others. Yet if we cannot move beyond these individual preferences to observe the features that unite the innovative technocrats, we miss the opportunity to conduct broader analysis of what is a shared set of representative claims. Beginning to locate common forms of claim-making allows us to consider what these patterns might mean for the nature and future of a political system. We can begin to ask important questions like is this form of claim-making likely to have resonance into the future? Why are some leaders more successful than others in drawing on this repertoire? What are the limitations of the narratives presented by the innovative technocrats? Most importantly, we should consider how the narratives presented by these leaders shape their competition with other political actors and other narratives. In considering these questions the case study of Ahok’s defeat in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election is worth briefly considering, before expanding the discussion to future ideational competition in Indonesian and beyond.

Ahok and the 2017 gubernatorial election Ahok’s loss in the 2017 gubernatorial election is an important case study in both the potential and the limits of the ideational power that can be produced through the innovative technocrat repertoire. As Chapter 4 has noted, Ahok drew extensively on many of the same claims as the other innovative technocrats explored in this book. Like Risma, he used anger and confrontation as a part of these claims. Ahok’s habit of speaking openly and directly about sensitive topics arguably informed his choice on the 27th of September 2016 to discuss the use of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, for political purposes. In a speech to the local community on Pulau Pramuka (Pramuka Island) just north of Jakarta, Ahok was highlighting the continuation of his programmes in the event that he happened to lose the 2017 election. The speech was relatively measured by Ahok’s standards, but still featured a build-up of emotion and frequent use of slang. In the comments that would later cause significant controversy, Ahok stated, It might be true that in your hearts, you feel you can’t choose me because you have been lied to using Surat Al Maidah 51 [a section of the Quran that warns against taking members of the Jewish or Christian faith as ‘allies’] or the like. That is your right. If you feel that you can’t vote for me because you are scared to go to hell . . . that you have been made dumb in that way . . . it doesn’t matter, because that is your private calling. The programs will just continue to run. (YouTube: VIVA.CO.ID 6 October 2016) Ahok’s statement was later distorted in some video footage and commentary to accentuate the idea that Ahok was suggesting the public was being lied to by the Quran itself, rather than lied to by politicians who use the Quran. The difference


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between these two quite different statements is one word in Indonesian – ‘pakai’ – and Ahok was speaking very quickly. In the end, however, even when this difference was pointed out it no longer mattered. The controversy continued to snowball, becoming a focal point for a range of grievances including broader concerns about the role of Islam in Indonesian society, those uncomfortable with the Jokowi regime, radical Islamic groups like the FPI and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia who had long protested Ahok based on his identity, and those concerned with the human rights of the communities who had been evicted from riverside settlements. Several massive protests were organised, and the pressure led to Ahok being charged with blasphemy on the 17th of November. Ahok was released on parole and allowed to continue campaigning, and a couple of weeks later the largest rally took place, now known as Aksi 212 (the name referring to 2 December 2016 – the day on which it was held). Estimations of the crowd on this day vary, but a figure between 500,000 and 750,000 seems likely. Aksi 212 was a largely peaceful rally, and reports from those who were there on the day suggest that while Ahok remained the focal point, the broader meaning of this day was larger than just the Ahok blasphemy case. Greg Fealy (2016) provides the following characterisation of the event from a participant’s Facebook post: A scene similar to that in the fields of Arafah [near Mecca] and Mahshar [where all humankind of all ages are brought together on the day of judgement] emerged today in Jakarta. This extraordinary 212 Peaceful Action. The eyes of the world must certainly be watching. This is the biggest demonstration of an Islamic community in its biggest democracy, Indonesia. This action increasingly confirms that Indonesian Islam has rightly become the model for implementing the norms of Islam as God’s blessings to the entire world. Aksi 212 has, in itself, produced a narrative that extends beyond the individual blasphemy case that inspired it. A plethora of popular press books have already emerged, sharing the stories of participants and attempting to establish the meaning that should be taken from the event. One of these books is called ‘Spirit 212: Cinta ini Menyatukan Kita’ (Spirit of 212: This Loves Unites Us). Another, called ‘Diary 212’, claims on the front page ‘Bukan sekadar Ahok’ (it is not just about Ahok). Posts and comments by netizens on various social media platforms have also sought to establish the meaning of 212, and this discussion has continued beyond 2016. In 2018, for instance, a significant 212 reunion was held in Jakarta within another sizeable crowd. These events and the depictions of the event have shaped a narrative that is presented as being about more than just Ahok. While this is the case, there is no doubting the impact of the blasphemy case and the backlash against Ahok in Jakarta on his 2017 campaign. These developments shook Ahok’s campaign and undoubtedly impacted his once significant lead in opinion polls. While fighting the blasphemy charges and the election campaign at the same time, Ahok clearly sought to address concerns about his confrontational style. In a widely televised debate between the candidates in January

The innovative technocrats in context 157 2017, Ahok seemed keen to return to his foundational narrative, while suggesting that he would be able to soften his approach: And of course I have been informed over these last four years that many citizens of Jakarta only see my demeanour . . . too over the top . . . too excited, and as a result the vision and mission that we have already delivered on, the programs which are already measured, it is lost . . . some people look at me as too temperamental, but I feel blessed that a portion of Jakartans see the real results, the rivers are cleaner . . . it is all visible, the service is better, especially . . . let me give you an example, I’m thankful to have Djarot [Ahok’s deputy governor] who can see what I have already done, and I also continue to learn, so I can learn from Djarot . . . so I can be like him, so if we are elected again, not only will our vision, mission and program be achieved, but this Ahok will become an I7 [referring to the intel processor model] not a Pentium like before in computer terms . . . so we will be better, and this misunderstanding can be avoided. (YouTube: CNN Indonesia 13 January 2017) Ahok and his deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat would later lose the election in the second round in April 2017 to Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno. A few weeks later, on the 9th of May, Ahok was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison. For many observers of Indonesian politics, this case has cast doubt over the trajectory of democracy and pluralism within the country. Some Indonesian citizens would counter that Ahok was wrong to talk in negative terms about a religion other than his own, and it was his own mistake that led to his downfall. Regardless of which side of this argument we come down on, in the context of this study, it presents an irregular but important example of how the ideational power of a leader like Ahok can collide with broader structural, institutional and even competing ideational factors. It is important, firstly, to note that while Ahok’s direct approach and use of anger may have contributed towards an error of judgement that opened up the possibility for blasphemy charges to be made against him, it is important not to overlook the importance of anger to Ahok’s claim-making as a representative. As we have seen, Ahok has long used anger and confrontation to construct a narrative about himself as someone willing to push back against some of the most hated aspects of inefficient bureaucracy and corruption within contemporary Indonesia, and opinion polls frequently demonstrated that Ahok was seen positively as tegas (assertive). However, representative claim-making, as Saward reminds us, is a dynamic process, and the ideational elements drawn on by leaders can be successful in some cases but not in others. Even before the blasphemy controversy, there had been an ongoing debate with Indonesian public discourse about whether Ahok’s confrontational style was a positive quality (Hatherell & Welsh 2017). Yet this debate shifted after the blasphemy allegation. Even so, Ahok’s approach to the final stages of his campaign may have in itself damaged his fortunes in the election – instead of continuing to present himself as an assertive


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leader, Ahok began to make claims about softening his approach, and later released a video that itself focused on identity (Pausacker 2017) – a theme that the innovative technocrats and Ahok himself had rarely employed to that point. The blasphemy allegations not only impacted how Ahok’s narrative was perceived but also seemed to shift Ahok’s own engagement in claim-making. Secondly, while we understandably focus on the nature of Ahok’s election loss, it is worth stepping back and assessing just how resilient Ahok’s store of ideational power was in the face of the many challenges he encountered in the lead up to the 2017 election. Ahok’s identity as a double minority (Chinese and Christian) had always made his political success less likely. In 2017 he faced two rival tickets that were supported by some of the most powerful individuals and political parties in Indonesia, and for much of the campaign Ahok, who had burnt several bridges with major political parties, had planned to run as an independent. Jakarta had become one of the most prized political offices in Indonesia, particularly as it had served Jokowi well as a springboard for his presidential campaign of 2014. One of the challengers, Anies Baswedan, was a former educational minister and was supported by Prabowo, the head of Partai Gerindra and one of Indonesia’s most prominent politicians. The other challenger, Agus Yudhoyono, was the son of Indonesia’s previous two-term president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The blasphemy allegations and the resulting rallies were perhaps the most damaging handicap that an elected official could face in contemporary Indonesia – particularly in a race for a city like Jakarta with a majority Muslim population. Despite all of these challenges, Ahok still won the first round of voting, achieving just short of 43 percent of the total vote in a three-candidate race. In a first past the post electoral system, Ahok would have won the election. However, under the two-ballot method employed for executive posts in Indonesia, the race went to a second stage, where the voters who had previously supported Agus Yudhoyono largely shifted to Anies Baswedan’s ticket. Through both rounds, Ahok maintained a solid base of support, including a significant number of Muslim voters. The basis of this support was clear – those who supported Ahok were still attached to his narrative – they saw him as having achieved real results in his time as governor. An exit poll from the second round of voting released by Indikator Politik Indonesia (2017), for instance, found that 32 percent of Muslim voters polled had still voted for Ahok, along with 96 percent of non-Muslims. Of those who had voted for Ahok, the most common reason was ‘there is already real evidence of the outcomes of his work’ (32 percent) followed by ‘experienced in government’ (17 percent), and ‘he is honest/free of the practice of corruption, collusion and nepotism’ (12 percent). This case also demonstrates, however, the power of alternative narratives and structural factors. In the same exit polling, of those who voted for Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno, by far the most common response was ‘their religion is the same as mine’ (57 percent) (Indikator Politik Indonesia 2017). The link between this reason for voting and the immense sense of common identity emerging from events like Aksi 212 is evident. The blasphemy allegation itself was important, but the impact of religion should also be considered through an ideational lens

The innovative technocrats in context 159 just like the technocratic claims presented in this book. Many different actors were involved in developing a movement that, even in the words of participants, was about more than just the rational response of informed voters to a candidate’s actions. The movement had its own narrative about the common sense of political identity amongst pious Muslims. Other narratives are also important. Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno were not content to rely on the blasphemy allegations alone and attempted to draw on technocratic claims like those surrounding their OK OCE concept of empowering local entrepreneurs. These claims appeared aimed at convincing a sufficient number of voters that they did not need to see the election as a trade-off between their identity and technocratic policy achievements. The success of Anies and Sandiaga in establishing their technocratic credibility arguably separated them from Agus Yudhoyono and his deputy Sylviana Murni in the first round of voting, defeating them by 39.95 percent to 17.07 percent of the total vote in order to move on to the second round against Ahok. Additionally, Ahok’s uncompromising approach to community relocations may have won support with some middle-class voters, but it unleashed a movement of those affected by this approach who were also an important factor. As Ian Wilson (2016) has noted, Resistance is also driven locally by resident’s forums, community leaders and urban poor advocacy, as well as support networks such as the Jakarta Urban Poor Network (JRMK) and Ciliwung Merdeka. Strategic actions have included class suits, street protests and vigils, and physical resistance to removal and neighbourhood beautification campaigns that challenge the characterisation of communities as slums. It is now common for evicted residents from one part of the city to be present at other evictions, reflecting a growing sense of inter-kampung solidarity. Beyond the disconnected mobilisations and shaky alliances there are two main positions on which there is consensus. One is that Ahok must go, an attitude often referred to by the acronym ABA (Asal Bukan Ahok) or ‘As long as it’s not Ahok’. As Wilson suggests, one aim of this activism was the generation of different ideas about Ahok’s leadership and his treatment of these communities. Class, interests and identity might shape the extent to which different members of the community respond to these ideas, but they are, in themselves, ideational challenges to Ahok’s broader technocratic narrative. This challenge aims not only to create solidarity amongst those affected but also to influence the perspectives of other members of the community. The case of the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election is rich in implications for how we think about the political narratives described in this book. We might consider this case as exceptional – particularly if we consider Ahok’s minority identity and his arguably reckless comments about the Quran. We might also consider the differences in tone between Ahok and Jokowi’s approach to evictions, and how Ahok’s particularly harsh approach to this policy affected his reputation amongst some of Jakarta’s poorest citizens. Yet this case also reveals the potential


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and limitations of the very particular narrative presented by the innovative technocrats. Ideational capital accrued through this form of claim-making does not, in itself, mean that these leaders can overcome competing structural, institutional or ideational challenges. Ahok was defeated in the end by a combination of dissatisfaction with his personal conduct, a growing narrative of Islamic political identity fuelled by the perception of his comments about the Quran, his challengers’ own technocratic claim-making and the perception of the harshness of Ahok’s eviction approach. The relative importance of these different factors is still debated, but in each case ideational elements are present. At the same time, Ahok’s ability to maintain support amongst a significant portion of the voting public in Jakarta should not be discounted and demonstrates the potential of the ideational capital that innovative technocrats can generate. And at the time of writing Ahok still retains a measure of this ideational capital. A film based on his early life called ‘A Man Called Ahok’ was released in November 2018 and was seen by over one million Indonesian viewers in its first nine days in cinemas. Ahok thanked those who had watched from his prison cell, posting a hand-written note on his Instagram profile that stated, To all the viewers of the film A man called Ahok, thank you for the support that has led to one million viewers already. Onward for truth, honesty, humanism and justice. (Instagram: Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, 17 November 2018) There remains, then, an interest in stories about Ahok. It is unclear, however, whether Ahok will be able to build on his remaining ideational power to return to Indonesian politics in the future.

Political narratives and the future of Indonesian politics While this book has focused on the narrative developed by the innovative technocrats, it is also important to think about alternative narratives that can operate at the national level in Indonesia. There are numerous ways of describing these broader narratives: within the literature, there has been considerable attention to concepts like ‘meta-narratives’ or ‘political myths’ (Bottici 2007). Schmitt (2018, p. 5), for instance, prefers to focus on political ‘myths’ and argued that they ‘matter because they provide significance to people, and are a way for them to make sense of their conditions of existence’. Whether we use the concept of political myth or simply the idea of political story or narrative (terms this book has used interchangeably), there is great value in considering the way in which prominent political representatives seek to connect claims together to develop broader political stories in order to generate ideational capital. In Chapter 1, we have already seen the extent to which these political stories defined both the Sukarno and Suharto periods, and these cases also remind us that significant political stories not only shape the fortunes of individual representatives but can also considerably shape the political terrain of a whole nation.

The innovative technocrats in context 161 After two decades without the depth of political storytelling evident during the Sukarno and Suharto years, the findings of this study suggest that three distinct political stories are now emerging, interacting and competing within contemporary Indonesian politics. Just like Sukarno and Suharto, each of these nationallevel narratives presents a story about Indonesia itself – its past, its present and its future. Each story contains characters (both good and bad) and links important events and trends. Most importantly, these narratives have a purpose – they are made up of claims that are political in nature. Political narratives may have benefit to organised human communities, but they emerge mainly because a political actor (individual or collective) has an interest in pursuing that narrative to sustain their own political power. The first of these narratives has been charted extensively throughout this book – the technocratic story of the innovative technocrats. This story presents Indonesia as a nation historically let down by ineffective and corrupt leadership, instability and a lack of talent. The solution to this problem, according to this narrative, is to allow those with the requisite skills and mindset to govern and to pursue pembangunan (development). A major theme of this technocratic narrative is the idea of bringing talent back home to benefit local communities and the whole nation. These talented individuals, the story goes, have honed their skills by working around Indonesia and internationally, and have proven that Indonesians can succeed in the international marketplace. Having done so, they have chosen to reluctantly enter the world of domestic politics. The innovative technocrats have drawn on this narrative and have established themselves as main characters in this story – they are the reluctant technocratic expert that Indonesian society needs in order to fix what is wrong. This story rejects the idea that the technocrats are politicians – they will interact with politicians and parties where needed, but they themselves will not become part of this world. More broadly, this story suggests that Indonesia’s main problem is power-hungry politicians with little ability. This is rarely an argument about class or the imposition of an elite, and it is a story with little to no interest in challenging the existing power structure. Instead, it is fundamentally a story about the importance of talent over raw hunger for power. The path to a better future, tellers of this story explain to us, will be built on innovation led by apolitical technocrats. Jokowi’s presidency is currently the most important foundation of this political story. Some of Jokowi’s claims as president have been presented in Chapter 3, demonstrating many consistent ideas and themes with those he employed as a mayor and governor. Yet the presidency is in many ways a different political office. As president, Jokowi has needed to make claims about delivering technocratic outcomes for more than 250 million citizens over the whole archipelago, while also engaging in foreign policy and national strategy. While Jokowi has played a role in foreign policy, his focus has undoubtedly been on domestic politics and particularly on the delivery of a technocratic agenda. This technocratic agenda has been described by Warburton (2016, p. 307) as ‘developmentalism’: Instead, I use ‘developmentalism’ to describe how ideas and practices associated with the developmental paradigm have risen to prominence under the


The innovative technocrats in context Jokowi administration . . . Jokowi and his administration are committed to this core developmental agenda and espouse a related set of narrow, pragmatic economic policy goals.

Whether we use the concept of technocracy (as I have throughout this book) or developmentalism, it is important not to confuse narratives that evoke these ideas with liberal democratic notions. Indeed, the innovative technocrats have never promised to pursue a liberal democratic agenda, even if some domestic and external observers may have hoped for this outcome. This point is captured elegantly by Muhtadi (2015, p. 361) when he argues that the way in which many of Indonesia’s popular local leaders understand democracy is ‘framed in concrete, instrumental terms, at the expense of abstract or philosophical conceptualisation’. We have seen throughout this book that the idea of innovative engagement is regularly framed by these leaders as instrumental – it is a method of producing better policy outcomes. This is true of Jokowi’s first term as president. Warburton (2016, p. 307) has noted that the new developmentalism is in many ways conservative; it is characterised by an aversion to politically sensitive problems of law reform, corruption, and even good governance. Such institutional challenges are, in the eyes of the president, subordinate to the more urgent goal of fast-paced economic development. In addition, Jokowi apparently believes that pursuit of a reformist agenda may jeopardise his hard-won political stability. Nor is Jokowi interested in pursuing a progressive approach to problems of civil and political rights or historical justice. In fact, although the Jokowi administration is not resurrecting the repressive tools of the New Order model, we can observe in this new developmentalism a growing impatience with liberal reform and an indifference towards human rights. Baker (2016) has suggested that these qualities can be connected back to Jokowi’s origins in Indonesia’s middle class, and as such, ‘these are not qualities of the man per se, but symptomatic of the Indonesian middle class and the unique political conditions under which it was formed’. These characteristics of Jokowi’s government have been more recently reinforced by Power’s (2018) argument that Jokowi took a further ‘authoritarian turn’ in 2018. As such, Jokowi’s favoured political narrative resembles aspects of Suharto’s political storytelling. As we have seen in Chapter 1, Suharto sought not only to reorder the political system around his rule but also to develop a compelling narrative very different to that of Sukarno. For Suharto, the favoured narrative of his regime rested on the idea that divisive politics should be avoided in order to advance pembangunan. It is interesting to note, then, how this narrative is echoed by aspects of Jokowi’s political story. As Warburton (2016, p. 315) argues, there are ‘uncanny echoes of the past in this new developmentalism. It recalls the New Order’s emphasis on pragmatic developmental programming and its rhetorical aspiration to “modernise” Indonesia’. We should go further, however, in exploring the relationship

The innovative technocrats in context 163 between the developmentalist message of the Suharto regime and the growing influence of innovative technocrats beyond just Jokowi. In their own way, all of the leaders discussed in this book have focused on the same type of narrative. We should also ask to what extent these ideas are attractive not only to the Indonesian public but also to citizens of many nations all around the world. While the growing technocratic narrative is still the most prominent, we have also seen a very clear attempt to develop an alternative narrative based on a populist appeal. As Chapter 3 has noted, Prabowo’s political narrative presents an image of an Indonesia historically dominated by greedy overseas empires and weak and selfish local elites. The story argues that this situation did not end with decolonisation and Indonesia’s independence – foreign powers, according to this story, have continued to seek Indonesia’s resources and to manipulate its politics. The solution, then, is a very different main character to that of the technocratic narrative. In the 2014 presidential campaign, Prabowo made representative claims about himself as the strong leader needed to protect Indonesia from being taken advantage of. His performances in the presidential debates at the time were aimed at presenting Prabowo as commanding and tough. His narrative during that campaign was consistent – Indonesia’s resources were leaking (kebocoran) outside of the country, and Indonesia was being taken manipulated. At the time of writing, there is clear evidence that Prabowo will further refine this narrative for the 2019 campaign, including adopting the Trumpian slogan ‘Make Indonesia Great Again’ (YouTube: detikcom 11 October 2018). There have also been other figures attempting to make claims based on this populist narrative, such as the recently retired head of Indonesia’s Defence Force and aspiring politician, Gatot Nurmantyo (Merdeka.com 5 June 2017). The populist story, too, did not emerge out of thin air. It has long historical roots in Indonesia and in the period before Indonesia’s independence. Sukarno, as we have seen, drew on populist appeals as part of his own political narrative, and it is unsurprising then, that Prabowo has sought to draw on some symbolic appeals to the Sukarno era. This was most evident during the 2014 campaign, when he appeared on horseback at a rally in Jakarta dressed in a white shirt and black peci that closely resembled that preferred style of dress of Sukarno. As Herriman (2014) argued at the time, Prabowo ‘presents himself as an aggressive nationalist. His fiery speeches, safari suits, even 1950s style microphone recall the father of Indonesia’s independence Sukarno, promising with typical nostalgic accuracy a great revival of Indonesia’. The populist and technocratic stories share one thing in common: they are both a response to the perceived failings of the existing political system, and particularly the political party system. Caramani (2017, p. 55), for instance, has argued that populism and technocracy are two ‘alternative ideal forms of representation to party government’, while Bickerton and Accetti (2017, p. 188) argue that there is also an important element of complementarity between them which so far has neither been studied nor thematized explicitly. This complementarity consists


The innovative technocrats in context in the fact that both populist and technocratic forms of discourse are predicated on the critique of a specific political form, which we refer to as party democracy.

Both the technocratic and populist narratives offer a compelling political story whereas previous post-reformasi politics was largely devoid of them. And leaders can, to some extent, draw on both of these forms of claim-making. Ahok drew on some populist claims during his time as governor of Jakarta, while Jokowi’s regime has featured some figures with their own populist appeals, such as Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti. Prabowo’s choice of deputy for the 2019 presidential election, Sandiaga Uno, is more at home making technocratic claims rather than populist ones. Yet the leader who wants to present a clear and compelling political narrative needs to make choices, particularly with few opportunities to shape the overall narrative of their campaign. The technocratic and populist stories are, fundamentally, very different in form, and mixing narrative elements risks confusing the overall message. To these stories we might add a third – that offered by political Islam. Like the previous two stories, political claim-making based on Islam has a long history within Indonesia. In broad terms, this story has changed little since the time of the independence movement: Indonesia is a nation shaped significantly by the adherence of the majority of its population to Islam, and as such Islam deserves special political recognition and a role in politics itself. These arguments were part of debates in the 1940s about recognition of Islam within the constitution and were also one element in the Darul Islam movement established by Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosoewirjo in the late 1940s. Given the size of Indonesia’s Muslim community, there is significant potential for popular political storytelling based on the status of Islam. At the same time, the particular nature of Islamic belief in Indonesia has always impacted the potential of this form of political narrative. Indonesia’s Muslim community is diverse and lacks a central point of political authority or even a common understanding of the most desirable role of the faith within politics. Kersten (2015, p. 288) points to two broad approaches, progressives and reactionaries, but notes that there remain significant differences even within these broad groups on questions of ‘state governance, civil society and individual liberty and freedom’. It is illustrative to note, for instance, that Indonesia’s only president to possess a background as an Islamic leader, Abdurrahman Wahid (1999–2001), belonged to the progressive school, and used his short time in office to craft a political narrative around tolerance and diversity rather than the Islamic religion. Indonesia’s more Islamic political parties, such as PKS and PPP, have largely resembled the other political parties in their political messages. In addition, most political figures in Indonesia are at least nominally Muslim, reducing some of the power of Islam as a source of opposition. As we have seen, however, this was not the case when it came to the large protests against Ahok. His leadership had always been a source of protest for some more radical Islamic organisations, but his re-election campaign and the blasphemy allegation provided the spark needed to build this opposition into

The innovative technocrats in context 165 something larger. The 212 protests in December 2016 were built on opposition to Ahok but became host to a range of other grievances and ideas. Clearly, there were elements of political manouvering behind the scenes, but we should also keep in mind the place of 212 in the context of the ideational domain. This particular movement provided some meaning for a large number of people who felt that it was missing within the existing political system. The potential for this particular narrative to sustain itself in the future, however, is less clear. The reunion of 212 in 2018 demonstrated the remaining power of Islam as an organising force, but it also demonstrated some confusion over the messaging of the movement. Debates raged on social media about the extent to which the reunion was a religious or political event. There were efforts to tie the reunion to the #gantipresiden (replace the president) movement, but the politicisation of 212 was rejected by others. One other common claim made about the 2018 reunion was the involvement of non-Muslims as a sign that the movement was tolerant of diversity. But with Ahok in prison and only a vague critique of the Jokowi government, it is unclear just how influential this Islamic political narrative can be. One point of agreement between progressive and reactionary Muslims, as Kersten (2015, p. 279) argues, is their frustration with ‘the resilience of Indonesia’s elite and its ability to manipulate the political process for their own interests’. Yet this is a source of frustration for most communities in Indonesia and lacks the specific religious content that sparked the protests against Ahok. We have also seen efforts by Indonesia’s leaders, including innovative technocrats, to adopt Islamic symbolism and relationships with religious figures to signify their religious credentials. Jokowi’s selection of Ma’ruf Amin as his deputy candidate for the 2019 presidential election is one intriguing example of this. Ma’ruf was one of the key actors in the movement against Ahok and testified against him at his trial. At the national level, then, Indonesia possesses three broad political narratives. This does not mean, of course, that these are the only ideational elements that representative claim-makers can draw upon. As one example, leaders at the local level often find fruitful resources for representative claims in local ethnic identity. Ideas surrounding the notion of the Putra Daerah (translated literally as ‘son of the region’ but contextually as ‘native-born leader’) have resonance in many parts of Indonesia, building on a sense of descriptive representation (Budiman 2014, pp. 189–190). Yet there are limitations to how far these ideas can be expanded, and particularly the impact they can have at the larger national level. These broader political narratives, including that of the innovative technocrats, have important implications for how we understand the future of Indonesian politics. Firstly, we should closely examine the relationship between political storytelling and political legitimacy. This book has been developed on the basis that it is not the role of the researcher, in the first instance, to assess the legitimacy of representative claim-making. Saward (2010, p. 147) makes this point clear in arguing that there is, obviously enough, an important democratic virtue in trusting the people to judge claims made about them and for them. All too often, democratic


The innovative technocrats in context theorists show minimal trust in the people. . . . The dominance of academic political theorizing by scholars based in the industrialized countries of the North provides all the more reason for a certain cultural humility in specifying too hastily what counts as a claim with democratic force, and what does not.

This does not mean that Saward sees no value for the researcher in questioning issues of democratic legitimacy, and I will return to this point next. It does mean, however, that we should perhaps pay more attention to the democratic legitimacy accrued from very successful forms of claim-making, such as that of the innovative technocrats described in this book. Given the growing apathy within Indonesian politics around 2010 and the lack of ideational bonds between political parties and the public, it is worth posing a counter-factual – what if Jokowi and the other innovative technocrats had not emerged when they did? What would be the state of Indonesian political discourse and public trust in the political system? Secondly, we should also remain vigilant to the interaction of different forms of representative claim-making and the structural and institutional underpinning of Indonesian politics. As Chapter 6 has argued, the structural reality of the political system does matter, as do the specific characteristics of political institutions. We already know a great deal about the interaction of structural forms of power and key political institutions. What deserves more attention, however, is the interaction between different ideational elements and the broader narratives that leaders draw on, as well as the ideational capital that they are able to develop. To return to our counter-factual, it is worth asking how other narratives may have fared without the rise of the innovative technocrats. How much more convincing would Prabowo’s populist narrative have been in 2014 if he was competing against candidates with a much lower level of ideational capital, such as Aburizal Bakrie or Megawati Sukarnoputri? How much more convincing would his story of elite weakness and corruption have been against these figures? Assuming a Prabowo victory, would his style of populist politics have had the same fracturing impact in Indonesia as Trump’s narrative has had in the United States? And would a form of political claim-making based on political Islam have found more success in a political system devoid of the innovative technocrats? Would it have found a unifying voice who could have used these narratives to develop their own ideational capital? These questions are particularly important, given the way in which political narrative or myths are ‘never fixed . . . [their] content, structure, and modes of diffusion are constantly being reinterpreted and actualized’ (Schmitt 2018, p. 5). Lastly, if we can gain a better understanding of the ideas that leaders draw on in their representative claim-making, we can better apply normative questions about the conduct of these claim-makers. Saward (2010, p. 151) argues, These points raise issues of the openness of the informational context in which claims are made and assessed, as part of the ‘conditions of judgment’. The actualization of actual constituents, along with the reception of claims by intended constituents, depends on many factors linked to the functioning

The innovative technocrats in context 167 of a tolerably open society. For example, are there plural sources of information on public or political debates in the society in question, and how readily available are they to differently positioned citizens and others? What is the reach and quality of public deliberation on the relevant issues? As such, assessing the extent to which representative engage in successful forms of claim-making does not mean that we should be uncritical of the conditions in which assessments are made. We should also be critical of political representatives who actively seek to impact the conditions of judgement in a way that hinders the ability of the public to effectively assess forms of representative claim-making. Power’s analysis (2018) of Jokowi’s ‘authoritarian turn’ clearly addresses this point, in exploring measures that will make it harder for different representative claims to receive a fair hearing. Where political actors make it difficult for different claims and ideas to be heard, we should bring this into our analysis of political representation. At the same time, as researchers and observers, we should be careful in letting our own normative judgements obscure our analysis of political representation. Where the political conditions allow relatively free judgements, there is great value in understanding which representative claims have received acceptance by an audience. This means a particular way of addressing the audience of the claim, effectively saying, It is up to you to judge. From a democratic standpoint, it is your job to adjudicate on the democratic credentials of representative claims, particularly those which seek to invoke you as a member of a constituency, making allegations about your character or wishes in the process. (Saward 2010, p. 146) Adopting this standpoint may not always be easy where the judgement of the audience differs to the researchers. This is true, perhaps, when it comes to liberal ideas of human rights, such as rights for minority communities or freedom of expression. There are likely to be occasions where the researcher or observers see the leader as a bad leader or even a bad person, but where they should equally be understood as a democratically legitimate representative. This does not mean that we should not be critical of these leaders – just that in doing so we are no longer purely discussing the empirical reality of political representation. The ideas of the innovative technocrats explored in this book have been presented in a political context where citizens are relatively free to assess, accept or reject them. Media ownership and power structures behind the scenes may play an important part in shaping who can make claims and the reach they can have, and this is important to keep in mind. Yet political competition has remained sufficiently open and competitive in Indonesia for the public to make judgements about competing claim-makers and the narratives they employ. In the future, our analysis of political representation in Indonesia could further focus on two important objectives. Firstly, we should continue to assess the state of the ‘conditions


The innovative technocrats in context

of judgement’ for representative claims. Where they degrade, narratives and ideas will still matter, but very few actors are likely to be in a position to shape these ideas. This was true, for instance, of the majority of the Suharto regime, where institutional and structural conditions were shaped in such a way that alternative claim-making was heavily restricted. Secondly, where political conditions allow alternative representative claims to compete, we should pay close attention to how these claims generate meaning that impacts political outcomes.

Political representation in Indonesia and beyond In his popular book ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, Noah Yuval Harari challenges some contemporary assumptions made about a ‘post-truth’ world, particularly following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Harari (2018, p. 233) instead argues, In fact, humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. Homo sapiens is a post-truth species, whose power depends on creating and believing fictions. Ever since the stone age, self-reinforcing myths have served to unite human collectives. Indeed, Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks above all to the unique human ability to create and spread fictions. . . . As a species, humans prefer power to truth. We spend far more time and effort on trying to control the world than on trying to understand it – and even when we try to understand it, we usually do so in the hope that understanding the world will make it easier to control it. Therefore, if you dream of a society in which truth reigns supreme and myths are ignored, you have little to expect from Homo sapiens. Better try your luck with chimps. Harari’s argument is aimed at a broad audience, yet its substance is familiar to a number of academic disciplines. Constructivists have for some time sought to explore the way in which intersubjective ideas shape political behaviour, and their approaches have begun to influence the way in which we study political representation. Saward’s notion of the representative claim, which has been drawn on extensively in this book, has immense potential to reshape the way we understand how political representation operates in empirical cases. Contemporary studies of populism, too, have drawn out the ideational nature of this political style and sought to understand the impact of the way in which populists employ very specific types of representative claims. There is still more to do, though, to understand political representation through an ideational lens. This book is based on the idea that deeper analysis of representative claim-making in a single empirical context can draw out important ideational elements that representatives employ. We are likely to find valuable insights in comparative analysis of representative claim-making and political narratives across cases. The similarities and differences between Jokowi’s political narrative and that of other local and regional leaders in Southeast Asia, for instance, would improve our understanding of which elements of representative

The innovative technocrats in context 169 claim-making are universal and which are truly ‘local’. How do the claims and the ideas used by Jokowi in his efforts to reform Solo compare to Rodrigo Duterte and his tough approach to reform in the city of Davao (Heydarian 2018, pp. 35–36)? How does Risma’s angry defence of public spaces in Surabaya compare to the performative claims of Chamlong Srimuang’s tenure as governor of Bangkok, a leader who ‘took a personal interest in enforcing his cleanliness edict’ and once pursued ‘a loaded city refuse truck which he saw spilling rubbish onto the road’ (McCargo 1997, p. 120)? Through further comparison of these representative claims, we can consider the extent to which ideas matter in different contexts and the unique interplay of ideational power with other forms of institution or structural power. There is, additionally, the potential for repertoires of representation to spread beyond borders – we may already be seeing this in Prabowo’s adoption of some of Trump’s campaign messages. There are, however, opportunities for further sharing of ideas about desirable (or undesirable) forms of representative claim-making. The findings of this study suggest that in further analysis of representative claims it is important to avoid too clear a separation between ‘substance’ and ‘symbolism’. Doing so risks ignoring the complex role that representatives play within a functioning political system. Good public policy decisions are ultimately one of the main purposes of electing representatives, but there is more to their role. Even when the ultimate aim is effective policy, there many different ways in which political representatives can approach this task. The idea of blusukan explored in this study is one such example: Jokowi has not only used his engagement in practices of blusukan to claim that he is engaging with the public but also that it leads to better policy decisions. The making of policy is never simply an objective scientific process and involves weighing up the interests and perspectives of different members of the community. Beyond public policy decisions, it is clear that political representatives often play an important symbolic role within a political system. Choices that representatives make about how they speak and what they say can have a significant impact on the nature of public discourse. The intense debate over Donald’s Trump’s approach to political representation provides a very good example of this fact. During his time in office, some of the criticism of Trump has certainly been based on his policy decisions, but his use of public discourse is also a critical factor in why different audiences see him as either a good or bad representative. Whichever side of the debate we may be on, it is clear that words and symbolic acts matter, and we often expect political representatives to perform in particular ways. This may include speaking for the audience to outsiders, providing healing words in times of turmoil or suffering, and helping to maintain peace between different communities. In all of these cases, policy and decisions over the allocation of resources may be relevant, but representatives must also make decisions about what they say and how they use their time to represent the audience effectively. Beyond the importance of individual claims, we should also consider how political storytelling itself plays a functional role within a society. In this book,


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the development of cohesive narratives has been suggested as something that can benefit a political claim-maker: by developing a cohesive and convincing story about themselves and their role in the broader environment, these leaders can enjoy rewards through the generation of ideational power. Yet, as the previous section has suggested, we should also think more broadly about the importance of compelling political narratives for a given political community. These narratives or stories can help to shape our sense of identity and belonging as well as developing cohesion and coordinated effort in the face of immense challenges. Certainly, political representatives should not be the sole creators or arbiters of these stories, but we should also not underestimate the extent to which the stories formed by these figures actually matter. Indeed, though academic interest in ideational factors may have intensified recently, there are many examples of historical political representatives who clearly demonstrate the value of political storytelling. Famous leaders including Pericles, Napoleon, Gandhi and Sukarno have simultaneously sought to make claims that benefit their own development of ideational power while also offering a given political community a story about themselves that they can either accept, reject or seek to reshape. This has certainly been the case in contemporary Indonesian politics, where innovative technocrats like Jokowi have devoted significant time, energy and political resources to the development of a coherent and compelling political story. As such, the findings of this book suggest that there is more going on within political representation than we may be aware. We should be more attentive to the discursive, performative and ultimately ideational aspects of political representation. We need to understand the way in which distinct ideational elements converge to produce narratives. We need to understand why some narratives succeed and others fail, and how multiple simultaneous narratives compete within a given political system, and even across borders. By exploring these questions in rich case study contexts like Indonesia, we can uncover important dynamics that have a significant impact on political outcomes.

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Abdullah Azwar Anas 131 Abdurrahman Wahid 47, 164 Ahok 1, 3–4, 38, 59, 67, 72–73; and anger 81–83, 86; and blasphemy allegation 91, 155–160, 164–165; and blusukan 89–91; and bureaucratic reform 87; and Chinese identity 86, 90; and direct election 149; and evictions 78–79, 159; and Jakarta election 135, 139, 155–160; and Jokowi 78, 83–84, 90–92; and kasar style 85–86; and polling 136; and populism 83, 164; and technocratic focus 77–78; and Teman Ahok 139 Aksi 212 156–157 aliran 15, 46–47 Atalia Praratya 123 audience 2–3, 8–9, 10–12, 20–31, 63, 65–67, 76, 79, 85–86, 141–143, 167–169

e-budgeting 87 Emil 97–98; and architecture 98–99; and awards 105–106; and Bandung Command Centre 102–103; and blusukan 102, 125; and Cihampelas skywalk 101–102; and community services 103–104; and direct elections 149; and electoral success 135–136; and humour 121–123; and innovation 104–105; and innovative engagement 117–118, 125–126; and international exemplars 99–100; and Nurdin Abdullah 97; and religious identity 107–110; and reluctant technocrat 98–101; and social media 118–126; and technocratic claims 102–110, 124–126 Emil Dardak 131–132 entrepreneurial parties 49–50 ethnic conflict 145

Bandung Command Centre 102–103 Basuki Tjahaja Purnama see Ahok Baswedan, Anies 159 blusukan 40, 62–64, 66, 68, 89–93, 117, 125

foreign investment 113–114 Front Pembela Islam (FPI) 80, 156

Cihampelas skywalk 97–101 constructivism 3–4, 5, 8, 10, 33–35, 168 culture 10, 24–25, 84–85, 154 decentralisation 14, 43–44, 143–144 deliberative turn 5–6, 46, 64 democracy 7, 46, 64, 157, 162 democratic legitimacy 24–25, 33, 165–168 descriptive representation 107, 165 developmentalism 161–162 direct democracy 7, 64 direct elections 15, 43–44, 143–144, 148–149 dolly district 79–81

Gerindra 33, 49–50, 138 healthcare cards see healthcare programs healthcare programs 40, 45, 57–58, 104, 114, 141 ideational elements 3–4, 10, 25–31, 85–86, 157, 160, 165, 168 ideational power 3, 33–35, 157–160, 169–170; and institutions 143–150; and structural power 132–143 independence movement 12–13, 163 Indonesian media 28–29, 54–55, 62–63, 65, 68, 79, 81–82, 88–89, 90; and ownership 30–31, 138–139, 167 innovation 11–12, 66, 87, 104–105, 109, 131, 147–148



institutional design 143–149 institutional engineering see institutional design interpretivism see constructivism Islam 13, 32, 80, 107–110, 116, 155–160, 164–165 Jokowi 2, 4, 38–39; and blusukan 62–66; and childhood 39; and democracy 64; and developmentalism 162; and direct election 148; and electoral success 134, 142–143; and emergence 39–40, 52; and ideational capital 138; and media 30, 63; and mufakat 65–66; and musyawarah 65–66; and Nurdin Abdullah 112, 117; and oligarchic support 137–138; and pencitraan 27, 40; and populism 40, 153; and presidency 5, 27, 161–162; and social media 118–119; and street traders 52–56; and Suharto 162; and Taman Banjarsari 52–56; and technocracy 42, 57; and technocratic claims 56–61; and volunteers 139 Joko Widodo see Jokowi liberal democracy 6, 162, 167 Megawati Sukarnoputri 15, 47, 134, 138 mufakat 65–66 musyawarah 65–66 nationalism 12–13, 32 nguwonke wong 55–56 Nurdin 98; and Bantaeng 110–112, 114–116; and blusukan 117; and electoral success 135–136; and innovative engagement 116–117; and investment 113–114; and Japan 113; and politics 112; and reluctant technocrat 110–112; and technocracy 110–116 Nurdin Abdullah see Nurdin oligarchy 5, 30, 48, 138, 143 oligarchy thesis see oligarchy open offices 64, 90–91 Pancasila 32, 146 Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP) 39, 47, 67, 134, 138 Partai Demokrat 29, 49–50

Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) 51, 164 Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) 47 party nationalisation 145–147 party system 144–149 patronage 5, 31–32 pencitraan 26–27, 40, 63 pesantren 108 political Islam see Islam political legitimacy see democratic legitimacy political narrative see political storytelling political storytelling 2–4, 8–9, 153–154, 160–166, 170 politik aliran see aliran populism 6, 14, 33, 66, 68, 83, 163–164, 168; and innovative technocrats 40–43, 153; and technocracy 163–164 Prabowo Subianto 21, 26, 33, 41–42, 60, 134, 148–149, 163–164, 166 representative claim, the 4–5, 8–11, 20–25 representative repertoires 11–12, 31–33 Ridwan Kamil see Emil Risma 72–73; and anger 81–82, 84, 87–89; and blusukan 91–93; and bureaucratic reform 87–89; and Dolly 79–81; and electoral success 134; and innovative engagement 89–93; and media 89; and parks 73–77; and public space 75–76; and religion 79–80; and Taman Bungkul 73–75, 81–82; and technocratic claims 79–81 Sandiaga Uno 159 Saward, M. 9–11, 20–21, 24, 165–167 social media 29–31, 118–126 Solo 52, 59 street traders 52–57, 62–63 structural power 3–5, 34, 133–143, 148–150, 166–169 Suharto 14–15, 42, 47, 162–163 Sukarno 13–14, 162–163 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 29–30, 49–50, 120, 149, 158 technocracy 40–42, 56–58, 161–164 Tilly, C. 11, 46 Tri Rismaharini see Risma wong cilik 62, 66