Covid-19 and Political Polarisation in Indonesia

16 November 2020 – 10am BST/GMT [5pm Bangkok/Hanoi/Jakarta/Phnom Penh/Vientiane; 6pm Manila/Singapore/KL]

Over the past four years,  Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his allies have faced a sustained political challenge from a loose alliance of conservative Islamic organisations. The strength of this alliance has ebbed and flowed during this time, and after President Jokowi’s successful re-election as president in 2019, it looked set to disintegrate almost completely. However, the Covid-19 pandemic – which has hit Indonesia hard – has provided a new set of grievances upon which this alliance aims to revive their political opposition.

This session will offer an explanation of this conservative Islamic alliance, explore how Joko Widodo administration has dealt with them prior to the pandemic, and how the government’s Covid-19 response has revitalised opposition towards Joko Widodo. It will specifically look at how the alliance has transformed and what particular issues it has promoted during the pandemic.

Chris Chaplin is a Senior Research Analyst, specialising on Southeast Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. He has done extensive academic research on Islamic activism, social movements, and postcolonial citizenship in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He has published extensively on these topics in international academic journals and scholarly volumes. 

Dr Adam Tyson is a Lecturer in Southeast Asian Politics at the University of Leeds and a member of the ASEAS Executive Committee.


This event was also live streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
You can watch a video of the recorded event below.

ASEAS(UK) Online Event: Covid-19 and Political Polarisation in Indonesia