Jokowi’s Indonesia: A Preliminary Assessment, Freiburg, 27 February 2015


Jokowi’s Indonesia: A Preliminary Assessment

A Seminar organized by the Southeast Asian Studies Program and FRIAS Research Group Southeast Asia

In Cooperation with the Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS)

University of Freiburg, 27 February 2015, 11.00 – 16.00

In 2014, the second five-year term of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono came to an end. Many pundits thus rated Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential elections to determine Yudhoyono’s successor as critical for the country’s democratic consolidation, economic performance and role in global and regional affairs. The two candidates, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) and Prabowo Subianto, could hardly have offered starker alternatives. Jokowi, representing a new generation of leaders, with highly successful stints as mayor of Surakarta (Central Java) and governor of Jakarta, had the reputation of a corruption-free, hands-on public manager and good rapport with the people. Reformist forces in Indonesia placed high hopes in him to successfully address Indonesia’s still numerous deficits on its trajectory from an autocratic political system to a full-fledged democracy. His opponent, Prabowo Subianto, the former son-in-law of long-time strongman Suharto and an ex-military officer with a questionable human rights record, was seen by many as a holdover of the ancien régime . He sought to attract voters with promises of decisive leadership and a heavily populist agenda. After a heated election campaign, Jokowi prevailed narrowly and was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president in October 2014. Since then, many have been disillusioned with Jokowi’s leadership (or the lack thereof), contending that he has not been able to free himself from the influence of established elites. Against this background, the seminar organized by the Freiburg Southeast Asia program and the Southeast Asia Research Focus of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS) on 27 February 2015 seeks to assess Jokowi’s first four months in office. It seeks to analyze the policies of his government in a range of policy fields, and to determine the extent to which Jokowi has so far managed to live up to his election promises.


Venue: Conference Room 01014 (1st floor), Wilhelmstr. 26, 79098 Freiburg

10.30 – 11.00     Registration
11.00 – 11.10     Welcome and Introduction to the Seminar Theme
Jürgen Rüland, Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg and FRIAS

Panel 1

11.10 – 12.45     Jokowi’s Presidency: An Early Scorecard
Marcus Mietzner, Australian National University

Jokowi and Contemporary Political Studies on Indonesia: How Does He Fit In?
Michael Buehler, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Moderation: Stefan Rother, FRIAS

12.45 – 13.45     Lunch

Panel 2

13.45 – 15.30     Jokowi’s Presidency: An Activist’s Perspective
Basilisa Dengen, Watch Indonesia, Berlin

Indonesia in 2015: An Institutional and Economic Perspective
Christian von Lübke, Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg

Indonesia’s Foreign Policy: Normative Agenda versus Realpolitik
Jürgen Rüland, Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg and FRIAS

Moderation: Joseph Capuno, University of the Philippines, Manila and FRIAS

Panel Discussion

15.30 – 16.00     Outlook for the Jokowi Administration
Moderation: Günther Schulze, International Economics, University of Freiburg and FRIAS

16.00                     End of the workshop

If you would like to register for the event, please send an email to not later than 23 February.