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Ethnicity and its Role in Local Elections in the Context of Transmigration: Case Studies from Lampung, Indonesia

Warganegara, Arizka (2018) Ethnicity and its Role in Local Elections in the Context of Transmigration: Case Studies from Lampung, Indonesia. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Warganegara_A_Geography_PhD_2018.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
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The Indonesian political system has moved away from authoritarianism and has become more democratic. As a result, broad features of social and political change have been observed during the reform period. Further, decentralisation has provided a more democratic electoral system in Indonesia. The mode of election of local officials has been changed from an indirect to a direct one. Since 2005, local leaders – governors, city mayors and heads of regency – along with provincial and local assembly members have been chosen by voters. As a consequence, there has been a resurgence in ethnic identity in local elections. This thesis looks at the intersection of ethnicity and local politics in the context of elections for the posts of mayor and head of regency in Lampung. Lampung in the south of Sumatra has an unusual ethnic make-up because in the past 100 years both the Dutch colonial administration and Indonesian Government have been implementing a transmigration programme, attempting to move people from densely populated areas to less densely populated ones. The result is not only an extremely mixed society but also conditions in which the local population has become an ethnic, and sometimes religious, minority in its own homeland. In this thesis, I select three case study areas in Lampung. One is the provincial capital, which can be considered multi-ethnic, but the other two are dominated by Javanese, who have held positions of political power as an outcome of the last three local elections. My research leads me to argue that there is a revival of ethnicity and transmigrant political identity in local elections in the transmigration-affected areas, with a power balance struck between Javanese and Lampungese in these areas. However, in an area unaffected by transmigration, ethnic sentiment plays second fiddle to a number of other factors, including the performance of the incumbent. My argument thus runs contrary to that of a number of scholars working on similar issues in other parts of Indonesia, who see ethnicity and ethnic organisations playing a diminishing political role in local elections.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: local election, transmigration, ethnicity, identity, ethnic politics, Lampung, Indonesia
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Arizka Warganegara
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2019 14:11
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 14:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23128

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