Political Dynasties and Women Candidates in Indonesia’s 2019 Election

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Abstract

In this article, we provide evidence suggesting that almost half (44 per cent) of female candidates elected to Indonesia’s national parliament in 2019 were members of political dynasties. Providing detailed data on the backgrounds of these candidates, including by party and region, we argue that several factors have contributed to their rise. Parties are increasingly motivated – especially in the context of a 4 per cent parliamentary threshold – to nominate candidates who can boost their party’s fortune by attracting a big personal vote. Members of political dynasties (especially those related to regional government heads and other politicians entrenched in local power structures) have access to financial resources and local political networks – increasingly important to political success in Indonesia’s clientelistic electoral system. We show that the rise of these dynastic women candidates is not eliminating gender bias within parties, but is instead marginalising many qualified female party candidates, including incumbents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-49
JournalJournal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • affirmative action
  • elections
  • gender quotas
  • Indonesia
  • political dynasties
  • women’s political representation

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