Roundtable Discussion on the Indonesian Elections: Process, Outcome, Implications

Hosted by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre

Room MAR 1.04, and online via Zoom


Ben Bland

Ben Bland

Director, Asia-Pacific programme, Chatham House

Sofie Syarief

Sofie Syarief

Journalist, PhD Student, Goldsmiths University of London

Professor Sarah Shair-Rosenfield

Professor Sarah Shair-Rosenfield

University of York


Prof. John Sidel

Prof. John Sidel

SEAC Director, Sir Patrick Gillam Chair in International and Comparative Politics

As the two-term presidency of Joko Widodo (‘Jokowi’) draws to a close, the 2024 parliamentary and presidential elections promise to set the stage for a new phase in Indonesian political life. Against this backdrop, the LSE’s Southeast Asia Centre has brought together three experts on Indonesian politics to discuss the election campaign, the results, and the implications for Indonesia’s future: 

Ben Bland, Director of the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, former Financial Times correspondent in Indonesia, and author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia (Lowy Institute, 2020); Sofie Syarief, veteran Indonesian television journalist, PhD student in Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London; and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Professor of Politics at the University of York and author of Electoral Reform and the Fate of New Democracies: Lessons from the Indonesian Case (University of Michigan Press, 2019)

The participants will present their preliminary interpretations of the election campaign, the early results of the parliamentary and presidential elections, and the implications for Indonesian politics, then opening the floor up to discussion and debate with the audience.

This event was recorded and the video can be watched here


Speaker and Chair Biographies:

Ben Bland is the director of the Asia-Pacific programme at Chatham House. His research focuses on the nexus of politics, economics and international relations in Southeast Asia, as well as China’s growing role in the broader region and the contours of US-China strategic competition. He was formerly the director of the Southeast Asia programme at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think-tank.

Sofie Syarief is an Indonesian senior television journalist with 15 years of experience and currently a second year PhD student in the Department of Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies of Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research is on the topic of power and Indonesian alternative news media. Working closely with ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, Sofie has several publications on issues regarding media, democracy, and public policy in Indonesia. 

Professor Sarah Shair-Rosenfield’s areas of specialisation include comparative politics, political institutions, gender, and Southeast Asia. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina (2012), and she was an associate professor at Arizona State University and then senior lecturer at the University of Essex prior to joining York in 2023. She is Editor-in-Chief of Political Studies (along with York politics colleagues Monica Brito-VieiraGraeme Davies, and Daphne Halikiopoulou), has recently convened multiple early career training programmes funded by the British Academy and American Political Science Association, and is a co-founder of the Women in Southeast Asian Social Sciences (WiSEASS) network.

Prof. John Sidel is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, and the Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Professor Sidel received his BA and MA from Yale University and his PhD from Cornell University. He is the author of Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines (1999), Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century: Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Trajectories (2000), Riots, Pogroms, Jihad: Religious Violence in Indonesia (2006), The Islamist Threat in Southeast Asia: A Reassessment (2007), Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines (2020, with Jaime Faustino) and Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia (2021).

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash