Indonesia Inquiry

Public Opinion in Indonesia (Annotated Bibliography)

October 28, 2014 Annotated Bibliographies Data Research Resources 0

Public Opinion in Indonesia (Annotated Bibliography)

Compiled by: Regina Salinas

Directed Individual Study, Fall 2014

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Benny, Guido. 2011. “The Indonesian Nationalism and Perceived Threats of Neighbouring Countries: Public Opinion toward the ASEAN Community.” International Journal on Social Science, Economics and Art 2 (January): 38-44.

Inspired by the European regionalism, ten ASEAN countries commenced their aspiration for ASEAN Community which is broad minded; living peacefully, steady, and prosperous; bounded together in a partnership and in a dynamic development in a caring community. However, contrasted with the European Union, the formation process of ASEAN Community lacks of the involvement of the public. This paper describes the results of a field survey of public opinion in Indonesia on nationalism sentiment and the predicted ASEAN community establishment’s impact to national security, national identity, national sovereignty, and the threat perceptions from other countries. Survey results discover some interesting findings. Contrary to the prerequisite of regional integration, the nationalism and national identity in the mass society is still high and this can be detrimental to the establishment of ASEAN Community, when it continuously unattended. The trend of over-nationalism in the public is also worrying as the public perceived their neighbouring country as the threat on national sovereignty.

Benny, Guido, and Kamarulnizam Abdullah. 2011. “Indonesian Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the ASEAN Community.” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 30 (January): 39-67.

The major criticism of the ASEAN Community idea is its elitist approaches. It lacks the most crucial components that have brought about the success of other similar regional organizations such as the European Union (EU): the involvement of the general public in the formation process. This study, therefore, analyses to what extent the Indonesian public understands and perceives the proposed regional community idea. By using statistical tests, the study accesses several interlinked factors such as knowledge about the ASEAN Community concept, perception of the process of establishment of the regional community, and perceived achievement of ASEAN as a regional organization to understand the Indonesian public’s attitude. The study found that despite Indonesian respondents’ relative lack of knowledge on the proposed formation of the ASEAN Community, they are indeed supportive of the idea. They also show some support for the proposed creation of the regional community under its three core pillars, namely the Security Community, Economic Community, and Socio-Cultural Community. Furthermore, the Indonesian respondents also perceive that the formation of the community would be beneficial not only to their country, but also to the society and economy.

Brown. Collin. 2003. “From Revolution to Authoritarian Rule: 1945-1957.” A Short History of Indonesia: the Unlikely Nation? ed. Milton Osbourne. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 177, 200.

The chapter addresses other nation’s public opinion influences on Indonesian government, as well as the emergence of Indonesian public opinion surrounding democracy and a free market economy.

The International Republican Institute. 2012. “Aceh, Indonesia Provincial Opinion Poll.” May 28. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2012%20July%2023%20Survey%20of%20Aceh%20Public%20Opinion%2C%20May%207-28%2C%202012.pdf (October 5, 2014).

The Aceh provincial survey, which was conducted May 7-28, 2012, provides views on the direction of the province, citizen satisfaction towards local government services, policies and institutions within Aceh, as well as information on voters’ perceptions of the local elections held on April 9, 2012.

The International Republican Institute. 2011. “Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, Indonesia Provincial Opinion Poll” August 22. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/flip_docs/Aceh_Poll_Aug_2011/HTML/index.html (October 5, 2014).

The poll, conducted August 6-22, 2011, is a comprehensive analysis of attitudes regarding the Acehnese economic, social and political landscape. The goal of IRI’s survey research program is twofold – gauging public opinion and using this information in conjunction with IRI’s work with Indonesia’s political parties.

The International Republican Institute. 2012. ” Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia Provincial Opinion Poll.” February 14. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2012%20May%203%20Survey%20of%20Indonesian%20Public%20Opinion%2C%20January%2012%20-%20February%2014%2C%202012.pdf (October 5, 2014).

The Nusa Tenggara Timur survey, which was conducted January 12 – February 14, 2012, provides views on the direction of the province, citizen satisfaction towards local government services, policies and institutions, perceptions of corruption and the level of citizen participation, including youth and women’s participation, within the province.

The International Republican Institute. 2012. “South Sulawesi, Indonesia Provincial Opinion Poll.” February 1. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2012%20April%2019%20South%20Sulawesi%20Provincial%20Survey%2C%20January%2012-February%201%2C%202012.pdf (October 5, 2014).

The South Sulawesi provincial survey (PDF), which was conducted January 12-February 1, 2012, provides views on the direction of the province, citizen satisfaction towards local government services, policies and institutions, as well as information on perceptions of corruption and the level of citizen participation, including youth and women’s participation within the South Sulawesi province.

The International Republican Institute. 2008. “Survey of Indonesian Public Opinion” June 1. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2008%20August%2015%20Survey%20of%20Indonesian%20Public%20Opinion,%20May%2016-June%201,%202008.pdf (October 5, 2014).

The poll was conducted May 16-June 1, 2008, by Polling Center based in Indonesia Oversight. On August 13, IRI presented the survey findings to leaders from all 34 national political parties contesting in the upcoming 2009 legislative elections, as well as government election officials and representatives from nongovernmental organizations supporting Indonesia’s electoral process. Key findings in the public opinion poll included: nearly 80 percent of those surveyed indicated they would be more likely to vote for a political party that nominated women and young people as legislative candidates, a majority of voters would support political party reform initiatives, such as public disclosure of party finances, sixty percent of respondents did not check to see if their names were on the 2004 voters’ list and more than half of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the performance of the current national and local legislatures.

The International Republican Institute. 2013. “Survey of Indonesia Public Opinion.” June 27. http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2013%20September%2017%20Survey%20of%20Indonesian%20Public%20Opinion%2C%20June%2019-27%2C%202013.pdf (October 5, 2014).

The poll, conducted June 19-27, 2013, found that the economy and corruption are the two issues that concern Indonesians the most. When asked to what extent they felt each was a problem, 61 percent of respondents identified corruption as a very serious problem, 43 percent said the same about price increases, as did 42 percent in regards to unemployment. Notably, Indonesians are generally positive about the elections and a majority felt that they will be credible. Indonesians reported a strong inclination to vote in the 2014 parliamentary elections, with 76 percent saying that they would definitely vote. Survey data revealed a high number of undecided voters indicating that the race is still very fluid. The data collected will be used in IRI’s programming prior to the 2014 national elections in Indonesia to assist political parties in creating electoral platforms which address the issues of greatest concern to the Indonesian people.

King, Dwight. 2003. Half-hearted Reform: Electoral Institutions and the Struggle for Democracy in Indonesia. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

King provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the reforms in the core institutions of democratic representation, political parties, public opinion, elections, and legislatures that led the way from late 1998 through 2001. These reforms are placed in historical perspective, compared both with the electoral institutions of Suharto’s New Order and with the first democratic election in 1955. King also examines the political struggles during the legislative process and identifies the compromises reached between hardliners and reformers. The new electoral policies are juxtaposed to actual practices—implementation—during the 1999 election at both the national and subnational levels, the latter through a case study in the heartland of Java.

Mboi, N. 2014. “A Consummate Insider Pushes Ideas from Outside Indonesia.” Science 345 (July): 162-163.

The article presents an interview with the Indonesian health minister Nafsiah Mboi on her efforts to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS in her country. Topics of discussion included public opinion surrounding Mboi’s public health policies, Mboi’s implementation of harm reduction policies including needle exchanges by non-governmental organizations, and Mboi’s efforts to distribute condoms in Indonesia.

McDougall, Derek and Kingsley Edney. 2010. “Howard’s Way? Public Opinion as an Influence on Australia’s Engagement with Asia, 1996-2007.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 64 (April): 205-224.

Using the typology developed by Douglas Foyle, this article argues that John Howard behaved as a ‘pragmatist’ in dealing with situations where public opinion was relevant to Australia’s engagement with Asia. Howard adhered to his own views on the relevant issues while attempting to lead public opinion in the direction he believed desirable. During the 1996-2007 period the most relevant issues relating to the impact of public opinion on Australia’s Asian engagement were Australia’s relations with Indonesia and Asian immigration. In the case of Australian-Indonesian relations the Howard government had to deal with various situations where an activated public opinion threatened to undermine the long term Australian approach that gave primacy to Indonesian concerns. Political leadership entailed developing a response that the government believed to be appropriate to Australia’s long term objectives, while also attempting to persuade the public that this was the case. In the second instance policy developed in a more ‘deliberative’ context: Howard modified his earlier stance that was critical of Asian immigration, but continued to adhere to a strongly ‘integrationist’ position. This position was consistent with both his own views and his perception of public attitudes on the matter.

Moorthy, Ravichandran and Guido Benny. 2013. “Does Public Opinion Count? Knowledge and Support for an ASEAN Community in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 13 (September): 399-423.

Scholars have remarked that the decision-making process in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is largely elitist in nature and concentrated within the higher echelon of leadership, with little public participation. Since ASEAN is moving toward community building by the year 2015, questions arise on whether the people are consulted, aware, and support this initiative – which is the focus of this article. The authors argue that increased awareness and knowledge of the public regarding the ASEAN Community initiative will eventually translate into increased support. Against this background, this article analyzes the extent the public in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are aware of and support the proposed initiative, based on public opinion surveys conducted by the authors in these countries. To support the discussion, this article also employs the Pearson chi-square test to analyze the relationship between public awareness and support for the ASEAN Community.

Mujani, Saiful, and R. William Liddle. 2004. “Politics, Islam, and Public Opinion” Journal of Democracy 15 (January): 109-123.

While many Muslims in Indonesian the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country believe that laws should be broadly in accord with Islam, relatively few support policies advocated by Islamist activists. At the mass level, Islamism is a rural rather than an urban phenomenon. Islamist leaders may be alienated urbanites, but their followers are disproportionately rural and subscribe to a particularly rural-Indonesian understanding of religion and society. Indonesia’s largest Muslim social organizations are significant obstacles to the further growth of Islamism. Not only are their leaders tolerant and pluralistic, but their broader memberships seem immune to Islamism’s allure.

Njoto-Feillard, Gwenael. 2014. Bangkok Post. “Will IS infect Indonesia’s tolerant Islam?” October 2. http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/435444/will-is-infect-indonesia-tolerant-islam (accessed September 14, 2014).

Like other parts of the Muslim world, Jakarta has been confronted by the growth of the Islamic State (IS). For months, the organisation has been trying to recruit new members in Indonesia. Several factors have changed since the 2000s. The chaos currently affecting parts of the Middle East — covered daily on Indonesian TV — is acting as a strong deterrent for public opinion.

Pepinsky, Thomas. 2011. “Islam, Ethnicity, and Global Engagement.” APSA Annual Meeting Paper (August): 1-32.

Religious revivalism and ethnicity have unclear consequences for Muslims’ engagement with different global communities. For instance, while religious revivalism may increase the salience of relations with the Muslim world, this need not come at the expense of the salience of relations with other global communities. This is because political identities are both multidimensional and non-exclusive, two features that existing empirical research on political identity has not adequately captured. Analyzing original survey data from Indonesia using statistical techniques that preserve both the multidimensionality and non-exclusivity of political identity, this paper shows that religion has a cosmopolitan rather than particularistic influence on public opinion about global engagement among Indonesian Muslims. Javanese ethnicity has a countervailing relationship on engagement with the Muslim world, but not with other global communities. These findings contribute to important debates on religion and global public opinion in the Muslim world, as well as to recent debates in Indonesian studies about the relative salience of religion versus region. Methodologically, they introduce new empirical tools for scholars of political identity (and other multidimensional, non-exclusive ordered choice problems) that match the conceptual bases of contemporary research.

Pepinsky, Thomas. 2010. ” Politics, Public Opinion, and the U.S.-Indonesian Comprehensive Partnership.” National Bureau of Asian Research 25 (November): 2-5.

This article discusses the U.S.-Indonesian comprehensive partnership with respect to Indonesian public opinion and the challenges of political accountability in Indonesia’s young democracy.

Wagner Steve. 1999. Summary of Public Opinion Preceding the Parliamentary Elections in Indonesia: 1999. Washington DC: International Foundation for Election Systems.

This book presents the results of various surveys of public opinion conducted in Indonesia from December 1998 to February 1999. Indonesian public opinions were assessed on a set of fundamental principles related to the political and economic evolution of Indonesia, during the period preceding the parliamentary elections.

Warren, Carol. 2012. “Risk and the Sacred: Environment, Media and Public Opinion in Bali.” Oceania 82 (November): 294-307.

This exploration of controversies over environmental regulation in the Indonesian province of Bali traces the relationship between the media, environmental attitudes and Balinese identity, focusing on the religious dimension of that identity and the ways in which this has become bound up with conceptions of environmental imbalance and a popular critique of capitalist development on the island. The fusion of cultural and environmental metaphors of ‘erosion’ and ‘preservation’ in public discourse is striking in the Balinese case, since sites of great spiritual significance are also attractive to investors for their aesthetic appeal and heritage value (Verschuuren et al. 2010). From the earliest emergence of environmental conflict on the island, the emotive power of cultural identity became intimately connected with environmental politics. This article traces several of the pervasive and interconnected dichotomies – sacred and profane, cultural value and economic interest, environmental preservation and use (exploitation), certainty and uncertainty (risk) – that characterize debates surrounding environmental regulation and development on the island.

Additional resources compiled by Camila Costadoni (March 30, 2015):

Adamson, Clarissa. 2007. “Gendered Anxieties: Islam, Women’s Rights, and Moral Hierarchy in Java.” Anthropological Quarterly (Winter): 5-37.

This paper examines debates that occur in the course of Muslim women’s rights advocacy in Java, Indonesia, to provide critical ethnographic insights into the ways that gender issues and notions of family are implicated in political consciousness about nationhood, religious identity, boundaries, and governance. Javanese Muslim women’s rights activists focus on the historical contextualization of religious doctrine to argue against what they see as misguided interpretations of Islam that threaten to control women. This paper examines these efforts through a close reading of the discursive shifts and arguments that take place in the context of programs designed to promote women’s rights in Islamic education in Java. It argues that the challenge for women’s rights activists and intellectuals is to locate the ways that moderate or normative social and religious values can combine during times of change or crisis to reinforce a moral hierarchy of gender relations and an “idea of woman” in an attempt to control such change. The paper demonstrates that in Java, a moral hierarchy of gender relations, mimetically extended from family to nation, dovetails with religious interpretations to resolve anxieties about social change and security through the control of women.

Alatas, Vivi,Lisa Cameron, Ananish Chaudhuri, et al. 2009. “Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis.” Southern Economic Journal 75 (January): 663-680.

In recent years, a substantial body of work has explored the differences in the behavior of men and women in a variety of economic transactions. We contribute to this literature by investigating gender differences in behavior when confronted with a common bribery problem. Our study departs from the previous literature on gender and corruption by using economic experiments. Based on data collected in Australia (Melbourne), India (Delhi), Indonesia (Jakarta) and Singapore, we show that while women in Australia are less tolerant of corruption than men in Australia, there are no significant gender differences in the propensities to engage in and punish corrupt behavior in India, Indonesia and Singapore. Hence, our findings suggest that the gender differences reported in the previous studies may not be nearly as universal as stated and may be more culture-specific. We also explore behavioral differences by gender across countries and find that there are larger variations in women’s behavior towards corruption than in men’s across the countries in our sample.

Iskandar, Livia, Kathryn L. Braun, and Alan R. Katz. “Testing the Woman Abuse Screening Tool to Identify Intimate Partner Violence in Indonesia.” Journal Of Interpersonal Violence30, no. 7 (April 2015): 1208-1225.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a global public health problem. IPV prevalence in Indonesia has been estimated to be less than 1%, based on reported cases. It is likely that IPV prevalence is underreported in Indonesia, as it is in many other countries. Screening for IPV has been found to increase IPV identification, but no screening tools are in use in Indonesia. The aim of this study was to test the translated Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST) for detecting IPV in Indonesia. The WAST was tested against a diagnostic interview by a trained psychologist on 240 women attending two Primary Health Centers in Jakarta. IPV prevalence and the reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of the WAST were estimated. Prevalence of IPV by diagnostic interview was 36.3%, much higher than published estimates. The most common forms of IPV identified were psychological (85%) and physical abuse (24%). Internal reliability of the WAST was high (α = .801). A WAST score of 13 (out of 24) is the recommended cutoff for identifying IPV, but only 17% of the Indonesian sample scored 13 or higher. Test sensitivity of the WAST with a cutoff score of 13 was only 41.9%, with a specificity of 96.8%. With a cutoff score of 10, the sensitivity improved to 84.9%, while the specificity decreased to 61.0%. Use of the WAST with a cutoff score of 10 provides good sensitivity and reasonable specificity and would provide a much-needed screening tool for use in Indonesia. Although a lower cutoff would yield a greater proportion of false positives, most of the true cases would be identified, increasing the possibility that women experiencing abuse would receive needed assistance.

Jacubowski, Nadja. 2008. “Marriage Is Not a Safe Place: Heterosexual Marriage and HIV-Related Vulnerability in Indonesia.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 10 (January): 87-97.

This paper examines the link between heterosexual marriage and women’s vulnerability to HIV in Indonesia. In this country, gender relations are currently dominated by traditional beliefs and practices and by religious morality. Data for the current study were collected by means of documentary analysis and archival research as well as by means of expert informant interviews. Findings suggest that traditional practices such as polygamy, early marriage and contract marriage (mut’a) play an important role in enhancing women’s likelihood of acquiring HIV within the Indonesian context.

Lim, Vivien K. G. 2002. “Gender Differences and Attitudes Towards Homosexuality.” Journal of Homosexuality 43: 85-97.

Analyzes differences in heterosexual women’s and men’s predominantly negative perceptions of gay men and lesbians in Singapore.

Malhotra, Anju. 1991. “Gender and Changing Generational Relations: Spouse Choice in Indonesia.” Demography 28 (November): 549-570.

Many Asian societies are undergoing a nuptiality transition that is not only tied integrally to other aspects of family organization, but is also often more complex than standard studies of female age at marriage can reveal. To comprehend some of this complexity, we focus on the patterns of spouse choice for both men and women in central Java. The extent of parental control over mate selection is examined for change over time, gender differences, and likely determinants, including family class, education, premarital work, and residence. It is argued that the current marriage transition in Indonesia reflects both gender and generational hierarchies in the Javanese family system. The analysis is conducted using a multinomiallogit model; in general, it yields results strongly supportive of the argument that the determinants of spouse selection differ by gender. The results also show that although there is a dramatic shift towards self-choice marriages, it is occurring within the context of historical and institutional factors specific to Javanese society.

Naafs, Suzanne. 2013. “Youth, Gender, and the Workplace: Shifting Opportunities and Aspirations in an Indonesian Industrial Town.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (March): 233-250.

Drawing on interviews and ethnographic research conducted between 2008 and 2010, this article examines how relatively educated Muslim youths navigate employment and family life in the context of an emerging globalized Muslim youth culture and economic restructuring in the industrial town of Cilegon, Indonesia. Specifically, the article explores the aspirations of young men and women for work and marriage and their ability to achieve locally valued forms of masculinity and femininity during their transitions to adulthood. It argues that aspirations and decisions about employment are informed by, and in turn contribute to, gendered and religious expectations about marriage and future family life.

Nilan, Pam, et al. “Indonesian Men’s Perceptions of Violence Against Women.” Violence Against Women 20, no. 7 (July 2014): 869-888.

This article explores male perceptions and attitudes toward violence against women in Indonesia. It analyzes interview data from Indonesian men collected as part of a large multimethod Australian government–funded project on masculinities and violence in two Asian countries. Reluctance to talk about violence against women was evident, and the accounts of those men who did respond referred to three justificatory discourses: denial, blaming the victim, and exonerating the male perpetrator. The findings support continuation of government and nongovernmental organization (NGO) projects aimed at both empowering women and reeducating men.

Utomo, Iwu Dwisetyani and Peter McDonald. 2009. “Adolescent Reproductive Health in Indonesia: Contested Values and Policy Inaction.” Studies in Family Planning 40 (June): 133-146.

This study examines the changing social and political context of adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy in Indonesia. We describe how, in 2001, Indonesia was on the brink of implementing an adolescent reproductive health policy that was consistent with international agreements to which the Indonesian government was a party. Although the health of young Indonesians was known to be at risk, the opportunity for reform passed quickly with the emergence of a new competing force, Middle Eastern fundamentalist Islam. Faced with the risk of regional separatism and competing politico-religious influences, the Indonesian government retreated to the safety of inaction in this area of policy. In the absence of a supportive and committed political environment that reinforces policy specifically targeted to young people’s reproductive health, extremist approaches that involve considerable health risk prevailed. The sexual and reproductive values and behaviors that are emerging among single young people in contemporary Indonesia are conditioned by a political context that allows the conflicting forces of traditional Indonesian values, Westernization, and the strong emerging force of fundamentalist Islam to compete for the allegiance of young people.

Weintraub, Andrew N. 2008. “’Dance Drills, Faith Spills’: Islam, Body Politics, and Popular Music in Post-Suharto Indonesia.” Popular Music 27 (October): 367-392.

This chapter addresses the shifting ground of politics, religion, and media that occurred after the fall of Suharto’s New Order regime in 1998. Within this context, the body of female dangdut singer/dancer Inul Daratista became a stage for a variety of cultural actors–from the most liberal to the most conservative–to try out or “rehearse” an emergent democracy in the post-Suharto “Reformasi” period of Indonesian history. The chapter maps out the social struggles played out over Inul’s body and the ideological stakes, or “body politics,” that these struggles engendered. Inul’s body articulates the forms of power relations that emerged in the post-Suharto era and the implications they have for discourses about Islam, pornography, women’s bodies, state-civil relations in Indonesia, and changing forms of media.