Ethnic Solidarities and Local Elections

by indonotes

Just a quick post today. There was a fascinating entry on International Crisis Group’s Resolving Conflict blog that I thought was worth sharing. Looking at local elections it examines the circumstances under which appeals to ethnic/religious solidarities have proven successful strategies and where they have backfired.

In addition to the ethnic and social makeup of the locality, other variables highlighted include the political style of the candidate, whether an ethnic groups’ vote is split by multiple candidates and the relative importance of on the ground (sometimes ethnically-based) networks are versus media image for mobilising voters.

Beyond these points, the piece also has the virtue of highlighting the opportunities offered in a country as varied as Indonesia for the comparativist, and the dangers of generalising from one case to conditions in the whole of Indonesia.