during the series of sham elections under the New Order government, the masses behaved in ways that might at first appear vulgar and unruly. But considered within the specific political context of that time, their behaviour can be regarded as much more rational and subversively powerful than has usually been portrayed, more so indeed than the political activism of the urban intelligentsia.
In 2009, however, the political setting had altered significantly, and so had the country’s electoral laws and procedures. The subversive power of the masses dissipated, ironically at a moment when Indonesia’s democracy had become more liberalised.
Heryanto, Ariel (2010) “Entertainment, Domestication, and Dispersal: Street Politics as Popular Culture”, in E. Aspinnal and M. Mietzner (eds), Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions and Society, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 181-198.
keywords: appearance, culture, elections, entertainment, gender, non-elite, orality, politics