Double minority candidates and Muslim voting behaviour: evidence from Indonesia

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 19 June 2019


McDonald Room, Menzies Library, 2 McDonald Place


Nathanael Sumaktoyo, University of Notre Dame


ANU Indonesia Project
+61 2 6125 5954

How do Muslims in a Muslim-majority society respond to an ethnic and religious minority political candidate (a double minority candidate)? To the extent that there is an opposition to the candidate, would such an opposition be driven more by the candidate’s ethnicity or religion? Taking advantage of the presence of an ethnic and religious minority candidate in a gubernatorial election in Indonesian capital Jakarta and employing both observational and experimental designs, the study finds that ethnic considerations drive voters’ choices more than religious ones. Ethnic sentiment and the candidate’s ethnic background negatively affected voter support for the candidate more than religious sentiment and the candidate’s religious background. This finding holds even after accounting for voters’ religiosity and religious tolerance. The study discusses how these findings inform the understanding of Muslim voting behaviour and religious mobilisation in Muslim countries.

Nathanael Sumaktoyo is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Religion Research Initiative hosted in the Department of Sociology, the University of Notre Dame.

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