Hometown Volunteers: A Case Study of Volunteer Organizations in Surakarta Supporting Joko Widodo's Presidential Campaign



This article discusses the phenomenon of volunteer organizations supporting Joko Widodo – better known as Jokowi – in Surakarta and the surrounding area during Indonesia's 2014 presidential election. This research is important because, although volunteerism has been commonly replicated since Barack Obama's victories in the 2008 and 2012 American presidential elections, profi les of volunteers (their identities, motivations and self-defi nitions of their activities) and their activities (how they organize carry out and fund them) are still largely unknown. The article aims to address this lack of research within both the context of political transformation in Indonesia as well as the broader context of volunteerism, and to show how it contributes to democratization in Indonesia. This article reveals that volunteerism as a movement crosses class, age, ideological and gender boundaries, while its organizational form at the local level seems to be based on class, gender and/or age. Through their organizational models, activities, approaches and motives, volunteers have restored activism and volunteerism to Indonesian political processes. Nonetheless, this article cannot be certain of the movement's contribution to the development of Indonesian democracy.


Election volunteers, volunteerism, democracy, Surakarta, Indonesia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/cjas.v36i1.5513

Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
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