Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute

No 2016-43: Tweeting for Power: Social Media and Political Campaigning in Indonesia

Anders C. Johansson ()
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Anders C. Johansson: Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Social media provides political actors, opinion makers, and the electorate with the opportunity to bypass traditional media and engage in direct exchange of political information. This article explores how political candidates in the 2014 legislative election in Indonesia used social media during their political campaign. Exploiting a unique hand-collected data set, the study sheds light on personal characteristics that have explanatory power for political candidates’ choice to engage over social media. It also provides insight into the content of politicians’ messages and drivers for different types of content. The findings suggest that social media is used by a relatively large percentage of politicians in Indonesia and that they use social media platforms such as Twitter to engage with their electorate on several topics related to their campaign during election periods.

Keywords: Indonesia; Social media; Elections; Politics; Democratic process; Political process; Media industry

JEL-codes: D72; L82

43 pages, December 1, 2016

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