Tweeting Populism in the 2019 Indonesian Presidential Election Candidate

Finsensius Yuli Purnama, Heru Nugroho, Sugeng Bayu Wahyono


Tweeting the populism of two candidates: Joko Widodo and Prabowo was part of an important discourse in the 2019 presidential election. The gap was as previous studies have argued the general characteristics of each candidate's populism, they have not examined twitter discourse deeply under the populism discourse analysis of each candidate. This article filled the gap by analyzing the twitter discourse of the two candidates in the 2019 presidential election, Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, as the articulation of the populism rhetoric. Working with Laclau's discourse analysis strategy, this study has uncovered the main discourse by revealing the buzzwords of each account: @jokowi and @prabowo. The results of this study suggest that there are some differences nodal points between the populism discourse of the two candidates. Jokowi articulated populism of nationalist identity with his buzzwords of "Indonesia" and some of his flagship programs, while Prabowo buzzed about the Muslim identity and critics to the election process. Jokowi conveyed more optimism about the success of infrastructure development, land certification, and village fund programs. On the other hand, Prabowo was more concerned about Muslim identity with buzzwords "semoga"/ "hopefully" and "Allah" during his campaign sessions. The other buzzwords were focused on critics regarding the presidential election that has been "tainted by compradors" with "TPS/ polling place" as the buzzwords.


Tweeting; Populism; Hegemony; Nodal Points; Buzzwords

Full Text:



Aspinall, E., & Mietzner, M. (2014). Indonesian Politics In 2014: Democracy’s Close Call. Bulletin Of Indonesian Economic Studies, 50:3, 347-369. Http://Dx.Doi.Org/10.1080/00074918.2014.980375.

Cezayirlioğlu, A. B. (2017). Rethinking Populism: 'the People' as a Popular Identity Subject in Bernie Sanders' Discursive Articulation (Master thesis). Retrieved from DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.21214.48969.

Fitzi, G., Mackert, J., & Turner, B. S. Populism and the Crisis of Democracy Volume 1: Concepts and Theory. Park Square: Routledge.

Howard, D., (Editor). (2015). Ernesto Laclau: Post-Marxism, Populism, And Ctirique. New York: Routledge.

Jørgensen, M., & Phillips, L. (2002). Discourse Analysis As Theory And Method. London: Sage Publication. (January 28th, 2020). Januari, Dana Desa Siap Dicairkan untuk Desa yang Memenuhi Syarat. Retrieved from

Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London: Verso.

Laclau, E. (1996). Deconstruction, Pragmatism, Hegemony. in Mouffe, Chantal (ed). Deconstruction and Pragmatism. London: Routledge.

Laclau, E. (2005). On Populist Reason. London: Verso.

Liddle, R. W. (January 15, 2019). Populisme Indonesia. Kompas, 6.

Mietzner, M. (2014). How Jokowi Won and Democracy Survived. Journal of Democracy. Vol. 25, No. 4, Oktober 2014.

Mudde, C & Kaltwasser, C. R. (2017). Populism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tapsell, R. (2015). Indonesia's Media Oligarchy and the “Jokowi Phenomenon” dalam Jurnal: Indonesia, No. 99 (April 2015), pp. 29-50. Publisher: Southeast Asia Program Publications at Cornell University. Retrieved from:

Tapsell, Ross. (March 22nd, 2019). The Polarisation Paradox In Indonesia’s 2019 Elections. New Mandala. Retrieved from

Williams, R. (1977). Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.