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Research Reports

Research Reports


Recognising community truth-telling: An exploration of local truth-telling in Australia

This report is based on a unique collaborative study with Reconciliation Australia documenting grassroots community truth-telling in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have long called for truth-telling about the colonial past, most recently in the 2017 Uluru Statement. Numerous community projects have emerged to engage with these historical truths. However, few of these initiatives have been documented. The report seeks to highlight this important community work as it provides crucial lessons for how the vision of truth-telling can be realised.

Fluctuating Populism: Prabowo’s Everchanging Populism Across The Indonesian Elections

This paper introduces an interesting aspect or variant of populism which we call ‘fluctuating populism’ through a case study of Prabowo Subianto Joyohadikusumo, the winner of the 2024 Indonesian presidential election, and a career politician for over three decades in the country. We define ‘fluctuating’ quality of populism as the strategic adjustments made by populist leaders to their rhetoric and ideological messaging across different political campaigns in pursuit of electoral victory. Based on the Indonesian presidential elections of 2009, 2014, 2019, and 2024, the paper demonstrates the dynamic nature of populism. It reveals that over just a decade, Prabowo has undergone shifts in ideological stances, rhetorical appeals, and electoral strategies in each election cycle. He has evolved from an ultra-nationalist, chauvinist, and Islamist populist to a technocratic figure with a much softer side. We also find that within these election periods, he never fully prescribed an ideology or rhetoric, but instead fluctuated according to the political landscape. Prabowo’s success in the 2024 election underscores the effectiveness of ‘fluctuating populism’ in navigating Indonesia’s political landscape. This case study shows that this concept offers a framework for understanding the strategic adjustments made by populist leaders and warrants further examination in comparative studies of political leadership.

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