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October 26, 2020 38 min

When Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, became president of Indonesia in 2014, it completed a stunning rise for a political outsider who had spent much of his previous life running a furniture making company.

With his mastery of retail politics and business know-how, Jokowi seemed set to cut through the bureaucracy and corruption that have bedevilled the development of Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous nations with around a quarter of a billion people.

Six years on, and now into his second term as president, it’s time for a report card on Jokowi’s presidency. In this episode, we are joined by Ben Bland (@benjaminbland), a long time journalist and now director of the South East Asia programme at the Lowy Institute. Ben’s recently published book ‘Man of Contradictions’ charts Jokowi’s rise and assesses his presidency to date, explaining why he has disappointed so many expectations both at home and abroad. 

Later in the programme Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a former senior official and research professor at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, gives us the view from inside the country of why it has been so hard for Jokowi to achieve his goals. 

For more on this episode, including a reading list, please go to our website asiamatterspod.com, where you can also give us feedback and subscribe to our mailing list.

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