Celebrity Politicians, Digital Campaigns, and Performances of Political Legitimacy in Indonesia’s 2019 Elections

In this article, we analyze celebrity politicians’ social media campaigns during Indonesia’s 2019 elections. We particularly examine the visual political communication strategies of celebrity politicians, particularly how they use their fame and celebrity status to make claims as political candidates and how they transform their fame into political legitimacy through social media. In the process of establishing their political legitimacy, celebrity politicians deploy “affective power.” While conventional politicians may use similar strategies on social media, the celebrity politicians’ online performance styles are foundational in how the celebrities construct and maintain their often-precarious political legitimacy to the public. This article contributes to the study of celebrity politicians by extending our understanding of the performance and construction of political legitimacy by celebrity politicians on social media.


Published by Taberez A. Neyazi

I am Assistant Professor of Political Communication and New Media and Director of Digital Campaign Asia at the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore.

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