The language of Ex-GAM in the media : political rhetoric in post-conflict Aceh

  • This dissertation examines the language of politics of leading figures of the ex-Free Aceh Movement or Gerakan Aceh Merdeka‟ (GAM) leading figures in selected Aceh media during the 2012 gubernatorial election campaign. By analyzing their symbolic acts, topic selection, campaign methods, and campaign locations as reported in five selected Aceh media, I demonstrate the process of ex-GAM political rhetoric in the post-conflict election setting. The mixed method approach used in the dissertation includes the following: grounded, content analysis, case study, and rhetorical analysis. Data were collected from three local daily broadsheet newspapers (Serambi Indonesia, Rakyat Aceh and Harian Aceh) and two online news portals (The Atjeh Post and The Globe Journal). The research found that ex-GAM political rhetoric was deeply divided into two opposing political camps: the Irwandi camp as the incumbent independent and the PA camp as the challenger from a newly-established local political party. Both camps highlighted the importance of expressive symbolic acts, such as explaining and making promises in their campaigns. Irwandi introduced more varied, specific, practical, and concrete topics in its rhetoric with diverse and less formal campaign methods that appealed to those who envision a prosperous future in Aceh. By contrast, PA employed general, unrealistic, and abstract topics in its rhetoric with less attractive and more formal campaign methods that appealed to emotional and historical romanticism. In relation to ex-GAM political rhetoric and campaign locations, both focused on the traditional regions in northeast Aceh or in the conflict-sensitive regions where most of their loyalists reside, and on big regencies/cities where the potential voters live. However, during the campaign Irwandi appeared less frequently in ethnically diverse locations, whereas PA appeared more in non-traditional regions such as the previously isolated and less-developed regions in the central highlands and southeast regions of Aceh. In this way they highlighted the rhetoric of economic and infrastructure development and that of unity in diversity taking into account the multi-ethnicity of the voters. In terms of overall media appearances, except in The Atjeh Post, where Muzakir Manaf from PA was dominant, Irwandi Yusuf was the most-reported ex-GAM during the election campaign in the selected media. Finally, the available evidence seems to suggest that Irwandi‘s language of politics was rhetorically more attractive than that of other ex-GAM leaders.

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Author:Saiful Akmal
Referee:Arndt GrafGND, Bernd NothoferORCiDGND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2014/12/08
Release Date:2016/07/11
Page Number:320
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG