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Consensus and democracy in Indonesia : Musyawarah-Mufakat revisited

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  • Kawamura, Koichi

Abstract

This paper analyzes customary practices of consensus decision making, called musyawarah-mufakat, as a basis of democratic stability in Indonesia. Musyawarah and mufakat (deliberation and consensus) are a traditional decision-making rule in Indonesia which has often been observed in village meetings. This paper argues that this traditional decision-making rule is still employed even in a modernized and democratized Indonesia, not only at rural assemblies but in the national parliament as well. Furthermore, this consensus way of decision making provides an institutional basis for democratic stability by giving every parliamentary player, whether big or small, an equal opportunity to express his/her interests. On the other hand, this system of musyawarahâ€mufakat decreases political efficiency in the sense that it takes a long time to deliberate drafted laws in the parliament.

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File URL: http://ir.ide.go.jp/dspace/bitstream/2344/1091/1/ARRIDE_Discussion_No.308_kawamura.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO) in its series IDE Discussion Papers with number 308.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Publication status: Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 308. 2011.9
Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper308

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Keywords: Indonesia; Internal politics; Democracy; Political culture; Legislature;

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