IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Democracy in Progress – or Oligarchy in Disguise? The Politics of Decentralized Governance in Post-Suharto Indonesia


  • Christian von Luebke

    () (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)


Despite the introduction of competitive elections and decentralization, Indonesia’s democracy has yet to realize its promise of good government. Public reform efforts have been paralyzed by national political controversies. Meanwhile, corruption and inefficiency remains a rampant problem across many of Indonesia’s decentralized polities. In this paper I advance three interrelated arguments: First, that the coexistence of new democratic rules and entrenched clientelistic structures has given rise to elite-centered governance; second, that local government leadership has had strong effects, for better or worse, on district performance and probity; and third, that the quality of executive leadership is influenced, not only by individual-level characteristics of local mayors, but also by local ‘topographies’ of power – such as the concentration of and the connectivity to socio-economic assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian von Luebke, 2011. "Democracy in Progress – or Oligarchy in Disguise? The Politics of Decentralized Governance in Post-Suharto Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 15, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jul 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:fre:wpaper:15

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fre:wpaper:15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Günther G. Schulze). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.