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

Listed author(s):
  • Christian von Luebke


    (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)

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    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.

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    Paper provided by Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 15.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2011
    Date of revision: Jul 2011
    Handle: RePEc:fre:wpaper:15
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