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Consensus and democracy in Indonesia : Musyawarah-Mufakat revisited


  • Kawamura, Koichi


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 musyawarah‐mufakat decreases political efficiency in the sense that it takes a long time to deliberate drafted laws in the parliament.

Suggested Citation

  • Kawamura, Koichi, 2011. "Consensus and democracy in Indonesia : Musyawarah-Mufakat revisited," IDE Discussion Papers 308, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper308

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    Cited by:

    1. Rizqi Nur’aini A’yuninnisa & Muhammad Fashih Hibatul Haqqi & Nisfi Balqish Rusli & Nabila Puteri, 2020. "Indonesian Implicit Leadership Theory: Typical and Positive Leadership Prototypes for Indonesian Millennials," Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Management Studies, Asian Online Journal Publishing Group, vol. 7(1), pages 1-7.

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