Building-Democracy on the Sand: Advances and Setbacks in Indonesia

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About the Publication

It is true that most political actors in Indonesia have adjusted to the existing rules and regulations within the procedures of democracy. But giving priority to the outcome and general habits (culture) is to neglect that the democratic infrastructure is far from sufficient. The alternative actors in particular are short of capacity to use and promote the means of democracy. Organised democracy and especially the system of representation is monopolised by the powerful elite.
           This collected essays, based on survey of democracy, suggests that Indonesia's democracy is held back. It is true that all people are allowed to vote, but women (who are not well connected), the poor and subordinated people are de-facto prevented from standing as candidates and sometimes even from voting, thus from trying to develop popular representation. Basic issues of equal civic rights and political equality thus present a similar challenges but also an opportunity as did the movements for the right to vote in the old democracies.
           Hence, the immediate need to develop well-organised and non-party-dominated political blocs - among others, is to foster independent popular influence within organised politics; to alter the current relations of power through more popular representation and participation; and to increase bargaining power to foster compromises that move towards rights-based sustainable development.
           Published by PCD Press with Demos in the Indonesia. ISEAS has worldwide distribution rights.

Co-publication: Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

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