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By Professor Donald L. Horowitz

After the autumn of its authoritarian regime in 1998, Indonesia pursued an strange process democratization. It used to be insider-dominated and gradualist, and it concerned loose elections ahead of a long technique of constitutional reform. on the finish of the method, Indonesia's amended structure was once primarily a brand new and punctiliously democratic rfile. via continuing as they did, the Indonesians avoided the clash that will have arisen among adherents of the previous structure and proponents of radical, quick reform. sluggish reform additionally made attainable the adoption of associations that preserved pluralism and driven politics towards the guts. The ensuing democracy has a couple of well-liked flaws, mostly because of the method selected, yet is a greater end result than the main most likely possible choices. Donald L. Horowitz records the choices that gave upward push to this precise constitutional method. He then strains the consequences of the hot associations on Indonesian politics and discusses their shortcomings in addition to their achievements in guidance Indonesia clear of the hazards of polarization and violence, the entire whereas putting the Indonesian tale within the context of comparative adventure with constitutional layout and intergroup clash.

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Nasution, The Aspiration for Constitutional Government in Indonesia, pp. 56–57, 255. N. 3:60 (a person centrally involved in the post-1998 reform process). N. 3:64. The same idea was expressed by others. N. 3:69, 3:73. N. 1:14 (a very close participant-observer of the reform process). There were, at the time, 55 armed forces representatives in the body charged with amending the 1945 constitution. N. 3:60. 71 Neither side could get the requisite two-thirds majority on either point. 72 The 1950 constitution had created a parliamentary system, and that had made Sukarno a relatively powerless president.

24. Han Sung-Joo, “South Korea in 1987: The Politics of Democratization,” Asian Survey, vol. 28, no. 1 (January 1988), pp. 52–61. Kent Eaton, “Restoration or Transformation? ‘Trapos’ versus NGOs in the Democratization of the Philippines,” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 62, no. 2 (May 2003), pp. 469–96; Mark R. Thompson, “Off the Endangered List: Philippine Democratization in Comparative Perspective,” Comparative Politics, vol. 28, no. 2 (January 1996), pp. 179–205. Suchit Bunbongkarn, “Thailand’s Successful Reform,” Journal of Democracy, vol.

Even before all the constitutional changes were completed, reformed institutions had begun to function. Power was dispersed vertically, through a massive decentralization, and horizontally, through the creation of a separately elected presidency and a strong constitutional court. Executives were held accountable in the legislature, and legislative power was limited by specified rules. Minorities, most notably the Chinese, were freed of former disabilities, and a vigorous press and NGO sector began to flourish.

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