The third wave of democratization in Indonesia
Delin, Azizan bin Md.
Trinkunas, Harold A.
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Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world was among the last countries in Southeast Asia that embarked into democracy. Prior to democratization, the Indonesian military had played a significant socio- political role since the independence struggle against the Dutch. The revolutionary struggle shaped general Indonesian acceptance of the authoritarian rule. However, by 1997 Indonesia's authoritarian rule was faced with a serious problem of legitimacy and governability. This thesis suggests that authoritarian rule cannot last in Indonesia. Socio-economic change has re-shaped its social structure and encouraged democratization. For half a century, authoritarianism was dominant in Indonesia, but like all dictatorships, Indonesia subsequently had to return to democracy. Pressures from within the authoritarian government and Indonesian society dictated the democratization process. However, the long term prospects for unstable democracy remain unclear.
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