Indonesia's Democratic Transition: Playing by the Rules

R. William Liddle

in The Architecture of Democracy

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199246465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600135 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Indonesia's Democratic Transition: Playing by the Rules

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Examines an exceptional factor in Indonesia's post‐Suharto democratization, namely the elite's use of the 1945 Constitution, and reviews the earlier skill, of both President Soekarno and President Suharto, in using it to structure and legitimize their authoritarian regimes. The positive role played by the 1945 Constitution in Indonesia's democratic transition is an extraordinary irony of history, a striking instance of the way in which authoritarian institutions and ideologies can be turned against politicians who have spent decades fashioning them as instruments of autocratic power. However, in a further irony, it now looms as a major obstacle to democratic consolidation, as the new leadership prepares to undertake its substantial dismantlement and virtual replacement.

Keywords: constitutional reform; democratization; Indonesia

Chapter.  11502 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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