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Pluralism and Political Conflict in Indonesia

From: Indonesia
Number 96, October 2013
pp. 81-100 | 10.1353/ind.2013.0014



Pluralism shares with Marxist and other materialist analyses of politics a “socially determinist” conception of politics. Pluralism rejects the position that material interests are fundamentally different from other interests, with fundamentally different consequences for political action. This essay explores the complementarities and the tensions between pluralist approaches and recent analyses of oligarchy in Indonesia, arguing that a “critical” pluralism offers a toolkit through which to understand Indonesian politics, as well as a progressive research program that can push the analysis of material wealth and political power further than existing research on oligarchy.