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Money, Power, and Ideology

Political Parties in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia

Marcus Mietzner

Publication Year: 2013

Are political parties the weak link in Indonesia’s young democracy? More pointedly, do they form a giant cartel to suck patronage resources from the state? Indonesian commentators almost invariably brand the country’s parties as corrupt, self-absorbed, and elitist, while most scholars argue that they are poorly institutionalized. This book tests such assertions by providing unprecedented and fine-grained analysis of the inner workings of Indonesian parties, and by comparing them to their equivalents in other new democracies around the world. Contrary to much of the existing scholarship, the book finds that Indonesian parties are reasonably well institutionalized if compared to their counterparts in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and other parts of Asia. There is also little evidence that Indonesian parties are cartelized. But there is a significant flaw in the design of Indonesia’s party system: while most new democracies provide state funding to parties, Indonesia has opted to deny central party boards any meaningful subsidies. As a result, Indonesian parties face severe difficulties in financing their operations, leading them to launch predatory attacks on state resources and making them vulnerable to manipulation by oligarchic interests.

Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Since 1979 the Southeast asia Publications Series (SeaPS) has brought some of the best of australian scholarship on Southeast asia to an international readership. It seeks to publish leading-edge research by both young and established scholars on the countries and peoples of Southeast asia across all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences with particular encouragement to interdisciplinary ...


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pp. v-vi

List of Tables

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-xvi

On July 23, 1998, I sat on a hastily constructed podium in the South Jakartan suburb of Ciganjur, only a stone throw away from Abdurrahman Wahid’s residence. The NU leader had suffered a massive stroke in January of the same year, making it difficult for him to travel far from his home. Thus, even an event as momentous...

Glossary and Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xxiv

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Introduction: Political Parties in Indonesia: Domestic, Regional, and Global Patterns

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pp. 1-27

Comparative political scientists generally agree that Indonesia has Suharto fell in 998. Most importantly, the armed forces, which had been a key political actor since at least the late 950s, lost most of their institutional privileges and are no longer a veto actor (Diamond Indonesia has seen two consecutive changes in executive government ...

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Chapter 1: Indonesia's Parties and Party Systems: A Historical and Analytical Overview

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pp. 28-58

Any discussion of Indonesian party politics must start with an over-view of its historical origins, an analysis of its main trends, and an introduction of the major actors. First, a historical contextualization of Indonesian parties is key to grasping the patterns of post-Suharto party politics ? especially since many quantitative examinations have ...

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Chapter 2: Parties and the State: Fusion or Struggle for Hegemony?

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pp. 59-87

While quantitative data analyzed through the lens of the institu-tionalization school shows that Indonesia?s party system and parties are relatively well institutionalized when compared to other young democracies, it has revealed little about the specific characteristics of post-Suharto party politics. Most importantly, it has left a number ...

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Chapter 3: Parties and Society: Withdrawal or Ongoing Contestation?

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pp. 88-113

In the cartelization theory, the relationship between parties and the state is inseparably connected to that between parties and society (Pelizzo 2007). As parties are penetrating the state, they withdraw from society. In this process of societal detachment ? according to Katz and Mair ? parties relinquish their previous role as ?brokers? ...

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Chapter 4: Party Organization and Internal Democracy: Strong Leaders, Influential Branches, Marginalized Members

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pp. 114-141

In the view of the cartelization school, the merger of parties with the state and their withdrawal from society has impacted profoundly on their internal organization (Leduc 2001). In the past, mass parties right to control the party elite? (Katz and Mair 1995: 20), making their period the ?Golden Age? of politics (Katz and Mair 2012: 109). ...

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Chapter 5: Inter-Party Competition in the Post-Suharto Polity: Elections, Coalitions, and Parliaments

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pp. 142-166

The competitiveness of party systems is crucial for the survival of democracy, especially in post-authoritarian states (Wright 2008). Cartel theorists, however, assert that inter-party competition is uni-versally eroding, with ?parties still [competing], but [?] in the knowledge that they share with their competitors a mutual interest ...

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Chapter 6: The Postponed End of Ideology: Parties, Ideological Orientations, and Political Action

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pp. 167-191

The last four chapters have assessed the state of party politics in Indonesia through the analytical lens of the cartelization theory. Importantly, this qualitative discussion has filled some of the gaps left by more quantitatively oriented party institutionalization studies: it evaluated the extent to which parties have penetrated the state; ...

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Chapter 7: Assessing the Systemic Functionality of Indonesian Parties: Recruitment, Articulation, Participation, Communication

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pp. 192-214

Discussing the level of institutionalization, cartelization, and ideo-logical diversification of parties in a particular polity delivers invalu-able insights into the nature of a country?s party politics. Hence, the book?s previous chapters have used these approaches to analyze post-authoritarian party politics in Indonesia. However, while such ...

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Conclusion: Money, Ideology, and Party Politics in Indonesia: Between Local Contexts and Global Trends

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pp. 215-240

... Conclusion: Money, Ideology, and Party Politics in Indonesia 215Two explanatory approaches have dominated the study of political parties in post-Suharto Indonesia so far: namely, the school of party institutionalization on the one hand and the cartelization theory on the other. While both models are fundamentally different, they ...

List of Interviewees

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pp. 241-244


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pp. 245-284


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pp. 285-301

E-ISBN-13: 9789971697990
Print-ISBN-13: 9789971697686

Page Count: 326
Illustrations: 5 tables
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: New