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Improving the Quality of Democracy in Indonesia: Toward a Theory of Action

From: Indonesia
Number 96, October 2013
pp. 59-80 | 10.1353/ind.2013.0012



Distributing political resources more equally is the greatest challenge facing modern democracies like Indonesia. This essay develops the rudiments of a theory of action that can empower scholars and activists to meet this challenge. It builds on the political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli’s original concepts of virtu and fortuna and recent elaborations by four Machiavelli-influenced American political scientists: Richard Neustadt, James MacGregor Burns, John Kingdon, and Richard Samuels. Finally, it offers several contemporary examples of political action in Indonesia that may provide insights for future scholars and activists who wish to improve the quality of democratic life in the nation.

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