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Post-authoritarian Indonesia

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The article assesses the post-authoritarian situation in Indonesia in the light of experiences of Thailand and the Philippines, two societies in which the unraveling of authoritarianism has been followed by the rise of formal electoral politics. The authors suggest that the demise of authoritarian regimes in all three cases, born of the cold war, has more fundamentally seen the reconfiguration of politics in which dispersed, predatory, and frequently antidemocratic forces have appropriated the institutions and discourses of democracy. They also suggest that the Indonesian case has been less conducive to the emergence of effective pro-democracy, civil society-based movements in the wake of authoritarianism. This, they explain, is largely the consequence of the 1965 anticommunist massacres in Indonesia, which has no equivalence in the other two countries, and the resultant highly centralized authoritarianism that was more successful in disorganizing social and political opposition for three decades.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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