Politics and governance
Fifteen years after Indonesia began its transition to becoming the world’s third most populous democracy, democratic governance in the country has recorded remarkable achievements. For example, Indonesia is now judged by international agencies such as Freedom House to be the most democratic country in Southeast Asia. At the same time, it is widely acknowledged that the quality of Indonesia’s democratic institutions is undermined by various factors, especially the ubiquity of patronage distribution as a mode of organising political life. As a result, those institutions frequently experience serious problems in formulating and implementing policy. While few scholars detect signs of that the survival of Indonesian democracy is threatened in the short term, matters of democratic quality remain paramount.
Research at the Indonesian Project covers a broad range of the critical issues regarding democratic governance and politics in contemporary Indonesia. Major research projects focus on critical institutions, such as the presidency, parties and parliaments. Others focus on underlying social dynamics, in areas such as religion and ethnicity, and their interaction with the political sphere.
Current research projects