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The Politics of Reform: Political Scandals, Elite Resistance, and Presidential Leadership in Indonesia

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Author(s): Christian von Luebke

Journal: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs
ISSN 1868-1034

Volume: 29;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Political Science | Comparative Politics | Area Studies | Indonesia | politics | reform | governance | leadership | 320 | 327 | Indonesia | 2009-2010

ABSTRACT
While Indonesia’s democracy has received much acclaim for institutionalizing fair, free, and peaceful elections, many important challenges still lie ahead. The "politics of reform," which has consumed much of the government’s time and energy, are a mixed blessing. Interest collisions – between those who seek change and those who resist it – have caused government paralysis and aversion and, at the same time, sparked promising forms of public participation and resilience. Meanwhile, the Yudhoyono administration has reached a critical juncture that will define political and economic trajectories for upcoming years. Now that two controversies (Bank Century and KPK debacles) have tarnished the government’s credentials, the president will need to make continued efforts to sustain support in his cabinet, coalition, and electorate. In order to steer the country toward calmer political waters and higher socio-economic development, President Yudhoyono will be challenged to form flexible policy coalitions and reinstate the momentum for change.
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