The Link Between Democracy and Economic Growth in Indonesia

democracy in indonesia

In the two decades since Indonesia embraced democracy, it has made extraordinary progress in democratisation. Despite some serious setbacks, it remains the only country in Southeast Asia where all parliamentary and direct presidential elections have been held without violence or major irregularities.

Democracy has also contributed to the country’s economic growth. One study found that countries with strong democratic institutions tend to have higher economic growth than dictatorships. But the mechanisms behind this link remain largely unclear. Assistant professor Priya Mukherjee and colleagues examined Indonesia for the first time to understand the reasons for this connection. Their research, which involves comparing growth in more than 200 districts comparable to US counties, suggests that Indonesians benefit from a competitive political system that gives voters a voice on issues that affect them.

The competitive nature of Indonesian politics helps counter the influence of old elites and money politics. It is a system that can still resemble Game of Thrones, with horse-trading and dynastic struggles for power.

Joko Widodo’s rise to national office is testament to the power of this system. He is the first president to have come from outside the political or military elite since independence in 1945. But, even if he wins another term in April, it is unlikely that he will have the support he needs to tackle the country’s pressing problems.

As the election draws closer, the challenge to safeguarding the country’s democratic gains will fall to civic society groups. But the experience of recent mass protests shows that they are unlikely to create change unless they can translate their demands into a clear political message and an electoral alternative. Moreover, they must work with a state that has demonstrated little interest in listening to public opinion and an electoral system designed to limit their impact.

As Indonesia’s democracy matures, a new generation of politicians outside the elite is emerging. They are building networks and leveraging grassroots support to challenge the old guards that have dominated the country’s politics since the end of Suharto’s rule.

Whether these up-and-coming leaders can succeed in challenging the legacy of their elders will be crucial to Indonesia’s future. If they can build an electoral alternative and create pressure on vested interests, Indonesia may be able to avoid the sort of instability that has plagued many other democracies. But it will not be easy. A slew of factors, from corruption scandals to the proliferation of social media misinformation, pose formidable obstacles to democracy in indonesia. The stakes could not be higher. A strong and vibrant democracy is essential to Indonesia’s continued progress and to the success of its aspirations for global power and prosperity. By pursuing graduated reforms rather than a revolution, Indonesia avoided the immense bloodshed and uncertainty that would have accompanied an attempt to fully dismantle the old regime. But the price of that choice has been to leave powerful figures and institutions from the ancien régime with a seat at the table of power.

The Different Approaches to Democracy Measurement

Democracy is the form of government that allows a large number of people to participate in decision making at all levels. This form of governance has been associated with a range of political outcomes, including greater economic prosperity and social equality. It is also often seen as being one of the most important enabling conditions for human development, which is defined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a “commitment to promote and protect all human rights, fundamental freedoms and dignity of all individuals”.

Despite the many different approaches to measuring democracy, there is no single approach that captures all aspects of this complex phenomenon. The various methods are complementary and different approaches have different strengths in capturing particular characteristics of democracy. It is therefore useful to have multiple ways of assessing the state of democracy globally.

Different approaches to democracy measurement have very different trade-offs. For example, how the methods classify different political systems has a big impact on what differences they can pick up. In addition, the way each method scores democracy has a big impact on what conclusions are drawn about it. All of the measures have merit, but it is necessary to understand how each measure works in order to use them effectively.

The main approaches to democracy measurement are indices, surveys and expert-based assessments (such as evaluating constitutions and law). There is no single best measure of democracy because the concept of democracy is too complex and the measurements too different. However, the fact that there are so many different approaches is a strength: it gives us a variety of tools to understand the past spread, current state, and possible future developments of democracy in the world.

One popular justification for democracy appeals to the value of liberty. It is argued that people have a right to self-government because their lives are deeply affected by the larger social, legal and cultural environment they live in. The only way they can exercise control over this environment is through participation in democratic decision-making.

Another justification is that democracy is the best way to exploit the underlying cognitive diversity of groups of people to solve complex problems. It is argued that the democratic procedures of discussion and debate are best equipped to make use of this diversity and can thus be more likely to produce good policies than other forms of decision-making.

A final justification is that democracy increases moral qualities in citizens. It is argued that being involved in democratic decision-making forces citizens to think carefully and rationally, to consider the interests of others, and to reflect on the values of justice and the common good. This in turn makes it more difficult for them to be coerced by others or to be tricked into accepting corrupt or immoral decisions. This is referred to as “motivated reasoning”. It is also argued that democracy leads to higher levels of trust in societies. This is because citizens can better see when governments are acting in their own interest or against them.

Democracy in America

democracy in america

Those who genuinely believe in democracy as a normative ideal should be alarmed by the way it is being hijacked for political purposes. The world faces serious challenges ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown to climate change and global poverty, and the United States should be shouldering its fair share of international responsibilities and providing more public goods to the rest of the world, rather than trying to sustain its hegemony by playing bloc politics with other countries and bullying them into accepting democracy under threat.

Yet the most pressing challenge of all is that democracy itself has come under attack from forces that undermine its very existence. In the US, money politics have permeated every part of the democratic process from election to legislation. Candidates are backed by large corporations and a small group of rich individuals, who control electoral funds. The result is that elected representatives owe their allegiance to their financial backers and are more interested in serving those interests than the people they claim to represent. This has made it impossible for democracy to function effectively and a lot of voters have come to realise that the devil is in the details.

The root cause of this malaise is that the US has forgotten its democratic responsibilities in favour of an ambition to lead the world. As a result, it treats its own citizens as if they are not entitled to freedom of expression and religion and it has resorted to the use of military force and shady tactics – including the manipulation of democracy as a weapon – to advance its global agenda. The result is that it has alienated itself from most of its allies. A 2021 survey by Pew showed that most US allies see America as a shattered ‘washed-up has-been’ and that 69% of respondents in New Zealand, 65% in Australia, 57% in Sweden and 50% in Canada believed that American democracy did not work well.

Tocqueville was right to recognise the unique qualities of American democracy and how it nudges people to broaden their horizons, tutors them in pluralism, and prompts them to take greater responsibility for what they do. He also understood that democracy breaks down life’s certainties and spreads a lived sense of the mutability of power relations. For this reason, it is not just democracy that has become corrupted but, more fundamentally, the spirit of democracy itself. It is time to reclaim this shattered treasure and rediscover the democratic soul of America. This can only begin with a recognition that the world needs to move beyond its polarised and partisan ways of thinking. Only then can the United States reclaim its position as a “shining city upon a hill”. It starts by making real commitments to the democratic principles of one person one vote and separation of powers. Only then can it help the global community to address its most urgent and interconnected challenges. This article first appeared on the Huffington Post in 2022.

What Does Freedom Mean to You?


Freedom is the state of being free from restraint, whether internal or external. This concept is often associated with liberty and autonomy, and it is the basis of many debates about civil rights, social justice and the role of government. People in jail long for freedom, and people living under oppressive governments yearn for it as well. It’s also the goal of many terrorists and other extremist groups, who are willing to kill or otherwise harm others in pursuit of their ideals.

Freedom can be defined in a variety of ways, but the common themes are the ability to act without restriction and the ability to choose one’s actions. Philosophically, freedom is the capacity for action that distinguishes human beings from other animals. However, this idea of freedom is not necessarily a positive thing: it can also be a curse.

What does freedom mean to you? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments section below.

In the political arena, there are many definitions of freedom. Some think that freedom is a matter of being allowed to do whatever you want, while others believe that it is more about having the right to speak freely and express your opinions. There is also the view that freedom is about ensuring that all citizens have a fair chance to succeed in their endeavors, and that this success should not depend on a person’s race, religion, gender or class.

Most of us can agree that freedom is important, but it is not necessarily easy to achieve. It is not always possible to avoid the bad effects of freedom, such as racism, harm or discrimination, but it is our responsibility to try to minimize them wherever we can.

It is essential for the growth of a nation that it protects its citizens’ freedom to choose their own lives, careers and beliefs. However, this doesn’t mean that we should ignore other citizens’ freedoms. We should strive for a country that respects everyone’s civil liberties, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or political affiliation.

To be fully free, a person must be able to decide what they want to do, and then find out the best way to accomplish that. If they can’t do that, they are not free. This is called negative liberty, and it includes things like not having enough money to travel or being physically unable to do something. If a person isn’t able to travel, they have no choice but to stay home for vacation instead of going to Hawaii. Negative liberty is what prevents a person from pursuing their dreams. Positive liberty, on the other hand, is what allows them to do those things if they are willing to work for them.

The Meaning of Law


Law is a broad term for the body of rules that govern a society. They can be imposed by a central authority, such as a sovereign or a government, or they may be created and enforced by the actions of individual citizens or groups, such as a local community or a trade union. In some cases, the laws of a region or a country can be governed by a constitution that enshrines certain rights and privileges for citizens.

The precise meaning of law has long been a subject of debate, but a general understanding is that it is a set of standards that people must follow in order to live together in peace and harmony. It encompasses a variety of issues, including the right to life, freedom and privacy, as well as concepts like equality, justice and fairness. The study of law involves the analysis of how these values are interpreted and applied in particular situations, and the development and changing of laws over time.

A central issue in this context is the nature of state power and its limits, which are the source of many arguments about the legitimacy of law. Max Weber reshaped thinking on this, emphasizing the ways in which modern military, policing and bureaucratic power extends far beyond the borders of any one country, and poses special problems for accountability that writers like Locke or Montesquieu could not have imagined.

Another major question concerns the extent to which a theory of law must incorporate morality. John Austin’s utilitarian theory of law, for example, defines it as a system of commands, backed by the threat of sanctions, from a sovereign to subjects who obey because they are obliged by their own conscience and concept of natural justice. Jacques Rousseau’s natural law school, by contrast, argues that laws should reflect innate principles of right and wrong that are essentially unchanging.

Other definitions of law focus on the role that lawyers or jurists play in the process of making and interpreting laws. Roscoe Pound, for instance, argued that law is a tool for social control in which conflicting pulls of economic interests and ethical values constantly struggle to gain recognition. This view is echoed by modern legal pragmatists who put more faith in judges’ insight into new situations than they do in strained analogies with ancient precedents.

Regardless of the precise definition of law, scholars agree that it is necessary to examine how law is created and applied in a range of different situations. This might involve analyzing an individual court case, exploring a new or emerging area of the law or examining the consequences of legislative changes. Whatever the specific subject, it is important to make the writing accessible to a non-specialist readership. This requires clear explanations of technical terms, short paragraphs and the use of headings. The legal field is often characterized by technical jargon, so it is especially vital to simplify this for readers without a legal background.

Democracy in Indonesia

Amid the global rise of populist authoritarianism, Indonesia offers a case study in democracy that is surviving and even prospering. The world’s fourth-most populous nation has a diverse society that includes hundreds of ethnic and religious minorities, along with a vibrant civil society. Its democratic gains – from the successful transition to decentralized governance in 1998, to direct regional elections, to the first peaceful transfer of power under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2004 – are testaments to a system that can hold up to the test of time.

But it’s also true that the state has taken on an ever-greater role in directing citizens’ political choices and curtailing dissent. The country’s sweeping libel laws and its use of criminal defamation to silence critics, for example, are both widely perceived as a hindrance to democracy. The state has also stepped in to censor the press and block access to social media, which is being used by Indonesians to express opinions about their leaders.

The state’s monopoly on the dissemination of information and opinions has also created a culture of impunity for those who violate its rules. The police are frequently accused of colluding with the government to suppress critical voices, and prosecutors have abused laws on libel, hate speech, and insults to persecute dissidents.

Amid these challenges, Indonesia’s leaders and the people they govern must reassess the country’s democratic gains and find ways to protect the system. It would help if public officials understood that society and its criticisms of their work are not the enemy, but an essential part of the democratic landscape that the 1945 UUD guarantees.

In the short term, Indonesia’s current system is the best available option for maintaining its democratic gains and safeguarding its future. Repeated surveys indicate that voters value the higher quality of leadership that direct elections provide, even if they come with greater expense. Reverting to indirect regional elections, on the other hand, ignores this relative value and would also have significant economic costs.

In the longer term, illiberal forces may exploit Indonesia’s democratic weaknesses to undermine the rights of its people. But if the president and his party continue to build an alliance of support that spans liberals, centrists, and nationalists, they can preserve Indonesia’s democratic gains. If they don’t, the country could lose its place as a model of a successful democracy that can handle a wide range of policy issues in the midst of global challenges. That would be a tragic loss for the world’s largest Muslim-majority region. The writer is a professor of international relations at the University of Sydney and a nonresident senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. He was previously a senior research associate at the V-Dem Institute for Democracy and Development in Jakarta. He has written extensively on democracy in the region and is a co-author of Indonesia in Transition: The Politics of Change. His latest book, Democracy in Indonesia: The Road to Continuity, will be published in 2023 by Oxford University Press.

What Is Democracy?

Democracy is a political system based on people’s involvement in government. This involves the direct or indirect participation of citizens in forming decisions and formulating development plans. As such, it is a system whereby every citizen is considered equal. The minor chance of clash and dissatisfaction are eliminated in such a system since decisions are made based on the majority view of all the people. This also instills a feeling of obligation in representatives towards the people that they represent. In addition, people feel a sense of responsibility to conduct themselves well and be a good citizen.

Moreover, democracy allows everyone to have freedom of speech and expression (UDHR, Article 19). This is important because it allows citizens to share their views with others, or even publicly display their opposition to the views of other citizens in order to ensure that all opinions are heard and taken into consideration. In this way, democracy can function and work at its best.

The concept of democracy is based on the idea that every person has an equal right to participate in government, either directly or through freely chosen representatives. This concept is widely used in the world today and is one of the basic principles underlying many human rights treaties.

However, there are many criticisms of democracy. Some are political, while others are more social or ethical. For example, it is sometimes said that democracy is not suitable for other areas of the world, such as in poorer countries where poverty and unemployment are high. Another concern is that democracies may be ruled by economic interests rather than the public interest. For example, capitalists may use their wealth to influence election campaigns and have a great influence on policies.

Other criticisms of democracy are that it can lead to corruption and inefficiency. There is also the argument that democracies are more unstable than other forms of government, with the result being that there is a greater risk of regime change and civil war.

One of the most common arguments in support of democracy is that it enables people to live up to their full potential and achieve more than they could under other forms of rule. This is because democracy encourages people to think carefully and rationally, and it requires them to listen to the opinions of other people.

In addition, it has been argued that democratic systems are better equipped to tackle the complex issues facing modern societies because they take into account the diversity of opinions and perspectives of all citizens. This has been seen to be particularly beneficial in achieving successful policies on issues such as economic growth, education, and health. This is because these policies require the cooperation and input of a wide range of stakeholders, from business leaders to community activists. The success of these policies therefore depends on the extent to which they have been negotiated and agreed upon. In fact, the most effective policy outcomes are achieved when all stakeholders are involved in the process from the beginning.

Is Democracy on the Verge of Collapse?

In the wake of political riots in Congress and high levels of mistrust in public life, many Americans are wondering about the health of democracy. Is it on the verge of collapse? Can it be saved? Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic analysis of the development of US democracy (1835-1840), remains a powerful text today. Striking is its openness to paradoxes and juggling of opposites. Its heft and narrative complexity make it an extraordinary work of nineteenth-century politics.

Tocqueville is considered the first analyst of democracy to dissect the pathologies of a political system and remain loyal to the spirit and substance of democracy as a normative ideal. While his analyses were based on concrete observation, they were also filled with intellectual daring and profound insights. His openness to the paradoxes and juggling of opposites made him one of the most important writers of his time.

His political thought was profoundly influenced by his experiences in America and his encounters with American society. Among his most famous and influential works are Democracy in America and The Old Regime in France. His insights about the nature of American politics and the workings of democracy have never been surpassed.

Tocqueville believed that democracy weakened the capacity for creating and sustaining great art, literature, and culture because it was a political form rooted in practical minds. It was, he said, a “two-faced” political system, with its desire for inclusion and its history of exclusions—either violent, such as slavery, or more subtle, such as the ban on felon disenfranchisement.

He was concerned that the power structure of democracy tended to become an elite class in which small numbers of wealthy individuals gained control over state apparatus and policy-making, the media, businesses, and a large segment of the economy. These elites, in turn, controlled the Democratic and Republican parties and kept them from reaching out to broader social groups and the mass public. Hence, the two parties became more polarized and narrowly defined in terms of voter base, ideology and identity. Consequently, the traditional interparty balance based on policy compromise was lost.

In the current situation, money politics dominates the election process and a disproportionate number of elected officials serve vested interests rather than the people. This exacerbates the political polarization in America and contributes to the rise of extremist ideologies and populism. Moreover, the winner-takes-all electoral system distorts representation in Congress and aggravates inequality between the states.

Despite the fact that the United States still prides itself as a model of democracy for the rest of the world, it is a gravely ill country in terms of the quality and stability of its democracy. The Capitol riots and other incidents have revealed the ugly underbelly of a self-styled democracy afflicted with money politics, elite rule, and partisanship. It seems that the US is suffering from a silent civil war. Unless the country develops a sense of nation and the will to overcome its deep-rooted democratic problems, it may lose its standing as a global leader and the world’s model for democracy.

The Importance of Freedom


Freedom is a concept that has many different meanings. Some people think it means being able to do whatever they want, but true freedom is much more complicated than that. True freedom means being able to do what makes you happy and what feels good to you without interference from other people’s opinions or external limitations. It also means being able to make decisions for yourself and be responsible for them.

Freedom of expression is critical in fostering creativity and innovation. When people are allowed to express themselves freely, they can develop ideas that can help solve societal problems and lead to progress and development. This is why countries that uphold the importance of free speech are more likely to experience economic growth and social stability.

Personal freedom is another important aspect of freedom. Individuals who are able to live their lives on their own terms have more self-respect and can better understand what they want in life. They can choose their career paths and live where they want to live, which is important for achieving happiness. This freedom can also allow them to pursue other hobbies and passions that are meaningful to them.

Economic freedom is a vital part of a healthy society. When individuals are able to start businesses and pursue economic opportunities, they can create wealth and contribute to the overall economy of their country. This leads to economic growth and a higher standard of living for everyone in the country. It’s important to ensure that freedom of enterprise is protected so that more jobs can be created and the economy can continue growing in a positive way.

Freedom is a popular app that helps users eliminate distractions and focus on work. The app allows users to block websites and apps for a specified amount of time, which is great for people who have trouble staying on task. It’s even possible to schedule a specific “focus session” every week or day to help you stay on track and get more done. The app is available for both desktop and mobile devices, making it a great option for anyone who wants to boost their productivity and improve their work/life balance. The app is easy to use and has a simple interface. It’s also highly customizable, allowing users to block their favorite sites and apps so they can get work done without interruption. In addition, the app is very affordable, which is another perk. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best apps to block distracting websites. Check it out! It’s a must-have for any working professional.

Misconceptions About the Law


Law is a set of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior and protect the public interest. Laws are usually enforced by a controlling authority through penalties. The term “law” is a broad and vague concept that has a wide range of meanings depending on the context of use. The precise definition of law is a subject of ongoing debate, with many different views and interpretations being put forward.

In a modern society, laws are often aimed at ensuring that everyone is treated fairly, that core human rights are protected and that the power of government is limited to its constitutionally prescribed bounds. The legal system also serves to protect property, ensure that people are not victimized by the actions of others, and allow for orderly social change. However, the existence of laws does not guarantee that these goals will always be met. Many people have misconceptions about what the law really is and what it can accomplish.

It is important to be aware of these myths so that they can be uncovered and dispelled before they lead to costly mistakes in legal cases. For instance, some people may mistakenly believe that a criminal case can be won by simply telling their side of the story in court. In reality, there are a host of legal issues to consider and a strong defense needs to be constructed.

Misconceptions about the law also arise because of the stereotyped image that lawyers are smooth-talking and clever courtroom advocates. While many attorneys are excellent in the courtroom, it is important to remember that only between 2 and 10 % of legal matters ever make it to trial. The vast majority of cases are negotiated or settled out-of-court. This is where the real law-making and the true skills of a lawyer come into play.

The legal profession is also known for being one of the most complex and challenging fields to be involved in, which contributes to a lot of confusion about what exactly the law is. One of the biggest misconceptions about the law is that it is an unchanging set of universal standards that can be applied to every situation. In reality, the law is very specific to each circumstance and requires a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the legal system to be interpreted correctly.

When dealing with any legal matter, it is important to consult an experienced attorney who can help to clear up any misconceptions about the law and what your options are for resolving your case. Whether you are facing a probate issue, estate litigation or need to file a lawsuit, an experienced attorney can help to guide you through the process and provide the expert guidance that you need.