A Decade of Reformasi: Unsteady Democratisation


Willy Purna Samadhi(1*), Nicolaas Warouw(2)

(1) Demos - Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
(2) Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


This article is based on two surveys on the state of democracy in Indonesia in order to assess the progress made by actors of democracy following the reformasi, bringing the authoritarian rule under Soeharto to an end after almost three decades in power. The efforts were a response to a conference in January 2002 on the democracy movement from which a recommendation assigned a task force to carry out an academically sound nationwide survey that would facilitate the discussion of a fresh agenda for democratisation. The task force appointed a team of researchers and constituted Demos, a research group, to support the research and follow up the results. The first survey had been carried out in two rounds, in 2003 and 2004, while the second was conducted in 2007. The report of the first survey has now been published as Making Democracy Meaningful: Problems and Options in Indonesia (Priyono et.al. 2007) suggesting a deficit in Indonesia's democracy Indonesia through the widening gap between, on the one hand, comparatively remarkable civil-political freedoms and, on the other, by the poor condition of operational instruments.

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1 This article is abridged version of Chapter 1 of Executive Report of Survey on Problems and Options Democracy in Indonesia (Demos 2007). The full text is available in Demos website http://www.demosindonesia.org. For full report of 2007 Survey, see Samadhi and Warouw, Building-Democracy on the Sand (Yogyakarta: PCD Press and Demos, 2009).

2 For a more detailed explanation of democracy defi cit, including other results from the 2003-2004 Survey, see Priyono, A.E., W.P Samadhi, O. Tornquist, et.al., Making Democracy Meaningful: Problems and Options in Indonesia (JakartaYogyakarta: Demos and PCD Press, 2007).

3 There were differences in the categorisation between the fi rst and the second survey. The frontline of “Democratisation of the Political Party System” was the combination of attempts to democratise the party system and to form representative political parties. The frontline of “Alternative Representation at Local level” was the combination of improvements of alternative representation at local level and attempts at promoting interest-based mass organisations. In addition, in the second survey another frontline, i.e. “Sustainable Development”, was added.

4 David Beetham from Democratic Audit, a research organisation in the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, assessed the situation of democracy based on the performance of approximately 80 democratic instruments. The approach is then set as the standard for democratic assessment employed by IDEA International. See D. Beetham (1999), Democracy and Human Rights (Oxford: Polity Press) and D. Beetham, S. Bracking, I. Kearton, and S. Weir (2002), International IDEA Handbook and Democracy Assessment (The Hague, London, New York: Kluwer Law International).

5 Data collection was conducted in July-October 2007. The survey is aimed at verifying the main fi ndings of the 2003-2004 Survey. Other than that, the fi ndings were expected to form the basis of recommendations for the pro-democracy activists and movements in anticipation to the 2009 general elections.

6 Data on this part is mainly based on the recent survey. In 2006-2007, Demos conducted a similar survey in Aceh from which the results have been used in comparison with the national data.

7 For results of 2006-2007 Aceh Survey, see http://demosindonesia.org/aceh/ article.php?id=176.

8 The 2003-2004 Survey revealed a similar situation in various regions in Indonesia. This indicates widespread acceptance of the national approach or framework of democratisation throughout the country.

9 For further account, see B.T Naipospos et.al.(2007), ”Tunduk pada Penghakiman Massa: Pembenaran Negara atas Persekusi Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan,” in Laporan Kebebasan dan Berkeyakinan di Indonesia Tahun 2007 (Jakarta: SETARA Institute).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/pcd.25674

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