The Emerging of New Democratic Space: CSOs and Parliament in Post-Soeharto Indonesia

Cornelis Lay,

(1) Universitas Gadjah Mada


This article deals with the inclusion of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the decision-making processes in Post-Soeharto era in Indonesia. It argues that reformasi has created and multiplied the democratic space in both the national and local arena. It has not just enlarged the number of CSOs significantly, but also changed the nature of CSOs and has opened the boundary in relations to parliament. This development has confirmed the emerging of the new political space which is more democratic in nature, as witnessed by the present of Gaventa’s political space model - “claimed space” as opposed to undemocratic “closed spaces” or “limited space” during the New Order. This paper identifies the presence of a set spaces which is determining the whole course of decision-making processes. This research found the nature of a space, of being either “claimed”, “invited” or “closed”, is not only determined by who creates the space and able to make use of it within the given boundaries, but also by its relations to other set of spaces, issues in concern, time and infrastructure set up around the spaces.


CSO; parliament; political space; democracy

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