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Dutch Colonial Legacy

the challenges of democracy in Indonesia

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Dutch Colonial Legacy

the challenges of democracy in Indonesia

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Samenvatting

The Dutch colonization of the East Indies, which lasted for around 350 years, set the stage for the creation of modern Indonesia, the third largest democracy in the world. The colonization period saw the introduction of colonial policies and administration. Systematic regulation, as well as bribery set the stage for Indonesia’s future political trajectory. Since the independence, Indonesia has struggled to find its path to democracy until the fall of authoritarian regime in 1998 which marked the start of the democratization process of the country. Indonesia is now in a state of democratic consolidation, but is facing tough challenges that could potentially lead to reversed democratization. The aim of this research paper is to examine to what extent did the Dutch colonial history influence the problems of democratization process of Indonesia?
The research was carried out through different methods, including desk research, an interview, and a case study. In addition, the literature review established the main framework in the analysis of democracy in Indonesia. Concepts such democracy, democratization, governance and political culture are discussed and later linked to the analysis of the paper.
The research arrived at the conclusion that the Dutch colonial history, to some extent, has influenced the problems of democracy in Indonesia. This conclusion was supported by the research methodology and review of relevant academic literature. The literature review exposed that the Dutch had an influence on the creation of the Indonesian parliament. The characteristics of the parliament are strikingly similar to that of 19th century Dutch political institutions. In result, the features of the “out dated” parliament have allowed members to conduct illegal activities without being detected. Additionally, due to the absence of democratic practices during colonial times, the democratic legacy for Indonesia is weak, whereas the practices of corruption from the colonial era are still prevalent. These fundamental problems have translated to the main cause of the declining democratization process of Indonesia. Several recommendations have been constructed in order to overcome the challenges of the country’s democratization process: reform in decision making procedures, reduce corruption through support of the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission), minimization of the role of dominant elites in the political system, and strengthen democratic values of the citizens of Indonesia. As Lipset argued, survival of democratic regime is done through “continuous economic development” (Wucherpfenning & Deutsch, 2009).

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2016
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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