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Claremont Mckenna College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Given the pervasiveness of corruption, collusion and nepotism during Suharto’s rule (1967-1998), many people assume that the Reformasi era (1998-present) would introduce a new wave of liberal democratic values, which would consequently reduce corruption in Indonesia. This paper seeks to look at the changes in people’s socio-political incentives to corrupt given the changes in political and legal structure, analyzing it in the context of its contribution to Indonesia’s socio-economic development. Specifically, it centers on how decentralization has affected corruption in the regional districts, legislative, judiciary, and other civil society groups. It is the prominence of the corruption issue in the anti-decentralization arguments - in saying that transferring autonomy would also transfer along uncontrollable corruption to the local levels - that makes this issue worthy to be explored in further details. This paper intends to analyze critical junctures of Indonesia’s democratization process and evaluates the status of democracy and corruption in Indonesia today. By drawing on general theories on the relationship between democratization and corruption, as well as qualitative research conducted by prominent scholars on Indonesia’s democratization process, this paper concludes that democratization has led to more available channels through which actors in society can abuse their newfound power, which has affected Indonesia’s progress in achieving higher socio-economic development.


Asian Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Economic Policy | Finance and Financial Management | History | International and Area Studies | Other Legal Studies | Other Political Science | Political History | Political Science | Political Theory


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