In addition, popular suffrage has also provided a platform on which various undemocratic strategies to maintain or achieve power can be tested. More than the mere perfunctory elections, substantive democracy ideally calls for a political system that is marked by a free and fair elections, rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion and property. The following sub-section shows that across the region countries have shown mixed results. Lastly, as will be the political year for some Southeast Asian countries, the article examines whether the present condition will have a bearing on the state of democracy in the region next year.
Due to such stagnation, some observers argued that for the Southeast Asian case, democracy has not deteriorated, but authoritarianism has endured. The latter was dissolved by the Supreme Court in , shortly after the arrest of its leader in September on treason charges. While many observers understand that the military still controls three vital ministries — home affairs, defense and border affairs — and that the military is the real power in northern Rakhine state and along the border with Bangladesh,  many had hoped that Ms Suu Kyi would speak more strongly concerning the issue.
In Thailand, the military government has finally announced that it will hold an election in February , after a repeated cancellation since it seized power in The constitution enacted in April was designed to weaken big political parties. The constitution introduces a modified proportional method of choosing the members of the lower house of the parliament in which people vote for one of constituency candidates; the total of those votes determine which of the remaining party list seats go to which party.
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte won the election with a campaign which emphasized on his promise to restore the supremacy of law and bring down the entrenched elites. As his war on drugs rages on, reports have shown that many innocents are among the more than 12, that were killed -allegedly by extrajudicial measures- including lawyers who have acted on behalf of drug suspects. Even in Indonesia, where democracy is considered the most consolidated in the region, the growing influence of Islamist politics has put sectarianism on the center stage of mainstream politics.
The next section deals with the influence and limits of identity-politics and populism in two largest democracies in the region, Malaysia and Indonesia. The new government has moved to fulfill one of its most important tasks, which is to prosecute those involved in the 1MDB corruption scandal. Still, PH did not win a majority of Malay votes. PH under Mr Ibrahim had lost the election after having called for the dismantling of the affirmative policies which favor ethnic Malays. Despite the repressive laws and arbitrary restriction, movements such as Bersih continue to survive and have helped sustain public awareness on issues such as corruption, which was crucial in developing the momentum for change.
Civic movements have also trained generations of activists many of whom have now held influential positions in Pakatan Harapan and the new government. However, while ethnic-politics have decreased, ethnic-interest politics, especially those underpinning ethnic preferential policies, are still at the center stage. More filters. Sort order. Kurang sreg dengan kata pengantarnya edisi Bahasa Indonesia. Mark Teh rated it really liked it Jul 24, Subekty Wibowo rated it really liked it Dec 07, Nasrudin muhammad rated it liked it Feb 13, Rowland Pasaribu rated it really liked it Jul 30, Fajry Sinaga rated it it was ok Dec 02, Yunisatia Supardini rated it liked it Nov 20, Emma Soekarba marked it as to-read Jul 13, Dimas Syibli Muhammad Haikal marked it as to-read Oct 13, Mateus added it Nov 22, Sigit marked it as to-read Nov 11, Andy marked it as to-read May 15, Arun Menon added it Jun 29, Dharendra marked it as to-read Oct 28, Alicia Finance marked it as to-read Mar 04, Charles Coppel added it Dec 28, Teuku Fadeli is currently reading it Jun 27, Rozali Ahmad marked it as to-read May 09, Fira Tiyasning Tri Utari marked it as to-read May 20, Dimitri added it May 16, Several forms of liberaliza- tion emerge as common phenomena following the fall of authoritarian regimes, but they do not in themselves necessarily lead to the formation of long-lasting democratization.
The chapters consider in some depth how middle class intellectuals, non-governmental actors, workers, Islamic activists, women and arts workers respond to transitional political moments, and how they find themselves entangled and disentangled with profound challenges, old and new. A brief description of each helps in assessing the overall argument of the book.
In the following chapter, Heryanto shows that the middle classes need not necessarily be dismissed - as many scholars believe - as oppositional social actors. Given certain historical conditions, in this instance shaped by the early stages of a rapid and large-scale expansion of industrialization, elements of Indonesia's middle classes can and have played important roles in the democratization of politics and society.
However, as Heryanto empha- sizes, not all their actions and values are inherent to the class; these are not only the result of the selflessness and virtuosity by which journalists and academics have been mythologized but the consequence of historical experi- ences. The key point made in his chapter applies to the rest: industrialization under the authoritarian governments of Indonesia and Malaysia has brought about distinct historical conditions whose constraints and possibili- ties must be assessed anew in any examination of social actors.
Kelly's study of industrial zones peripheral to the national capitals shows how much the history, social institutions and cultural orientations of an industrializing locality shape the kind of civil society that is formed. Kelly compares NGOs in two rather radically different contexts in terms of infras- tructural development, social composition, historical influences and interconnectedness with the world - Penang in Malaysia and Batam in Indonesia.
Yet both these geographical peripheries to the capital have been areas of rapid industrial growth, attracted a youthful work force from around the country, grown largely from foreign investment, and importantly, gained economically as a result of state intervention in facilitating the entry of global capital.
However, the kind of authoritarian state intervention in each case has been quite different. Kelly describes Penang as administered by a bureaucratic authoritarianism with some localization of political power. Batam on the other hand had been until the late s under the centralized and militaristic authoritarianism of the New Order. Kelly argues that there is little uniformity in civil society formation as a consequence of industrialization.
Hadiz sees the trajectory of workers' activism in no simple or predictable manner. Hadiz argues that the exclusion from political life of labour - by employing militaristic force in Indonesia and by institutional means in Malaysia - has made it difficult for workers to form a cohesive and independent counterweight to the state in these countries. As a result, he concludes that workers have not been well positioned to shape 'the agenda of the reform movement dominated by political actors organically unconnected to the labour movement'. Importantly, his argument rests not on the exclusionary practice of authori- tarianism in one country alone but on the globalization process.
Although globalization's consequences have been contradictory, multi-national corpo- rations have been able to press for restrictions on workers' organizational activities. Yet, transnational labour solidarities have been slow in the making. Hadiz notes for instance the absence of efforts by Malaysian trade unionists to defend the rights of Indonesian migrant workers.
In the past, unofficial organizing vehicles without clear structures were advantageous in dealing with state repression, but Hadiz feels that it is unclear if these can develop into effective institutions in the post-Suharto era. He concludes by emphasizing the need for workers to develop 'the capacity for self-organiza- tion' in order to influence society, politics and the economy. Locating her analysis within complex political and structural constraints, Norani Othman argues that the democratization of Islamic politics and society has been at the forefront of the agenda of Muslim activists in Malaysia and Indonesia, in keeping with post-colonial trends in Islamic countries worldwide.
Her argument is sensitive to the global currents in the politics of Islam that both states have been forced to recognize and to which they have had to respond. Islamization in this regard is part of a complex process of social change and not the adoption of an ideological orientation alone. Othman argues that the response of the state to the complex phenomenon of Islamization has been short-sighted. Specifically, Mahathir invited Anwar to join the ruling cabinet to appease Islamic organizational interests and initiated a number of policies that led to the Islamization of laws and social practices.
Given elite-led efforts to shape the Islamization process, the democratization of Islamic politics and society appear to lie in the same hands. In contrast with Othman's Malaysia, Budianta sees women social actors in Indonesia contributing vital challenges to the existing gendered character of social relations as well as its divisive ethnic and religious tendencies. While the rise in women's activism during the Reformasi period may have been plagued by problems of organizational cohesion, the democratization of politics was advanced in significant ways.
Budianta's focus is on the less structured women's organiza- tions that mobilized across different social strata with increased vigour in response to the regional economic crisis and in challenging authoritari- anism. Individuals and groups of women both in Malaysia and Indonesia were moved to act as a result of humanitarian concern following the delete- rious effects of the economic crisis as well as the long-standing state violence, especially as it impinged on the bodies of women. Her work thus reconfigures the political, and shows how women from different strata became politicized in meaningful ways by such means as 'milk politics', when initially they had been fearful or sceptical of women's activist groups and 'politics'.
Given this context, Budianta sees women's activism as not feminist alone but as democratic movements in themselves, hence her prefer- ence for the syncretic term 'feminist democratic' activism. MandaI takes a broad-based approach in articulating the shape and substance of the engagements of activist arts workers. He makes the claim that activist arts workers cross many social boundaries - including class, reli- gion, ethnicity, and gender - and have been collectively, though not necessarily cooperatively, producing significant aesthetic engagements with authoritarianism.
Skilled in the modulation of symbols, they work with other social actors in addressing the inequities and repression under authori- tarianism. To evaluate arts workers by some measure of 'direct' oppositional productivity would be a mistake. Activist art practices are shown through selected cases to be significant in developing critical perspectives from below in engaging authoritarianism.
More immediate to the Reformasi movements, arts practices were critical in the lead up, crisis, transition, and aftermath of political change through such actions as the repossession of public space - a symbolic act of significance discussed in the chapter. On the whole, the chapters support the idea that social analyses need to be broad based, self-critical, sensitive to practices, and capable of repre- senting difference in order to be relevant.
Reflecting the textured and differentiated social and political sphere, the chapters of the book intersect and interrogate each other with the hope that as a whole they provide a perspective on the dynamics and prospects of the challenges to authoritari- anism that have taken place and are emerging.
In different ways, these chapters also explore some of the fundamental limits that such prospects will have to confront in the long term. Notes 1 One respected scholar writes: 'Indonesia is still a far cry from genuine democ- racy, A few references are made only for illustrative purposes.
Even then, only those published after the eventful year of and directly relevant to the issues under discussion are considered. For a more comprehensive history of Indonesia, see Ricklefs For Malaysia's history, see Crouch and Milne and Mauzy What distinguishes the use of this Law from Malaysia's ISA is the general absence of an attempt by New Order officials to present their cases with legal credibility. Notwithstanding this difference of style, the effects of such state repression in the two countries may not be that different, namely inculcating widespread fear among the population.
In , partly in an attempt to consolidate his power and legit- imacy, President Habibie scrapped the Anti-Subversion Law. However, to the dismay of many Reformasi-minded Indonesians, in the same year a new set of laws was proposed, that gave considerable power to the military and President to suppress internal and external threats in matters affecting 'state security'. Young For more, see Moore The difference, however, lies in the degree of explicit admission and self- reflexivity incorporated in these activities.
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