Skip to main content

Indonesia's Democratic Performance: A Popular Assessment


How democratic is contemporary Indonesia? While analysts differ, Indonesian citizens, when asked in systematic public opinion surveys conducted regularly by the authors since 1999, consistently express strong support for democratic principles and also believe that their country's democratic performance is high. Support for democratic performance is highly correlated with support for government performance, as measured by perceptions of the condition of the national economy and political system. At the same time, higher levels of education and income, in Indonesia as in other countries, have created a considerable number of critical citizens, that is, citizens who value democracy but are critical of its performance. On our evidence for Indonesia, it is members of this group who are the most motivated and best prepared to demand a higher level of democratic performance from their elected officials.

Hide All
Aspinall, Edward and Mietzner, Marcus (eds.) (2010) Problems of Democratization in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions and Society, Singapore: ISEAS.
Bratton, Michael, Mattes, Robert, and Gyamah-Boadi, E. (2004) Public Opinion, Democracy, and Market Reform in Africa, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Clarke, Harold D., Dutt, Nitish, and Kornberg, Allan (1993), ‘The Political Economy of Attitudes toward Polity and Society In Western European Democracies’, Journal of Politics, 55: 9981021.
Freedom House, (accessed 28 December 2014).
Hadiz,Vedi, R. (2010), Localizing Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Liddle, R. William (2002), ‘Indonesia's Democratic Transition: Playing by the Rules’, in Reynolds, Andrew (ed.), The Architecture of Democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 7399.
Liddle, R. William and Mujani, Saiful (2007), ‘Leadership, Party, and Religion: Explaining Voting Behavior in Indonesia’, Comparative Political Studies, 40 (7): 832–57.
Lipset, Seymour Martin (1959), ‘Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Political Development and Political Legitimacy’, American Political Science Review, 53: 69105.
Mishler, William and Rose, Richard (1997), ‘Trust, Distrust, and Skepticism: Popular Evaluation of Civil and Political Institutions in Post-Communist Societies’, Journal of Politics, 2: 418–51.
Norris, Pippa (ed.) (1999), Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Norris, Pippa (2011), Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Samadhi, Willy Purna and Warouw, Nicolaas (eds.) (2009), Building Democracy on the Sand: Advances and Setbacks in Indonesia, Yogyakarta and Jakarta: Demos and PCD Press.
Przeworski, Adamet al. (2000), Democracy and Development, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Winters, Jeffrey A. (2011), Oligarchy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 13
Total number of PDF views: 73 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 408 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.