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.
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