Georgian Institute of Public Affairs University of TROY

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Reorganizing Constitutional Power in Indonesia: The Politics of Reform

by Paul J. Carnegie

The proposal of constitutional reforms and the establishment of effective constitutional change are two distinct matters. Translating proposals into accepted practice is an invariably fraught process. The following paper examines the constitutional reforms that took place in Indonesia from 1999-2002. It asks how we go about understanding and interpreting the outcomes of that process. By combining a constitutional history with a consideration of the legacies of Suharto's authoritarian rule, the paper further situates previous qualitative assessments of the post-1999 constitutional reforms. Drawing on the work of the likes of Asshidique, Horowitz, Indrayana and Mietzner, the paper argues that, despite a less than ideal process, Indonesia's gradualist approach facilitated acceptance and paved the way for a meaningful level of constitutionalism from a troubled past.

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