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Electoral democracy in a divided society: The 2008 gubernatorial election in Maluku, Indonesia

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Tomsa, D (2009) Electoral democracy in a divided society: The 2008 gubernatorial election in Maluku, Indonesia. South East Asia Research, 17 (2). pp. 229-259. ISSN 0967-828X

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Abstract

This article analyses the 2008 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's Maluku province and puts its result - a resounding victory for incumbent governor Karel Ralahalu - into the broader context of the discourse on democracy in divided societies. Through a detailed analysis of Ralahalu's electoral strategy, the article illustrates how the incumbent used a combination of populism and comprehensive networking with key organizational stakeholders to secure an easy victory. The author also highlights the peaceful conduct of the election and the overall significance of the fact that key political, religious and ethno-regional actors seem to have accepted that democratic elections are now the only legitimate means to distribute formal political power. In short, it is argued that democracy can indeed work in divided societies, especially if it is based on institutional arrangements that promote cross-communal communication and cooperation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ELECTIONS; DEMOCRACY; DEMOCRATIZATION; POLITICAL PARTIES; INDONESIA; MALUKU
Journal or Publication Title: South East Asia Research
Page Range: pp. 229-259
ISSN: 0967-828X
Additional Information: Copyright c 2009 SOAS. Reproduced by permission of IP Publishing Ltd.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 22:56
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:02
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/8888
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