Understanding the Success of Multiethnic Parties in Indonesia

Publication Date: 
14 Feb 2013

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In 1998, Indonesia – one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries – transitioned into its second democratic period after 31 years under a dictatorship. Suharto’s fall unleashed long-simmering ethnic tensions that killed at least 10,000 people between 1997 and 2002. This combination of ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict during democratic transition often portends the formation of ethnic political parties around particularistic and chauvinistic group identity. However, Indonesia’s political system remains dominated by multiethnic parties.

IFES’ 2012 Hybl Fellow Geoffrey Macdonald focuses on the influence of election rules in preventing the rise of ethnic parties in Indonesia in this Democracy Fellowship Paper.

The William and Kathy Hybl Fellowship, funded by William Hybl, Vice Chairman of IFES Board of Directors, and wife, Kathy, brings outstanding graduate students from the Rocky Mountain region to Washington, D.C., to conduct research in democracy-building.