This article is originally published in the Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, Volume 8, Issue 3, 23 September 2023
This essay aims to study why politicians engage in dynastic politics within democratic institutions and how they reject institutional changes that may limit their ability to pass on political power to family members. While scholars have emphasized institutions as an enabling factor, it is unclear how the power struggle manifested to preserve the institutions that continually suit the interests of aspiring dynasts amidst the democracy shift and pressure. This study seeks to fill the gap by delving into how political players struggle to preserve the structures that allow them to form political dynasties. This study also presents an original empirical conclusion demonstrating that Indonesian political dynasties more than tripled between 2010 and 2018, or in only one election cycle. This study contends that the primary cause of the rapid growth of political dynasties in Indonesia is inextricably related to the gradual institutional changes following Indonesia’s democratic transition in 1998. In the process, the parasitic symbionts—i.e. the aspiring dynasts— were able to make institutional drifts.
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Kenawas, Y. C. (2023). The irony of Indonesia’s democracy: The rise of dynastic politics in the post-Suharto era. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, 8(3), 748-764. https://doi.org/10.1177/20578911231195970