eCite Digital Repository

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


Tomsa, D, 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 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5367/000000009788745877


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:elections; democracy; democratization; political parties; Indonesia; Maluku
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Electoral systems
UTAS Author:Tomsa, D (Dr Dirk Tomsa)
ID Code:57374
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Asian Languages and Studies
Deposited On:2009-07-14
Last Modified:2010-04-20

Repository Staff Only: item control page