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The Making of the Indonesian Multiparty System: A Cartelized Party System and Its Origin

2008, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Political Science.

This study explores the phenomenon of party interaction in a new democracy. It seeks to provide a systematic understanding of the nature of the Indonesian party system created since 1999.

It is widely accepted that a free election with more than one participant is a primary indication of a competitive party system. This study goes beyond the electoral arena to see whether political parties maintain a degree of competition after the election. The premise of the study is that parties may exhibit a different pattern of interaction in another arena. Competitiveness may disappear once the parties leave the election and enter a new arena of interaction. To capture this possibility, party interaction is examined in three arenas: electoral, governmental, and legislative.


The key concept of the study, cartelization, is adapted from Katz and Mair's concept of cartel party. In their original application, they use this concept to describe the emergence of a new type of party. This study argues, the concept of cartel should be applied at the system level. Cartelization is thus understood as a collective decision made by parties to give up their ideological and programmatic differences. It is the opposite of competition.


The primary finding of the study is that party competition ended after the election, and was followed by the creation of a cartel. The origin of the cartelized party system was the parties' collective dependence on rent-seeking to meet their financial needs. This, in turn, created a situation in which parties' fates were tied together as a collectivity. Their survival as individual parties is thus defined by their ability to maintain the existence of the cartel.


This study offers a new context in which to evaluate the importance of electoral competitiveness for understanding the nature of party systems. It gives us a more complex framework in which to assess their contribution to the development of new democracies. Finally, it goes beyond Katz and Mair by specifying the source of cartelization in the state's non-budgetary funds, which encourage political parties to perform illegal rent-seeking activities because these funds are not intended for financing the parties.


R. William Liddle (Advisor)
Richard Gunther (Committee Member)
Goldie Shabad (Committee Member)
366 p.

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Ambardi, K. (2008). The Making of the Indonesian Multiparty System: A Cartelized Party System and Its Origin. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Ambardi, Kuskridho. "The Making of the Indonesian Multiparty System: A Cartelized Party System and Its Origin." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2008. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 16 Dec 2017.

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Ambardi, Kuskridho "The Making of the Indonesian Multiparty System: A Cartelized Party System and Its Origin." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2008. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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