Despite the introduction of far-reaching decentralization, Indonesia has yet to realize the promise of more accountable and responsive modes of government. Problems of public corruption, elite capture, and patronage politics continue to stymie socioeconomic development and public welfare. While many city and district governments have failed to bring about meaningful change, others have successfully improved administrative practices and services. What explains these diverging experiences? What sorts of forces have made decentralization work in in a subset of cases?
This paper also provides an example of combining qualitative and quantitative research in explaining outcomes of decentralization policy, an effort that has been one of the core challenges in the interdisciplinary collaboration between the researchers of the joint SPIN program “Governance, Markets and Citizens”.
Dr. Christian von Lübke is Senior Research Fellow at the Arnold-Bergstraesser Institut, University Freiburg, Germany.
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