New publication on village head elections and the democratization of rural Indonesia

Open access article by Ward Berenschot (KITLV), Wigke Capri & Devy Dhian (Universitas Gadjah Mada) in Critical Asian Studies: ‘A quiet revolution? Village head elections and the democratization of rural Indonesia’.

In this study of village head elections around Yogyakarta, Ward Berenschot, Widge Capri and Devi Dhian found that old, elite-family village heads are being replaced by new types of leaders, from more modest backgrounds and with a different leadership style. They attribute this decline of elite families in village politics to three factors: the diversification of the rural economy around Yogyakarta, the information-rich character of these elections, and the impact of democratic reforms. The main conclusion: in combination with economic changes, democratic reforms can actually generate transform the character of village leadership. The article is the product of a research collaboration with Edward Aspinall (Australian National University) and the FISIPOL department of Universitas Gadjah Mada.

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