Recent Issue – Vol 87, No 2 – June 2014

From Patronage Machine to Partisan Melee: Subnational Corruption and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party System

Indonesian rupiahNathan Allen, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Keywords: corruption, institutions, party systems, elections, Indonesia


The party system in Indonesia has expanded in the post-Suharto era. With each successive election, voters have spread their support across a wider array of parties. This has occurred despite deliberate institutional tweaks designed to consolidate the system by privileging large parties. Why has the party system expanded despite increasing institutional incentives to consolidate? This article places party system change in a broader context of decentralization and corruption. The decentralization and deconcentration of political power has opened multiple avenues for voters and elites to access state resources. Whereas major parties were expected to dominate resources in the immediate aftermath of the transition, changes to the formal and informal institutions eroded their control over the state. This has caused previously consolidated subnational party systems to fracture. The argument is demonstrated using narrative and newly constructed cross-district datasets. The paper develops the concept of rent opportunities, defined as the ability to access and abuse state resources. Party system expansion has been greatest in areas with high rent opportunities, where both voters and elites are Social Media Presidential Election Indonesia 2014 Indonesiaparticularly motivated by the competition for state resources. In these areas, characterized by large state sectors, the formerly authoritarian party (Golkar) initially won large electoral victories due, in part, to its control over patronage. As Golkar lost its ability to monopolize resources, the party system fractured. Voting for small parties surged and the party machine was replaced by a partisan melee. My argument exposes the limits of institutional engineering and underlines the formative role corruption has had on the evolution of Indonesia’s party system. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 

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What Explains ASEAN’s Leadership in East Asian Community Building?

issue_images_87_2_katsumataHiro Katsumata, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

Keywords: ASEAN, East Asian Community, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), leadership, norms


Conventional wisdom holds that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been able to lead community building in East Asia by default, against the background of Sino-Japanese rivalries. The present study maintains that this line of argument is insufficient, and offers a complementary account, centered on the statement that ASEAN has actively constructed a social environment which defines itself as the legitimate leader of East Asian community building. More specifically, the leadership of ASEAN can be explained in terms of three parallel developments since the early 1990s that are associated with the Asia-Pacific framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF): the Southeast Asian association has been able to lead community building in East Asia becauseissue_image_87_2_Katsumata (1) it has advanced the vision of an “East Asian community” by drawing on its cooperative security norm embodied in the ARF; (2) through their participation in the ARF process, the Northeast Asian powers have come to recognize the value of ASEAN’s cooperative security norm, and thus to share with the Southeast Asian nations their vision of an East Asian community; and (3) the sharing of a community-building vision by all the East Asian countries has constituted a structure that makes it costly for the Northeast Asian powers to challenge the Southeast Asian association. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要

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China’s Future in a Multinodal World Order

Brantly Womack, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA

Keywords: China, globalization, demographic power, multinodal, multipolar, asymmetry

China world order


Over the next twenty years China is likely to become the world’s largest national economy, though not the richest one-fifth of the world’s population. Chinese demographic power will be qualitatively different from American technological power despite bottom-line similarities in GNP, and China will face challenges of political and economic sustainability. Assuming that globalization, constrained state sovereignty, and demographic revolution continue as basic world trends, the world order is likely to be one in which concerns about conflicts of interests drive interactions, but no state or group of states is capable of benefitting from unilaterally enforcing its will against the rest. Thus, there is no set of “poles” whose competition or cooperation determines the world order, despite the differences of exposure created by disparities in capacity. Although the United States and China will be the primary state actors and their relationship will contain elements of rivalry as well as cooperation, the prerequisites of Cold War bipolarity no longer exist. Rather, the order would be best described as “multinodal,” a matrix of interacting, unequal units that pursue their own interests within a stable array of national units and an increasing routinization of international regimes and interpenetrating transnational connections. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要

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An Uncertain World: Rising Powers, Systemic Risk, and the Role of Institutions and Entrepreneurship

A Response to Brantly Womack’s “China’s Future in a Multinodal World Order”

Yves Tiberghien, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Keywords: globalization, global governance, institutions, systemic risk, political leadership, China’s rise, states


This article provides a response to Brantly Womack’s article in this issue on a multinodal view of the global world and China’s rise within it. Has globalization ushered in a new and stable structural system based on connectivity and multinodal networks?

I argue here that globalization may be more fragile and beset with system-level risk than in Womack’s view. Its future depends on investment in global institutions and global governance by states and networks of private and sub-state actors. Likewise, states may increasingly be caught in networks of interconnections and dependency, while at the same time they must deal with great social forces and struggles that could yet break key links in the system. In sum, agency, political leadership, and institutions matter. The system is dynamic and interactive. It is vulnerable and dependent on active coordination. Even China’s trajectory within this system can take very different paths, based on the political choices of its leaders and other players. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要

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Link to ALL Book Reviews published in Vol 87, No 2, June 2014

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