Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Benedict A. DeDominicis
A few ruling individuals from party organizations overpowered Indonesia's post-authoritarian, representative democracy. The legislative process of the 2017 Election Act was the case study employed to examine this assumption. The underlying thinking was that there was a contest between “wealth power” (oligarchy) and “participation power” (democracy). The power of wealth controls the party and government institutions. Notwithstanding the presence of participation power, there was, however, no balance between wealth power and participation power, because the formal control of politics was in the hands of party oligarchs. The study purpose was to bridge the gap in knowledge by exploring how the party oligarchs maintained the policymaking, reputedly using cartelized strategies, to defend the status quo. By employing the oligarchy and cartelization theories, the central research question of this inquiry focused on how the party oligarchs, allegedly using cartel work-patterns, mastered the policy process in post-Suharto Indonesia. A qualitative case-study was used with in-depth interviews with 15 participants for data collection and the N-Vivo program for data analysis. Qualitative findings indicated that the party oligarchs engineered the legal process in parliament applying cartelized strategies to defend privileges they obtained from collusive interpenetration with the state. The implications for social change include informing members of parliament, other policymakers, and civil society groups of the cruciality of comprehending the modus operandi of oligarchic cartels. Understanding the “oligarchic cartelization” theoretical postulate is a fundamental step for party members to improve their performance in public offices. The results of this study can also be a useful reference for pro-democracy activists to defend the ontological essence of public participation in implementing representative democracy at an appropriate level.