Indonesia’s executive branch of government has had great difficulty in initiating policies, as it has faced constant opposition even from the ruling coalition in the legislature since democratization in 1998. Institutional settings that shape the relationship between the executive and the legislative branch and between a party and its members provide incentives for legislators to oppose government policy. This paper aims to identify the patterns of political contestation in Indonesia’s democratic era. To this end, it examines liberalization reform in the oil and gas sector and its policy implementation to explain the reasons why legislators have opposed the government from 1998 to 2009 when the institutional setting surrounding the executive branch and legislators changed most significantly.
The government under President Wahid was the first to initiate liberalizing reform of the oil and gas sector and to submit a bill. This ended up in failure as the direct confrontation with the major parties led to Wahid’s impeachment under the 1999 and 2000 amendments of the 1945 Constitution, which restricted the president’s power. Subsequently, the Megawati government resolved the conflictual relationship with the major parties and succeeded in enacting the bill. Also, to prevent destabilizing the government as a result of legislators’ attempts to impeach presidents in the future, the constitution was amended again in 2001 to involve the constitutional court in verifying any wrongdoing of the president during the impeachment process.
Having completed all of the constitutional amendments, Yudhoyono became Indonesia’s first directly elected president in 2004. The government tried to secure stability in building a majority coalition under the separation of powers. However, as this paper shows, in the case study of Cepu block, an oil field on Jawa island, opponents from the opposition party and the ruling coalition consistently criticized the government’s promotion of liberal policies in the oil and gas sector. Institutional changes, such as drastic decreases in party subsidies, and the semi-open party list system certainly motivated the opponents to earn the electability by their own so that they can win seats in the next election.
Therefore, the institutional settings of the constitution and the party system, which had shifted from 1998 until Yudhoyono’s first-term presidency, had a significant effect on the patterns of political contestation in each government. These changes, prompting either intra-party or individual competition among legislators, accelerated the political contestation between the executive and legislative branches as well.
How has Quanjude, a restaurant renowned for its Peking Duck—a local specialty of Beijing—developed in the wake of China’s economic reform? Although Quanjude is classified as a state-owned enterprise, it cannot be considered a brand that has developed only by virtue of this classification.
Should the role of longstanding enterprises be considered similar to that of other state-owned enterprises? Along with many other longstanding enterprises, Quanjude was founded in the Beijing district of Qianmen, which is located in the jurisdiction of the city’s municipal government. Then, how is Quanjude viewed by the Beijing government?
This study attempts to investigate the status given to longstanding enterprises by the Beijing government with reference to the two paradoxes proposed by Martin Whyte (2009) regarding “decentralization of authority” and “a return to matters rejected during the Cultural Revolution.”
With a principal focus on four topics, this study undertook a detailed investigation of a broad range of materials that included statistical yearbooks as well as current articles and journals. It found that (1) brand value is protected as intellectual property through certification as a “China Time-honored Brand,” and this cultural resource is reflected in the policies of the Beijing government. (2) Apart from commercial activities, these enterprises are simultaneously engaged in activities that cannot be considered primarily profit-oriented. Although longstanding enterprises have developed on the basis of the principle of competition, they are grounded in the relationships of “mutual aid” by which large-scale enterprises drive SME firms through partnerships that enable omni-channel marketing through outlets such as brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping. (3) Areas with high concentrations of longstanding enterprises (and thus of tourism resources) represent a shared resource and therefore require certain macro controls that enable them to address the preservation of this resource. (4) Finally, the ownership and governance structure of longstanding enterprises include elements of a conglomerate structure that is conducive to effective policy implementation by the Beijing government.
The Beijing government thus positions longstanding enterprises as both “commercial firms” and a “cultural industry,” while some of these firms also possess properties distinct from those of more conventional state-owned enterprises in terms of how they exercise influence by embodying businesses embedded in the community against a background of history, culture, and politics.
This paper analyzes regionalist parties’ object of participation in the central government, by comparing election strategies and manifestos of two typical regionalist parties in the State of Tamil Nadu; Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Not all political parties intend to organize a ministry at the center, even if they occupy seats enough to do so in the Lok Sabha. Political parties in India could be classified into three categories; national party, regional party, and regionalist party.
Regionalist parties assert themselves in one particular state by representing the people there. Regionalist parties concentrate their energies on obtaining and maintaining ministerial power at the state level. They compete for the general election to expand their power at the national level, but do not intend to produce the Prime Minister from their own party members.
The Prime Minister, who is initially expected to behave as a representative of the nation, is under pressure to put priority on the interests of the nation which sometimes would infringe on the interests of the region. Regionalist parties, therefore, avoid responsibility as the representative of the nation. Regionalist parties, being different from the regional parties which are struggling to be a national party, do not run any candidate outside their own territory.
Their main purpose of gaining power at the national level is to stabilize their power at the state politics. They long for power at the national level in order to implement the policy which is preferable to the interest of the region and to oppose what is considered to be against the regional interests.
State Politics in Karnataka, India, has its own dynamics and historical legacies which shape the nature of political party competitions. Since the 1990s, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has dramatically increased the number of seats at the Legislative Assembly, Karnataka, so that State powers have been severely struggled among three political parties; Indian National Congress (INC), Janata Dal (Secular), and BJP. This paper envisages major characteristics of Karnataka State Politics by searching for the historical traits and trajectories on political power of Dominant Castes in 1970s, on political rivalry between two Dominant Castes (Lingayat and Vokkaliga) over the Reservation system of OBCs (Other Backward Classes), and on the institutional reforms of local self- governments and the introduction of Panchayat Elections in 1980s.
Previous studies have argued that one of the important features of Karnataka politics is strong influence of Dominant Castes, which have more political representation in the Legislative Assembly than their ratio of population. The tendencies of over-representation had continued until mid-1970s, when Devaraj Urs became chief minister with strong political support of Indira Gandhi. Urs had succeeded in constructing vote banks of non-Dominant Castes at local self-governments by appointing his followers as local officials. Secondly, the ambivalent relationships between Lingayat and Vokkaliga have been one of the major determinants of Karnataka State politics. These two castes have repeatedly demanded their own quota status in OBCs reservation system such as entrance examinations of higher educations and civil service exams, and then the differences of political interests between the two have indispensably become wider, which result in the collapse of political alliances in 1990s. The third characteristic is the devolution of power from State to local bodies and the reform of local bodies as democratic self-governments by the introduction of Panchayat elections since 1980s.
These historical traits can be found in recent party politics of Karnataka, especially in the period of Yeddyurappa chief minister (BJP), who has achieved a big leap in the Legislative Assembly seats. Yeddyurappa has been keen on expansion of patron-client relations by means of OBCs reservation systems, which are mainly targeting BJP’s support base castes (Lingayat), and by the effective use of Panchayats as power bases. This paper argues that Yeddyurappa’s political endeavors formulated by the historical characteristics of Karnataka State politics, however, lead him to suspicions of briberies.
Since the independence in 1947, India has adopted the federal system of government. In India, most of the states are organized along major linguistic lines. Language-based organization of state boundaries started in 1950s and completed in 1987. However, even today there are many demands for the creation of new states. In this paper, I focused on the case of the creation of Telangana state in the Southern India in 2014, and examined three points: (1) Which socio-economic factors contribute to the movements for new states. (2) How the federal and state governments respond to such movements. (3) What are the conditions for the creation of new states.
According to the case of the Telangana statehood movement since 2000s, people’s movements for new states in India today are motivated by not only their political and economic interests or so-called identity politics based on caste, religion, etc., but also their demands for the fair distribution of wealth and educational opportunities and for the preservation of their own dignity and self-esteem. A research group led by Kalpana Kannabiran concludes that the Telangana statehood movement is “the emergence of a new politics that is committed to deliberating over the meanings of democracy and direct action.”
The existence of such statehood movements is certainly one of the most important factors which contributes to the creation of new states. Nevertheless, whether they are actually created mostly hinges upon the decisions of the federal government and the major political parties. A new state is likely to be created when (1) most of the major political parties in the old undivided state consider that they can get political benefits from the creation of new state, and (2) the ruling party or parties at the center are one of such major political parties in the old undivided state.
Although the existence of the statehood movements is important for the creation of new states, it is in fact only a trigger or just cause for the federal government to start the process of the creation of those states. However, if a “new politics” as Kannabiran et al. says is actually emerging in India and the recent movements for new states are one of such “new politics,” it may become more and more difficult for the federal and state governments to deal with such movements in the same old way.