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Civic Organisations and Governance Reform in Indonesian Cities

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Much has been written about Indonesia's decentralisation since the fall of Soeharto. Scholars have developed different perspectives and provided useful analyses on 'right governance', but they seem to have largely neglected the organisational problems of civic organisations engaged in governance reform. By employing the concepts of legitimacy, organisational field and networks familiar in the sociology of organisation, this paper explores ways in which they develop and transform their organisations and networks, creating political issues and, mobilising the public. Three cities — Padang, Bandung, and Yogyakarta — were chosen as the study locations for the conspicuous and even prominent engagement of civic organisations in the struggle for reform of public governance. A qualitative method was used to collect data from various actors who are directly and indirectly engaged in contesting and cooperating with organisational actors in this area. This paper shows that the principles of independency and freedom within civic organisations have developed rapidly at the expense of organisational accountability. Such development has hampered the transformation of civic organisations into more influential social actors.

Affiliations: 1: University of Indonesia


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