Introduction

Indonesia is truly at a crossroads. Decades of Soeharto's autocratic rule under the New Order1 regime have left the country crippled. Existing institutions are brittle with little capacity to deal with any fluidity of power—a prerequisite for a functioning democracy. Collusion, corruption, and nepotism (a phrase that became a rallying cry, also referred to as KKN—kolusi, korupsi, dan nepotisme) are deeply engrained practices that continue to hinder fair and transparent conduct of business and government. On the positive side, there is a vibrant, nascent civil society, led by students, nongovernmental organizations, and intellectuals, passionately committed to creating a fairer, better Indonesia. Their work is strengthened and supported ...

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