An Inside Job: Indonesia’s Path to Constitutional Democracy

Date: 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Donald HorowitzDonald Horowitz, Duke University

About the Seminar
After the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia pursued an unusual course of democratization. It was insider-dominated and gradualist, and it involved free elections before a lengthy process of constitutional reform. At the end of the process, Indonesia’s amended constitution was essentially a radically new and thoroughly democratic document. By proceeding as they did, the Indonesians averted the great conflict that would have arisen between adherents of the old constitution and proponents of radical, immediate reform. Gradual reform also made possible the adoption of institutions that preserved pluralism, mitigated conflict, and pushed politics toward the center. The resulting democracy also has a number of prominent flaws, largely attributable to the process chosen, but it is a better outcome than the most likely alternatives.

About the Speaker
Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. He is the author of seven books: The Courts and Social Policy (1977), which won the Louis Brownlow Award of the National Academy of Public Administration; The Jurocracy (1977), a book about government lawyers; Coup Theories and Officers’ Motives: Sri Lanka in Comparative Perspective (1980); Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985, 2000); A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991), which won the Ralph Bunche Prize of the American Political Science Association; The Deadly Ethnic Riot (2001); and Indonesia’s Path to Constitutional Democracy, to be published in 2012.

Professor Horowitz has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School and the Central European University as well as a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, at the Law Faculty of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. In 2001, he was Centennial professor at the London School of Economics, and in 2001-02, he was a Carnegie scholar. In 2009, he was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Section of the International Studies Association.

Professor Horowitz is currently writing a book about constitutional design, particularly for divided societies, a subject on which he has advised in a number of countries. In 2010-11, he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, working on this project. In 2011-12, he will be a Jennings-Randolph senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and in 2013, a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, he served as president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, Professor Horowitz was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Flemish-speaking Free University of Brussels.