Guided democracy

Guided democracy, also called managed democracy,[1] is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto autocracy. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals.[2]

In other words, the government controls elections so that the people can exercise all their rights without truly changing public policy. While they follow basic democratic principles, there can be major deviations towards authoritarianism. Under managed democracy, the state's continuous use of propaganda techniques prevents the electorate from having a significant impact on policy.[3]

The concept of a "guided democracy" was developed in the 20th century by Walter Lippmann in his seminal work Public Opinion (1922) and by Edward Bernays in his work Crystallizing Public Opinion.

After World War II, the term was used in Indonesia for the approach to government under the Sukarno administration from 1957 to 1966. It is today widely employed in Russia, where it was introduced into common practice by Kremlin theorists, in particular Gleb Pavlovsky.[4] Princeton University professor Sheldon Wolin describes this process as inverted totalitarianism.

An important distinction is the one between governments that have elections which are judged not free or fair by observers and governments which have elections considered both free and fair. The Russian Federation under Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev has also been described as an illiberal democracy. Elections take place regularly, but many foreign observers (e.g. from the OSCE) do not consider them free or fair. Thirteen Russian journalists were assassinated between 2000 and 2003. Furthermore, most major television networks and newspapers are owned or controlled by the government and only openly support current government and state approved parties and candidates during elections.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Rohmann, C (2000) A World of Ideas : The Dictionary of Important Ideas and Thinkers, Ballantine Books ISBN 978-0-345-43706-8
  2. ^ Wolin, Sheldon S. (2008). Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-13566-5. p. 47
  3. ^ Wolin, Sheldon S. (2008). Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-13566-5. p. 60
  4. ^ Weir, Fred (October 1, 2003). "Kremlin lobs another shot at marketplace of ideas". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  5. ^ Illiberal Democracy and Vladimir Putin's Russia. "Collegeboard". July 2004
  6. ^ Sultan or democrat? The many faces of Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, CBC, 5 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.

External links

Daniel Lev

Daniel Saul Lev (October 23, 1933 – July 29, 2006) was an American political scientist and scholar on Indonesia.

Lev was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. In his youth, he participated in the Golden Gloves competitions for amateur boxing. He graduated from Miami University in 1955 and received his doctorate from Cornell University, where he became a member of the Modern Indonesia Project. Lev first traveled to Indonesia in 1959 and stayed in the country for three years. Because of his experience in Indonesia, Lev became a proponent of law reform after observing the "systematic dismantling" of its legal system under Presidents Sukarno and Suharto.After returning to the United States, he became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Lev's opposition to the Vietnam War was not well received by the university and likely prevented him from receiving tenure. Soon after, he moved to Seattle to teach at the University of Washington before finally retiring in 1999. As a scholar of Indonesian law, Lev helped the country's lawyers and activists continue their education in the United States. His dissertation titled The Transition to Guided Democracy: Indonesian Politics 1957–1959 analyzed Sukarno's Guided Democracy principles and became a classic reading on the development of the country's political system. He was also a member of Human Rights Watch and served on the advisory committee of its Asia division.Lev was a heavy smoker and died from lung cancer on July 29, 2006. He had been writing a biography on Chinese Indonesian lawyer and human rights advocate Yap Thiam Hien at the time of his death. Over 900 pages of the book had been written, and two chapters remained unwritten. Fellow scholar and friend Benedict Anderson continued his work and published the book No Concessions: The Life of Yap Thiam Hien, Indonesian Human Rights Lawyer in 2011.He was married to Arlene O. Lev and had two children, son Louis and daughter Claire.

Djuanda Kartawidjaja

Djuanda Kartawidjaja (14 January 1911 – 7 November 1963) was an ethnic Sundanese noble from the court of Cirebon, an Indonesian politician and the 11th and the final Prime Minister of Indonesia. Raden Djuanda Kartawidjaja, usually referred to simply as Djuanda, served as Minister of Communications in seven cabinets from 1946 to 1949 and 1950 to 1953; as Minister of State in 1949 and Minister of Welfare from 1949 to 1950. Djuanda was Indonesia's final Prime Minister in Sukarno "Karya" cabinets, the final cabinets of the Liberal Democracy Era (prior to the Guided Democracy period) and as First Minister from 1959 until his death in 1963.

Djuanda's death and the abolition of the post of Prime Minister in the Indonesian Republican system allowed far greater power to be exercised by the President- now being given full ruling power with minimal oversight, as both Head of State and Head of Government. This had an enormous impact on Indonesian politics, allowing the constitutional legality of the autocracy of Sukarno and Suharto.

Juanda International Airport, located in Surabaya, is named after him, who suggested development for the airport. He is also depicted in the recent 2016 edition of Rp 50,000 Indonesian rupiah banknotes.

Government of Indonesia

The term Government of Indonesia (Indonesian: Pemerintah Indonesia) can have a number of different meanings. At its widest, it can refer collectively to the three traditional branches of government – the Executive branch, Legislative branch and Judicial branch. The term is also used colloquially to mean the Executive and Legislature together, as these are the branches of government responsible for day-to-day governance of the nation and lawmaking. At its narrowest, the term is used to refer to the Executive Branch in form of the Cabinet of Indonesia as this is the branches of government responsible for day-to-day governance.

Guided Democracy in Indonesia

Guided Democracy (Indonesian: Demokrasi Terpimpin) was the political system in place in Indonesia from 1957 until the New Order began in 1966. It was the brainchild of President Sukarno, and was an attempt to bring about political stability. Sukarno believed that parliamentarian system implemented during the liberal democracy period was ineffective due to Indonesia's divisive political situation at that time. Instead, he sought a system based on the traditional village system of discussion and consensus, which occurred under the guidance of village elders. With the introduction of this system, Indonesia returned to the presidential system and Sukarno became the head of government again.

Sukarno proposed a threefold blend of nasionalisme ('nationalism'), agama ('religion'), and komunisme ('communism') into a co-operative Nas-A-Kom (or Nasakom) governmental concept. This was intended to appease the three main factions in Indonesian politics — the army, Islamic groups, and the communists. With the support of the military, he proclaimed in February 1957, 'Guided Democracy', and proposed a cabinet representing all major political parties (including the Communist Party of Indonesia, although the latter were never actually given functional cabinet positions). From that time, there was no Western-style general election in Indonesia until the 1999 election of the Reformasi era.

HMS Heartsease (K15)

HMS Heartsease was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Navy. She served with both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy during the Second World War, with the latter navy as USS Courage. She then spent several years under a succession of names in civilian service. In 1957 she was chartered on behalf of Indonesian rebels to smuggle rubber, copra and matériel. The Indonesian Air Force intercepted and sank her off the coast of Minahasa in North Sulawesi in December 1958.

Illiberal democracy

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties, thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.

League of Supporters of Indonesian Independence

The League of Supporters of Indonesian Independence (Indonesian: Ikatan Pendukung Kemerdekaan Indonesia, literally translated as Supporters of Indonesian Independence Bond; abbreviated as IPKI) was a political party in Indonesia established by former Army head General Abdul Haris Nasution as a vehicle for the Indonesian Army to enter the realm of politics. It was influential in persuading President Sukarno to introduce Guided Democracy in Indonesia and return to the 1945 Constitution.

Liberal democracy period in Indonesia

The era of Liberal Democracy (Indonesian: Demokrasi Liberal) in Indonesia began on August 17, 1950 following the dissolution of the federal United States of Indonesia less than a year after its formation, and ended with the imposition of martial law and President Sukarno's decree regarding the introduction of Guided Democracy on July 5, 1957. It saw a number of important events, including the 1955 Bandung Conference, Indonesia's first general and Constitutional Assembly elections, and an extended period of political instability, with no cabinet lasting as long as two years.

MV Daronia

MV Daronia was a 1930s British oil tanker owned by Anglo-Saxon Petroleum, a British subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. She was launched in July 1938 by Hawthorn Leslie at Hebburn on Tyneside in England and was completed in February 1939. She was one of a class of 20 similar tankers built for Anglo-Saxon.She was commanded throughout her service life by Captain John Buick Ritchie (OBE).

In 1944 Daronia survived being hit by two German torpedoes, and in 1958 she survived being hit by a bomb in an air raid by the CIA. Shell withdrew Daronia from service in 1960 and she was scrapped in November of that year.


The Greater Malayan Confederation, or Maphilindo (for Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia), was a proposed, nonpolitical confederation of the three Southeast Asian countries.

Murba Party

Murba Party (Indonesian: Partai Murba, Partai Musyawarah Rakyat Banyak, Proletarian Party) was a 'national communist' political party in Indonesia. The party was founded by Tan Malaka, Chairul Saleh, Sukarni and Adam Malik in 1948. The history of the party was largely intertwined with that of the powerful Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Initially relations between PKI and the Murba Party were fluid, but gradually the two parties developed into each other's arch-enemies. The Murba Party continued to exist under the New Order, but was merged into the Indonesian Democratic Party in 1973.


Permesta was a rebel movement in Indonesia, its name based on Piagam Perjuangan Semesta (Universal Struggle Charter). It was declared by civil and military leaders in East Indonesia on 2 March 1957. The center of the movement was in Manado in Sulawesi, and the movement was led by Colonel Ventje Sumual. Alexander Evert Kawilarang resigned his position as Indonesian military attache in the USA to become a general in the Permesta army. On 17 February 1958 the Permesta rebels joined forces with the PRRI rebels based in Sumatra who had declared a revolutionary government two days earlier.

Following successful Central Government attacks on the PRRI based in Sumatra, the conflict swung to the east where the Permesta rebels were based. Central Government forces succeeded in capturing the Permesta capital of Manado at the end of June 1958. However, the Permesta rebels continued their resistance, fighting a guerrilla campaign against central government troops until the last remnants surrendered and were given an amnesty in 1961.

Politics of Indonesia

The politics of Indonesia take place in the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic whereby the President of Indonesia is both head of state and head of government and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two People's Representative Councils. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.The 1945 constitution provided for a limited separation of executive, legislative and judicial power. The governmental system has been described as "presidential with parliamentary characteristics". Following the Indonesian riots of May 1998 and the resignation of President Suharto, several political reforms were set in motion via amendments to the Constitution of Indonesia, which resulted in changes to all branches of government.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Indonesia as a "flawed democracy" in 2017.

President Sukarno's 1959 Decree

The Presidential Decree of July 5, 1959 was issued by President Sukarno in the face of the inability of the Constitutional Assembly of Indonesia to achieve the two-thirds majority to reimpose the 1945 Constitution. It was army chief of staff Abdul Haris Nasution who concluded that this would be the only way to bring about the reintroduction of a constitution that paved the way for the military to play a greater role in the running of the state, ushering in the period known as the "guided democracy" (1959-1966).

The decree, which was read by Sukarno at the Merdeka Palace reads as follows:

DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIAAND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL ARMED FORCESOn the official reintroduction of the 1945 State Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia

With the Mercy of Almighty God


Hereby declare with respect:

That the proposal of the President and Government to return to the 1945 Constitution as conveyed to the entire Indonesian people with the mandate of the President dated April 22nd, 1959 did not result in a decision from the Constitutional Assembly as stipulated by the Provisional Constitution;

That with the declaration of the majority of the members of the Session to Produce a Constitution to no longer attend sessions, it is no longer possible for the Constitutional Assembly to complete the task entrusted to it by the people;

That this has resulted in a situation that endangers the unity and security of the Nation, Land and People, as well as hampering overall development toward a just and prosperous society;

That with the support of the majority of the Indonesian people and urged on by our own certainty, we are forced to follow the only path to save the Proclaimed Nation:

That we are certain that the Jakarta Charter dated July 22nd, 1945 inspired the 1945 Constitution and is part of the chain of unity with the aforementioned Constitution.

Therefore, based on the above,


Resolve thus to order the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly,

Resolve that the 1945 Constitution is once again in force for the entire Indonesian people and the entire Indonesian nation, as from the date of this decree and that the Provisional Constitution is no longer in force within the Republic,

Resolve to order the establishment of a Provisional People's Consultative Assembly, which is made up of the members of the House of Representatives with the delegates from the regions and groups, with the establishment of a Provisional Supreme Advisory Council to be organized as speedily as possible, in keeping with the provisions of the aforementioned Constitution.

Resolved in Jakarta

on July 5th, 1959

In the name of the People of Indonesia:

President of the Republic of Indonesia/Supreme Commander of the National Armed Forces



Riklefs (1982), A History of Modern Indonesia, Macmillan Southeast Asian reprint, ISBN 0-333-24380-3

Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia (1975) 30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka: Jilid 2 (1950–1964) (30 Years of Indonesian Independence: Volume 2 (1950–1964))

SS Aquila (1940)

SS Aquila (originally SS Duke of Sparta) was a cargo ship built in Britain in 1940 for Stavros Livanos' Trent Maritime Co Ltd. by William Gray & Company. An identical sister, SS Duke of Athens, was made for Trent at the same time.

In 1947–48 Duke of Sparta was involved in controversy over alleged treatment of Nigerian stowaways. She was sold to Grimaldi Brothers of Naples, Italy, in 1951, who renamed her Aquila.She was in the Moluccas in eastern Indonesia in April 1958 when a CIA aircraft involved in a covert mission against the Sukarno government bombed and damaged her. She sank a month later. Her wreck off Ambon City is now a popular scuba diving site.

SS Norse Lady

SS Norse Lady was a cargo ship built by Wood, Skinner and Company of Newcastle upon Tyne to the United Kingdom's standard First World War "War C" design. She traded from 1920 until 1958, in which time she had six successive owners and four different names. In 1958 she ran aground in eastern Indonesia, was captured and beached by rebels, and then set on fire by a naval bombardment. She remained a wreck until 1966, when she was scrapped in Taiwan.

SS San Flaviano

SS San Flaviano was a 1950s British oil tanker owned by Eagle Oil and Shipping Company, a British subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. She was built by Cammell Laird in England in 1956 and attacked and sunk by the CIA in Borneo in 1958.

San Flaviano had a sister ship, San Fortunato, built by Cammell Laird in the same year. The two ships were part of a substantial investment programme to renew Eagle Oil's fleet with larger and more modern tankers. Between 1950 and 1960 the company took delivery of at least 16 new tankers.

United Nations Temporary Executive Authority

The United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) / United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF) was established during October 1962 in accord with General Assembly resolution 1752 as requested in Article two of the New York Agreement to administer the colony of West New Guinea. The UNTEA administration ended on 1 May 1963.

West Irian rupiah

The rupiah was a distinct currency of West Irian (formerly West New Guinea) between 1963 and 1973. It replaced the West New Guinea gulden at par and was replaced by the Indonesian rupiah at the rate of 1 West Irian rupiah = 18.9 Indonesian rupiah.

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