Mar 19, 2014

@Reuters on political dynasties in Indonesia

Despite scandal, Indonesia election could entrench political dynasties via @reuters

"Indonesia right now is flooded with money and there are many so-called little kingdoms around the country where nobody's checking how local officials spend their budgets," said an official at an international development agency who asked not to be named because he works closely with the Indonesian government.

In the Philippines, political dynasties have held sway for 70 years or more and are "prevalent in areas with more severe poverty", said a July 2013 study by the Asian Institute of Management in Manila.

Poverty entrenched those dynasties, said the study, although there was "less evidence" that dynasties caused poverty.

In Indonesia, dynasties are a relatively new phenomenon and it's too soon to conclude that they impede development, said Michael Buehler, an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University who has studied Indonesian elites in depth.

"But the Philippines basically shows us that dynasties are bad news. Overall, the economic development of places where dynasties have been for decades has been worse than places where there is more competition."


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