‘Low-quality Democracy’: The Validity of the Concept and Horowitz’s Exemplification on the Example of Indonesia Cover Image
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„DEMOKRACJA O NISKIEJ JAKOŚCI” (LOW-QUALITY DEMOCRACY) – ZASADNOŚĆ STOSOWANIA POJĘCIA I HOROWITZOWSKA EGZEMPLIFIKACJA NA PRZYKŁADZIE INDONEZJI
‘Low-quality Democracy’: The Validity of the Concept and Horowitz’s Exemplification on the Example of Indonesia

Author(s): Krzysztof Trzciński
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN
Keywords: low-quality democracy; illiberal democracy; flawed democracy; Donald L. Horowitz; Indonesia

Summary/Abstract: This article discusses problems relating to terms used to define former authoritarian states, which are already called democratic, although they are still characterized by some undemocratic features. The latest English language literature on political science relating to this subject uses three terms that are similar in meaning: illiberal democracy, flawed democracy and low-quality democracy. They have not been conceptualized so far. This means that there has been no transition from the stage of ideas or views on their content, i.e. pre-theoretical notions to theorized concepts. Consequently, the terms cannot be understood unequivocally. The term ‘low-quality democracy’ has been recently propagated by Donald L. Horowitz, a renowned American political scientist. This researcher uses the term primarily to name the type of political regime that was formed after 1998 in Indonesia – the third largest democratic country in terms of population in the world. Not only does Horowitz use this term, but he also tries to explain its importance using the example of the imperfections that characterize the young Indonesian democracy. The article is to clarify three issues: firstly, what is the content of the term ‘low-quality democracy’, exemplified – according to Horowitz – by the Indonesian democracy; secondly, what problems of low-quality democracy has Horowitz identified on the example of Indonesia; and thirdly, should this term be used in political science literature if similar terms such as illiberal democracy and flawed democracy are also used?

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 44
  • Page Range: 167-189
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish