Unpacking the “political-institutional complex”: The role of physical and institutional infrastructures in Indonesia’s decentralization reform

Wai-Hang Yee, Hui Li


The study looks into how governance qualities of decentralized governments mediate the impacts of decentralization on development. Based on a set-oriented approach, the study analyzed data from a nation-wide survey conducted with business managers from all provinces in Indonesia, and found evidence that, despite the country’s uniform decentralization reform, individual provinces exhibited great variation in the qualities of their various physical and institutional infrastructures. Notably, these qualities assumed nested relations, with order and security as well as accountability and rule of law seemingly being the preconditions of basic infrastructure provision as well as local governments’ coordination. Moreover, business investment decisions (measured as staff expansion and product innovation) were found to vary with some specific combinations of these infrastructural conditions. The result provides evidence supporting the argument that both physical and institutional infrastructures are instrumental to realize the supposed benefits of decentralization and supports the recent call of the literature to look into the political-institutional complex in the process of decentralization reform.


decentralization; physical infrastructure; institutional infrastructure; governance; development; political-institutional complex

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24294/jipd.v2i1.158


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