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In the Southeast Asian context where the incidence and violence of piracy have been growing and where maritime terrorism is a threat with potentially horrific consequences, there is an urgent need to come up with innovative ways to counter maritime violence. Beyond providing a solid foundation for the analysis of maritime piracy in Southeast Asia, the book also gives considerable attention to the challenges of regional cooperation. It is indeed regional cooperation that can make a major impact on piracy if more effective collaboration can be negotiated. The immediate practical challenge that emerges clearly from the contributions to this book is the need to continue to support initiatives to build trust and cooperation at the regional level in Southeast Asia.
Political accountability is a crucial element of any democracy since it is a safeguard against power abuse and corruption, both urgent problems of many political systems in Southeast Asia. Based on social science theories, the author analyses from a comparative perspective the ways institutional engineering concerning different dimensions of political accountability influenced the quality of democracy in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. By highlighting the successes and shortcomings, this book evaluates the degree these institutional reforms resulted in the deepening, stagnation, or regression of the respective democratization processes in these three Southeast Asian countries.
Democratization in Indonesia has altered the political decision-making processes in many ways. It has also brought about tremendous change to the role of the Indonesian parliament in the country's political system. Once characterized as a powerless rubber stamp, the parliament has developed into a comprehensive and more representative body able to fulfil its functions more adequately. In the literature on democratic transition, the impact of parliaments on regime changes and on the democratic reorganization of the most important state institutions and regulations is usually neglected. In the Indonesian case, however, the national parliament was one of the most decisive actors and is therefore the focus of this book. The author analyses the parliament's contribution towards the process of democratization. Thus, this book contributes not only to research on the Indonesian democratization process, but also to the comparative research on parliaments in transition processes in general.
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