Mohammad Iqbal Ahnaf, Ph.D | CRCS | Article
The most welcomed aspect of Indonesia’s democratization is probably political freedom. This is marked by the flourishing social organizations that illustrate the resurgence of civil society. However, strong society, although idealized, is not always positive for a democracy. This is especially true in a state with a weak government.
A distinguished political scientist, Joel Migdal in his book, Strong Societies and Weak States: State-society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World (1988) warned of the risk of having a strong civil society in a state with government lacking the ability to govern. A common consequence of weakened states is that the government lacks political will, institutional authority and organised power to provide basic functions of the state. If the state is unable to fulfill these functions, a power void will result and may lead to the rise of strong societies.