Democracies often have violent beginnings, because a government that has held power for many years is unlikely to expand political freedoms unless compelled by a rebelling populace. The transformation of Indonesia in the late 1990s from an autocracy into the world’s third-largest democracy (behind the United States and India) is a modern illustration of this thesis.
The Indonesian revolution followed more than three decades of rule by President Suharto. His reign saw Indonesia make great economic strides. However, Indonesia’s prosperity was coupled with newspaper censorship...
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