The 1999 decentralization policy, local politics, and local capacity of the port city of Surabaya
There has been a resurgence of the decentralization policy over the last two decades. The World Bank notes that ‘out of seventy-five developing countries and transitional countries with population greater than five million, all but twelve claim to be embarked on some form of transfer of political power to local units of government’ (Dillinger 1994:8). The reasons are mainly to accelerate the democratization process and to afford the efficient, effective and responsible provision of public service (Azfar et al. 1999; Litvack et al. 1998; Manor 1999; Oates 1999; Rondinelli et al. 1983; Sellers 2002; Tiebout 1956). The assumption for this is that the closer the decision-making processes are to the people, the better the policies based on the tastes of people that will be pro - vided. In addition, the policy makers will be more responsible and accountable.