Royal figures “build new kingdoms”
A picture of direct election for regent/mayor/governor in Bali
There is an interesting aspect in the studies of the local leadership in Bali which has not been exposed, namely, the involvement of the royal figures in the direct election for the regent/mayor/governor. The role played by the palace in the selection of leadership in general and in the direct election for the regent/mayor/ government particularly is highly crucial. Before the Dutch people came in the 19th century, the political role played by the royal figures had been known to be prominent. After the expedition made by the Majapahit Kingdom in 1343, which was popularly known as the agricultural feudalistic era during which power was determined by a tight caste system, the political role played by the royal figures was prominent. The fact that one kingdom subjugated another supported social stratification in which the palace became the center of power. This present study is intended to reveal the role played by the royal figure as the symbol of traditional power and its implication on the development of democratic politics in general and the direct election for the regent/mayor/governor in particular after the era of reformation. This study was conducted using the historical descriptive qualitative method. The data were collected through library research, field survey, and in-depth interview. These techniques were used to collect opinions and views on the succession of leadership and were supported by the concept of political culture. The result of the study showed that the royal figure still played a role and appeared in the political affairs, and that some were able to “build new kingdoms” successfully, had been made to disappear for a long time by the national political change. Several royal figures were able to combine economic capital, socio-cultural capital, and symbolic capital as stated by Piere Bourdieu, the French sociologist
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