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Indonesia: the military's transformation from praetorian ruler to presidential coalition partner

Mietzner, Marcus

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Indonesia is a highly revealing case study for pinpointing both the conditions under which militaries in postcolonial societies intervened in political affairs and the patterns that led to their subsequent marginalization from politics. It also demonstrates how militaries could defend some of their political interests even after they were removed from the highest echelons of power. Emboldened by the war for independence (1945–1949), the Indonesian military used divisions, conflicts, and...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMietzner, Marcus
dc.contributor.editorThompson, William R
dc.date.accessioned2021-02-02T22:21:04Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/221502
dc.description.abstractIndonesia is a highly revealing case study for pinpointing both the conditions under which militaries in postcolonial societies intervened in political affairs and the patterns that led to their subsequent marginalization from politics. It also demonstrates how militaries could defend some of their political interests even after they were removed from the highest echelons of power. Emboldened by the war for independence (1945–1949), the Indonesian military used divisions, conflicts, and instabilities in the early postindependence polity to push for an institutionalized role in political institutions. While it was granted such a role in 1959, it used a further deterioration in civilian politics in the early 1960s to take power in 1965. Military intervention in politics in Indonesia, then, has been as much the result of civilian weaknesses as of military ambitions, confirming Finer’s theory on the civilian role in military power quests. Military rule in Indonesia weakened first as a consequence of the personalization of the polity built by the leader of the 1965 takeover, General Suharto. After a decade in power, Suharto turned the praetorian regime into a personal autocracy, transforming the military from a political actor into an agent. When Suharto’s regime collapsed in 1998 after being hit by the Asian financial crisis, the military was discredited—allowing civilian rulers to dismantle some of its privileges. But continued divisions among civilian forces mitigated the push for the military’s full depoliticization—once again proving Finer’s paradigm. As post-Suharto presidents settled into the new power arrangements, they concluded that the military was a crucial counterweight against the possible disloyalty of their coalition partners. Thus, under the paradigm of coalitional presidentialism, rulers integrated the military into their regimes and granted it concessions in return. In short, while the post-1998 military is much diminished from its role in predemocratic regimes, it retains sufficient power to protect its core ideological and material interests
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherOxford University Press
dc.relation.ispartofOxford Research Encyclopedia: Politics
dc.relation.isversionof1st Edition
dc.rights© 2020 Oxford University Press
dc.subjectIndonesia
dc.subjectmilitary
dc.subjectautocracy
dc.subjectdemocratization
dc.subjectpresidentialism
dc.subjectcivil–military relations
dc.subjectmilitary in politics
dc.titleIndonesia: the military's transformation from praetorian ruler to presidential coalition partner
dc.typeBook chapter
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
dc.date.issued2020
local.identifier.absfor160606 - Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5412248xPUB217
local.publisher.urlhttps://oxfordre.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMietzner, Marcus, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.description.embargo2099-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage23
local.identifier.doi10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1827
local.identifier.absseo940201 - Civics and Citizenship
dc.date.updated2020-11-02T04:25:06Z
local.bibliographicCitation.placeofpublicationUnited States
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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