From Authoritarian to Democratic Models of Post-Conflict Development: The Indonesian Experience

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    Indonesia has experienced three periods of post-conflict development since World War II, and experimented with very different developmental models in each period. The first period followed the Japanese occupation (1942-45) and Indonesia's national independence struggle (1945-49). Left with a devastated economy, weak human capital and a politicized population, national leaders stressed building a cohesive national identity, and adopted increasingly authoritarian political structures. Significant conflict erupted in the "outer islands" and the period ended in 1965-66 with massive violence directed against the political left. In the second period, an authoritarian military-led regime was in power. Partly modeling itself on the developmentalist states of Northeast Asia, it stressed political order and economic development. Rapid economic growth took place, but this approach had major costs, creating an inflexible political system that suppressed rather than ameliorated local tensions generated by development. The collapse of this model in 1997-98 was thus accompanied by widespread conflict. Since then, Indonesia has adopted a democratic political system. Attempts to rebuild communities shattered by violence in 1997-2005 have combined state-building, economic development initiatives, and patronage distribution. In presenting how governments have dealt with conflict and development issues across these three periods, the analysis emphasizes economic development and state-building policies, and their differential sub-national impacts. These two approaches have frequently played a double-edged role, sometimes undermining security, sometimes underpinning it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)449-463
    JournalThe Korean Journal of Defense Analysis
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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