Explaining state development: Indonesia from its pre-independence origins to contemporary democracy.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Explaining State Development: Indonesia from Pre-Independence Origins to Contemporary Democracy. This thesis uses the Indonesian case to present a new paradigm for explaining the state development of new or relatively new (post-World War II) states. The first chapter describes this paradigm of organic and mechanical types of state development, argues that the development of the Indonesian state from the 1950s to 1990s is a good example of the mechanical type of development and shows how this can be confirmed by assessing and comparing the capabilities of the four different versions of a modern state developed by Indonesia since independence. The next chapter examines Indonesia’s pre-independence debates about the form of state to be adopted, which led to Indonesia accepting a Western model of the state that has since undergone a development process involving four different versions of a ‘modern’ state. These four versions of the state are defined according to their type of regime and policymaking institutions: I) parliamentary democracy, II) Sukarno’s civilian presidential monarchy, III) Suharto’s military presidential monarchy and IV) presidential democracy. Chapters Three to Six assess and compare these four versions’ capability in three key areas: 1) achieving legal legitimacy, 2) control of the military and 3) dealing with political disorder – a crucial area of state capability that requires two chapters. Then Chapter Seven examines and explains the pre-democratic origins of the present version of the Indonesian state, the presidential democracy of Version IV. The Conclusion collates the findings of Chapters Three to Six on capabilities and summarises the arguments of Chapters Two and Seven regarding the 1940s acceptance of the Western model of the state and the late 1990s opportunity for democratisation. Finally, there is a concluding assessment of the potential of the organic/mechanical typology as a new paradigm for studying state development in other countries, regions and eras.