Spoilers, Partners and Pawns: Military Organizational Behaviour and Civil-Military Relations in Indonesia
Evan, A. Laksmana
Date of Issue2008
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This paper tries to explain the political behaviour of military organizations within the context of civil-military relations. The key purpose is to extract several key variables that could serve as a starting theoretical model for future research on Southeast Asian militaries and political armies in general. This would be done by analysing four distinct cases of political behaviours of the Indonesian military in its relations with the president. This paper aims to answer why these distinct behaviours occur, how they came about, and under what conditions would they be observed. This paper finds that the political behaviours of military organizations can be at least typologized into four distinct categories that depart from the traditional literature: regime spoiler, critical regime partner, uncritical regime partner, and regime pawn. This paper also finds that several variables could help explain such behaviours. First, internal military variables: the military’s self-conception and portrayal of the “national interests”; the degree of military unity and cohesion; and the institutional and individual interests of the key military leadership. Second, variables within the political leadership: the degree of civilian interference in internal military affairs, civilian strength vis-à-vis the military, and civilian handling of the domestic political condition. However, how all these variables interact, the degree of significance of each variable, and how they shape the military’s political behaviour would eventually have to depend on the national political, economic, security and social conditions of the specific time of the case at hand.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
RSIS Working Papers, 161-08
Nanyang Technological University