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State, class and regime in Indonesia : structural impediments to democratisation

Halldorsson, Jon Ormur (1991) State, class and regime in Indonesia : structural impediments to democratisation. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86114) (KAR id:86114)


The concern behind the thesis is with the potential for democratisation of Indonesian politics. It is shown that the undemocratic form government has

taken in Indonesia has not been determined by a cultural predisposition but is the logical outcome of politics of access to economic resources. Political

history of Indonesia is interpreted through theorisation structured around three concepts, state, regime and class. The state is understood as the site of

economic conflict as well as an integrating principle. Its role in structuring the interests it represents is given attention. A difficult problem in Identification and understanding of the interests promoted by the state is overcome through theoretical separation of regime from state. It is shown that the state is not an entity with a life of its own, nor has it been an instruments of any class. Moreover, the state has not been under military control in recent years, nor furthered military interests in politics or business. This, as well as the continued centrality of the state, is explained through analysis of imperatives generated by economic forces and the evolving class configuration at the top of society. The business interests of a ruling group are mapped out in some detail, and so is the interlinking between these and the Chinese owned conglomerates dominating the economy, It is shown that these interests, advanced by monopoly access to the state, have now transformed the state to a much greater degree than did the assumed watershed events of past decades. The political and economic imperatives generated by the interests represented by the Suharto and Chinese owned conglomerates, and companies under their umbrellas, provide a framework of constraints and opportunities with regard to democratisation. This is understood through focus on the politics of gradual elite inclusion in an exclusionary system constituted by dominant economic interests, now increasingly privatised, but still dependent on privileged access to the state.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86114
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Political science
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:29 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 01:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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