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Military Retirees in Politics: A Study on the Rise of Purnawirawan in Indonesian Political Parties 1998-2014

Aminuddin, Muhammad Faishal

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Studies of civil-military relations and political parties in democratic Indonesia which gives deeper attention to the role of the military retirees (purnawirawan) in the democratization are still rare. The few studies that have been carried out only explore their role in the political contestation of presidential elections as key actors in supporting candidates and mobilizing votes. This study explains the meaning of the rise of purnawirawan’s involvement, not only in the political contestation, but also the extent of their contribution to the development of political parties and their performance in legislative institutions and public offices in the government. Overall the study investigates the contribution of their roles in the early democratic transition and the consolidation period

Three aspects were analyzed. The first aspect was political parties that had a large number of purnawirawan. From the dataset produced by this study, there were four political parties that became the units of analysis, namely PDI-P, Golkar, Democratic Party and Gerindra. The second aspect was the roles of purnawirawan from those four parties in the elections and legislative institutions. The third aspect was the roles of purnawirawan with the parties and non-parties background within the central and local governments. This study limits the research period from 1998 to 2014. In this period, there were five elections. The discussion begins with the period from 1998-2004 as the background of the emergence of purnawirawan in the direct elections and the presidential contest which began in 2004 where full-time participation in the political contestation took place massively. There are three hypotheses in this research. The first is that trends of purnawirawan’s participation in politics and political parties were the effects of structural changes resulting from the military reform and the multi-party systems. The second is that Purnawirawan contributed to the uniqueness of the development of party organizations that combined thin military values with a model of civilian organization. The third is that the role of purnawirawan in political parties and public offices was driven by the importance of continuing military doctrines to influence the state policy-making processes. This study is an intersection between the study of party organizations and the study of civil military relations in emerging democracy. The analytical framework developed combines the theories of the development of political parties and civilian control over the military to test the causal relationship between the involvement of purnawirawan in political parties, their performance in the parliament and the government, as well as their contribution to the democratization in Indonesia.

There are three important findings of this study. The first finding is that in the multi-parties system, purnawirawan worked hard not only to gain positions in the parliament and the government, but also to build political parties as political vehicles. This confirms that they were important actors in the party development. The second finding is that some parties established by purnawirawan were able to survive in the elections and obtain parliamentary seats. The parties were managed with a democratic vision, but still colored by militaristic characters. The third finding is that purnawirawan’s political participation in the democracy of Indonesia was driven by their personal interests to be posted in public offices and their responsibility as state guardians in the form of civilian politicians.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Croissant, Prof. Dr. Aurel
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 24 May 2018
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 17:10
Date: 2019
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Institute of Political Science
The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Institute of Sociology
The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
320 Political science
Controlled Keywords: Partei, Indonesien, Politik
Uncontrolled Keywords: political party, Indonesia, civil military relation
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