Realpolitik Ideology: Indonesia's Use of Military Force

Realpolitik Ideology: Indonesia's Use of Military Force

Realpolitik Ideology: Indonesia's Use of Military Force

Realpolitik Ideology: Indonesia's Use of Military Force

Synopsis

Realpolitik Ideology represents path-breaking research on the Indonesian military (TNI) going beyond traditional scholarship on the TNI's dual function or dwifungsi which has been one of the dominating fields of analysis in Indonesian studies since the 1970s. Addressed to political scientists, sociologists, historians, anthropologists and defence practitioners, this book interprets security policy in terms of its social roots asserting that the realpolitik behaviour of the TNI has strong "socio-cultural" undertones, which in turn shape the development of military doctrine. The argument made in the book is that only through a better understanding of the doctrines that reinforced the military's significant presence in Indonesian affairs and their subsequent restructuring can Indonesia's policy-makers attempt meaningful reform of the TNI.

Excerpt

This book is a product of three years of research and writing. It is an intellectual journey that I have only just begun. The more I read about Indonesia and discover during my many visits, the more I realize the complexities inherent in a country rich in diversity and multifaceted in the myriad of interpretations that can be brought to bear on the important issues of the day. Mine is but one interpretation.

Numerous individuals and institutions have provided assistance which directly or indirectly contributed to the completion of this book. My initial task is to thank two wonderful scholars, who are sadly no longer with us, the late Huynh Kim Khanh of Cornell University and Kernial Singh Sandhu, who was Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies until his untimely demise in 1992. Both these scholars did the most to stimulate my interest in Southeast Asian Studies and start me off in the right direction. K.S. Sandhu had a vision for Southeast Asian research that he articulated to me in January 1992 before I left Singapore to begin my doctoral studies at the Australian National University. He had observed that while Southeast Asians tended to write prolifically on the countries of their origin, little cross-cultural research was undertaken within the region. He pondered whether it was due to a lack of inclination by Southeast Asians to comment on the internal affairs of each other’s countries, but emphasized that such an impediment should be overcome as cross-cultural research would add a unique dimension to Southeast Asian Studies. Next, he stressed to me that the development of local expertise on Indonesia was particularly critical as Indonesia was Singapore’s neighbour and Singaporean scholars should attempt to make their own inimitable contribution to Indonesian studies. This book, in its own modest way, aspires to fulfil that vision articulated to me all those years ago.

I would be amiss if I failed to acknowledge the special debt of gratitude I owe to those who have contributed to my early intellectual development when I did degrees in History and Political Science at York University in Toronto, Canada. Robert W. Cox, Cynthia Dent, David B. Dewitt, Paul M. Evans, Gerald S. Jordan, Willard Piepenberg, Richard Stubbs (at McMaster . . .

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