The Role of Civil Society in Indonesia’s Military Reform

  • Rizal Sukma
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


In post-authoritarian states, the problem of military reform often becomes a major challenge to the process of democratization. The challenge becomes particularly acute in countries where the tradition of civilian control over the military is weak or non-existent. Indonesia constitutes such a state. The military, albeit in its embryonic form, took part in the process of state-creation during the period of revolutionary war in 1945–1949 against the returning Dutch. From the outset of the post-independence era the military, as an important party in Indonesia’s struggle for independence, claimed a historical justification for its involvement in state affairs. Successive domestic upheavals that plagued Indonesia over the first two decades of the post-independence period – from various regional rebellions in the 1950s to bloody internal political struggle in the mid-1960s that led to the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) by the Army – consolidated the Indonesian military’s position as the backbone of the state and regime since 1966.


Civil Society Defense Policy Civil Society Actor Civilian Actor Security Sector Reform 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)JakartaIndonesia

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