The Purnawirawan and party development in post-authoritarian Indonesia, 1998-2014

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This study examines the role played by purnawirawan (retired military officers) in political party development in post-authoritarian Indonesia from 1998 to 2014. The role of purnawirawan remains a critical research gap in the literature on democratisation in post-authoritarian Indonesia, particularly in studies which focus on civilian-military relations. The article finds that purnawirawan have had a significant impact on the creation of a new type of party -one which combines militarycentred leadership and civilian-controlled management. This new arrangement has enabled these former military officers to protect their interests. This study contributes to the existing literature on the impact of military reform on the increasing numbers of purnawirawan turning to civilian politics in order to maintain influence via electoral political contestation in the context of democratic transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-30
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Democratisation
  • Indonesia
  • Party development
  • Political party
  • Post-authoritarian
  • Purnawirawan


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