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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Javanization of Indonesian politics Thornton, David Leonard


This thesis applies the analytical concept of political culture to politics in the Indonesian context. The term "Javanization" is used to describe the process whereby ethnic Javanese and Javanized individuals gradually became the overwhelming and disproportionate majority of the governing elite in the post-independence era. It is further argued that the dominance in terms of numbers has led to the Javanization of Indonesian conceptions of state and limits of political behavior. The first chapter surveys other theories of Indonesian politics and makes a proposal for a cultural theory. The cultural cleavages in Indonesian society in the horizontal plane are described and a description of the government of Mataram operating in a totally Javanese environment is given. The changing roles of the primary bearers of Javanese political culture and the nature of the state are discussed. Chapter Two interprets post-independence political history from the perspective of increasing Javanization and the gradual loss of national political influence by non-Javanese Islamic political elements. Data on the ethnic composition of the contemporary military, governmental and political elite are presented. Chapter Three is a discussion of contemporary (1959 to I972) Indonesian government and politics using the same conceptual framework (structure, functions and style) as is used to discuss Mataram. Some similarities and dis-similarities are pointed out. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the future of Javanization.

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