HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 4 no. 2 (2003)

peace negotiations, MILF, Malaysia, Philippines

Muhammad Najib Azca

Discipline: Politics



Of the militaries in all the Southeast Asian nations, those of Thailand and Indonesia have been perhaps the most historically consistent dominant force in terms of tl1tir involvement in politics under authoritarian regimes. Yet despite this similarity, Thailand and Indonesia took very different steps to end the military's domination of the political realm. In Thailand, the military's political role underwent a gradual reduction from 1973 onwards, while in Indonesia the reduction in the military's political role came about suddenly as a result of the fall of Soeharto in 1998. It is the divergent experiences of democratic transition in Thailand and Indonesia that have stimulated the central question examined in this paper, that is, why did the reduction of the military's domination of politics in Thailand and Indonesia take such different paths and occur in such a different time frame?