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POLI 369 (2)

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 369
Erik Kuhonta

COLONIALISM AND NATIONALISM Colonial Policy and Practice: Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India (Furnivall) Key concept of plural society -Due to the British colonial policy of Divide and Rule and the similar policy used by the Dutch -Divisions, usually for economic purposes, along ethnic/religious lines -Ex: British in Malaya kept the Malays in agriculture, the Indians in rubber plantation and the Chinese in tin mining -Objective: prevent collective action -Prevent trust between different ethnic groups, which reduces the likelihood of different segments in the society uniting together to topple colonial rule -Link with assimilation! -Elements of a plural society: -Lack of collective consciousness, heritage and will -Interaction limited in the marketplace due to Divide and Rule -It is a crowd, not a community Southeast Asia and the Colonial Experience (Elson) -Elson basically writes about the region’s fluid and adaptive capabilities – how colonialism has transformed it -European powers sought to control and monopolize trade that SE Asia offered -Trade with extra-regional markets defined SE Asia life and politics until the 1800s -Effects of colonialism: -Transformed the landscape of the area -Livelihood of SE Asians -Diminished shared identities in the region -Creation of a new state system -From traditional forms (e.g. mandala concept) to European models (e.g. fixed territorial borders and state sovereignty) -Professional bureaucracy in state administration -Codification of traditional SE Asian law system -“Civilizing” mission toward the indigenous SE Asians -Economic development -SE Asian nations were expected to produce for their colonial masters, but also to consume the products of the industrial world (e.g. textile) -Social implications of colonialism: -Increase in SE Asian population 1 -Reduction in the value of people, but an increase in the value of material goods (contrast with mandala polity) -The maturation of SE Asian nations gave rise to anti-colonial nationalism -Young intellectuals understood that SE Asian nations were only useful to support Western powers -However, nationalist forces were initially non-threatening due to division and disagreements -The Japanese weakened Western powers in the pacific region during WWII, therefore giving opportunities for nationalist movements DISORDER AND THE COLLAPSE OF POST-WAR DEMOCRACY The End of Empire and the Cold War (Berger) -Berger focuses on the transformation of SE Asia that flowed from the rise of nationalism, the crisis of colonialism, decolonization, the Cold War and the emergence of new nation-states -Anti-colonial resistance expressed through nationalism -Nation-state as a symbol of freedom and self-determination -Dynamics of decolonization -Nationalistic movements strengthened by the Japanese invasion -Philippines gained independence in 1946 -Indonesia declaring independence in 1945 -Burma gaining independence in 1948 -Mention of the Malayan Union -After 1945, British sought to institute local self-government based on equal citizenship - Malay elites rejected this proposition as the Malayan Union would severely weaken the ethnic Malays as most of them were planted in agriculture (Policy of Divide and Rule) -Creation of UMNO (1946) in response which successfully bargained for the deletion of the Malayan Union -Indonesian independence -Anti-colonial nationalism did not take hold until the early 1900s -Japanese invasion gave Sukarno nationalistic opportunities as it weakened European colonialism -Independence declared in 1945 -Dutch withdrawal in 1949 -Fragmentation of French Indochina (Focus on Vietnam) -Anti-colonial Vietnamese nationalism emerged in early 1900s -Japanese invasion defeated French colonialists -Following the defeat of Japan in the hands of the Allies, the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh took advantage of both weakened French and Japanese to military pursue a road to independence 2 -French were determined to hold on French Indochina, however, this would lead to the French Indochina wars -National liberation to authoritarian nationalism in Indonesia -Sukarno after gaining independence, rejected everything Dutch, including their economic structure -Encouragement of uncompetitive indigenous capitalists -Leads to heightened state intervention for capitalist development (Guided Democracy) -Massive fail -Right-wing factions would thus look for opportunities to take over (Suharto’s New Order) Withdrawal Symptoms (Anderson) -In Withdrawal Symptoms, Anderson discusses about Thailand’s back-and-forth between democratization and military coups in the 1970s -This is a piece that basically discusses contingent democrats (bourgeoisie/middle-class in Thailand) -Emergence of bourgeoisie in the late 1950s -This would become the social base for right-wing movements -Until the late 1960s, Thailand enjoyed economic development thanks to American presence and tourism under the Sarit Thanarat dictatorship -This new bourgeoisie was the main benefiter of development -However, American presence was starting to withdraw in 1971-1972, which considerably stagnated economic development -Dissatisfaction among the new bourgeoisie, which led to disillusionment with dictatorship as it could no longer produce -Middle-class/bourgeoisie brought down Thanom Kittikachorn (successor of Sarit) using mass demonstrations in October 1973 -However, economic development still didn’t start -Increasing unemployment, even among the educated people (e.g. bourgeoisie) -Violence stemming from frustration from radical right-wing factions such as the Red Gaurs and the Village Scouts -Bourgeoisie wanted a rollback to dictatorship -Overthrow of the ineffectual democratic regime in October 1976 DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS The Evolution of Democratic Politics (Case) 3 -Case discusses about the mounting preponderance of electoral authoritarianism and low-quality democracy (Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia) -Elements of an electoral authoritarianism: -Rigged elections (varying degrees) -Limits on civil liberties -Uncompetitive elections -Elections merely serve to cement government’s legitimacy -Elements of low-quality democracy: -More liberal participation and electoral contestation than electoral authoritarianism -Corruption, patronage, lack of institutionalization -Electoral authoritarianism: Singapore and Malaysia -Economic development has generated enough satisfaction among the elites and social constituencies -In Singapore, authoritarianism-driven economic development has produced welfare benefits to the mass, such as a comprehensive housing programme -In Malaysia, the New Economic Policy (NEP), which could only have been implemented with strong authoritarian institutionalization, have reduced the gap between ethnic Malays and the wealthier Chinese -Low-quality democracies: Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand -In these countries, authoritarian leaders have failed, at least once, to satisfy the people (usually economically) -Bottom-up pressure for democratization since authoritarian institutions “don’t work” -In Indonesia, Suharto couldn’t manage the destabilizing effects of the Asian Financial Crisis, so the people forced him to resign -In the Philippines, Marcos basically stunted the country’s growth and was consequently ousted by bottom-up transition -In Thailand, military Prime Minister Suchinda Kaprayoon was toppled through popular upsurge due to economic problems (falling share prices, shrinking tourist markets etc.) -Why low-quality democracy instead of real democracy? -Bottom-up pressure threatens the interest of the elites, so the latter limit the quality of new democracies -Ex: Though Thailand’s military “officially” withdrew from the politics after the downfall of Suchinda Kaprayoon, it retained its grip over radio and television outlets Elections and Participation in Three SE Asian Countries (Anderson) -Siam/Thailand -Elections inaugurated in 1933, in the wake of the overthrow of the absolutely monarchy in a bloodless coup organized by Pridi and friends 4 -Attempts to implement constitutional democracy ultimately failed, so it was military dictatorship that became dominant until the 1970s -The economic boom during the Sarit Thanarat era provided for the emergence of middle class -Demands from this middle-class for democracy, constitution and elections when the economy turned sour in 1973 -Massive political participation from 1973 to 1975, following the abdication of military dictatorship -However, this parliamentary regime was generally ineffectual in terms of development, which led to the re-installation of a dictatorial regime in 1976 -But this new dictatorship was remarkably moderate -Installation of regular elections from the 1980s, although candidates often were powerful generals -The Philippines -Elections were introduced by Americans in 1907 -However, the Philippines was not fit for election (i.e. educated base was extremely small) -This allowed the cacique to dominate politics at the expense of the mass -Increase in population and growing urbanization challenged cacique politics -To sustain their dominance, the elite was compelled to pillage the state’s finance -This led to the Marcos dictatorship in 1972 -Marcos ruined the Philippines’ economy and was brought down in 1986 by the People’s Power -Rollback to cacique democracy under Corazon Aquino -Indonesia -Elections first held in 1918 under Dutch colonial rule -No real power -First national-level elections held in 1955 under Sukarno -Full adult suffrage, competitive press, little violence (very open and participatory elections) -Elections held under Suharto were evidently unfair and rigged -Creation of middle class thanks to economic successes of the New Order regime -Can we expect the middle class to demand a genuinely electoral regime? Off the Endangered List: Philippine Democratization in Comparative Perspective (Thompson) -Thompson compares institutionalized authoritarianism with patrimonial authoritarianism, namely the Philippines during the Marcos era -Authoritarian-initiated transitions and standpatter dictators 5 -Some authoritarian rulers themselves initiate regime change when strong opposition pressure amounts as the risks of holding power were greater than the disadvantages of democracy (e.g. Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, East Asia) -This is usually reserved to institutionalized authoritarianism, in which a transition to democracy would not erode all facets of authoritarianism -It is better allow transition to happen and salvage some power rather than to face the opposition and risk the chance of losing everything -In the Philippines however, authoritarianism was highly personalistic and enjoyed little legitimacy in the mass (Marcos’ patrimonialism) -Therefore, there was no point of initiating transitions to democracy as Marcos would have nothing to look forward to -Marcos was not planning to stepping down from power; he tried to rig elections even in the eve of his downfall -Radical and moderate opposition in an overthrow transition -In institutionalized authoritarianism, the military can subdue revolutionary militia; this is not the case in patrimonial authoritarianism such as the Philippines, in which the NPA, a small communist movement became a major revolutionary threat -The only reason that the Philippines did not succumb to a revolutionary coup was thanks to its democratic tradition -Filipinos were confident that they could beat Marcos with the ballot box after the reactivation of national elections in 1978 (after martial law) -Trouble transition to democracy -In authoritarian-initiated transitions, the winners at the election polls are indisputably the leaders of the new democratic system -In the Philippines, transition to democracy is not the result of a negotiated settlement with the old regime, but rather bottom-up pressure. This means that the new democratic regime would suffer authoritarian backlashes. -In fact, pro-Marcos politicians and military officers have led coup attempts to thwart the development of democracy under Corazon Aquino -How the Aquino government survived -The precise ineffectuality of her government is her success; lack of socioeconomic reform has allowed the restoration of democratic institutions -To fend off military opponents, she had to make compromises with other elites, which adversely affected the quality of democracy 6 -But at least, this has allowed her enough breathing room to seek democratic consolidation slowly through electoral means PERSISTENT AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES Iron Cage in an Iron Fist: Authoritarian Institutions and the Personalization of Power in Malaysia (Slater) -Slater discusses PM Mahatir’s growing personalization of power since the mid-1908s despite strong institutions -Mahatir used 3 mechanisms of personalization to transform semi-democratic single party regime into authoritarian rule -Packing: appointing loyalists into high positions -Ex: Control of the judiciary to crush opposition -Rigging: modification of rules and procedures to forestall competition -Ex: Mahatir rigged UMNO’s election procedures, making it difficult to challenge incumbents -Circumventing: creation of policy channels to redirect resources from rivals to loyalists -Ex: Diverted policy-making in packed institutions such as the PM’s department -Malaysia challenges the idea that personalization means weak institutionalization -Institutions remained strong as they were effective in thwarting opposition, but they were under Mahatir’s command Elections without Representation: The Singapore Experience under the PAP (Rodan) -Following the failed merger with Malaysia, nation building was seen as a top priority; this imperative formed the justification for constraining opposition parties and dissidents (authoritarianism) -Article analyses the methods the PAP have used to maintain their dominance; electoral manipulation and “meritocracy” propaganda -Power enjoyed by the elite is rationalized by a pervasive ideology of meritocracy -Smarter, wiser, more educated people are more suited to govern -Though Singapore has free and open elections, the PAP has controlled these elections through gerrymandering, financially crippling the opposition, maintaining control over the media and abusing the judiciary -The PAP is known as repressive/responsive -Positive performance to justify its repression -Transformation of Singapore from economic backwater state to booming financial center -Provision of high quality public housing -The middle class, historically seen in other states as agents of democratization, are closely linked to the PAP -Revolution is therefore unlikely as the middle class basically depends on the economic and social stability engineered by the PAP 7 AUTHORITARIANISM Burma: Soldiers as State Builders (Callahan) -Burma has an authoritarian, military-dominant political system -In the 1950s, Burma was considered a successful postcolonial experiment in parliamentary democracy -Two crises prompted the reorganization of military forces -The KMT crisis (1950-1953) -The Tatmadaw was tasked to get rid of KMT build-up in Burma -The military embarked on a massive modernization and institutionalization -Military administration -State-building endeavours -The increased power of the Tatmadaw led to military aggrandizement of resources, responsibilities and powers in traditionally non-military realms -Brought army leaders to national political power and eliminated their civilian competitors -1988 Uprising -Economy was devastated, leading to massive demonstrations -Democratic reforms seemed inevitable -However, a new military regime was installed – the SLORC -The uprising spawned another series of extensive reforms in the Tatmadaw -Remaking of the military led to the concentration of state-building initiatives and resources in the hands of the military, just like in the 1950s -Basically, the threats that have arisen in Burma has made the soldiers state-builders, which allowed them to have a stranglehold on Burmese politics Vietnam and the Challenge of Political Civil Society (Thayer) -Thayer discusses the political civil society rather than government-controlled everyday politics to approach political change in Vietnam -The Vietnamese regime faces legitimacy challenges, the resolving of which will depend on how the regime handles the political civil society -Political civil society: non-violent political, advocacy, labour and religious organizations and movements that seek to promote human rights, democratization and religious freedom -In 2006-2007, a political movement, Bloc 8406 confronted the one-party rule in Vietnam -Despite repression, Bloc 8406 consolidated like-minded groups promoting religious freedom, human rights and liberal democracy -In other words, this challenges the “everyday politics” approach as response to state repression 8 INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE Cambodia’s Curse: Struggling to Shed the Khmer Rouge’s Legacy (Brinkley) -Brinkley offers a brief overview of the current situation in Cambodia and its past -He starts out by recounting the atrocities that the Khmer Rouge regime has committed and that its four- year reign was finally toppled by a Vietnamese invasion in 1979 -Vietnam installed a puppet regime in Cambodia for 10 years and when it left, it left behind several Cambodian factions battling for control -In 1991, these groups sign an UN-sponsored peace accord which stipulated a constitution that demanded freedom and human rights -However, this constitution has not been respected; Hui Sen muscled his way to power unelected and gave pittance to democracy -Brinkley discusses about the horrible education system in which bribery is encouraged -This cripples the country’s development as not the right things/nothing is really taught -Brinkley notes the corruption that is rampant in the country; the government steals between 300 – 500 millions annually -Yet, international donors continue to provide funds for Cambodia because they “hope” that some of that money will trickle to the truly needy -Finally, Brinkley emphasizes that half of Cambodia’s income rests on donations -The rest is on textiles, tourism and agriculture War Crimes Accountability: Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia and East Timor? (Rae) -Rae argues that efforts to establish accountability in Cambodia (Khmer Rouge) and East Timor (Suharto’s Indonesia) through war crimes tribunals or truth commissions have been obstructed by domestic forces and outside powers -The U.S. opposed the humanistic trends of the 1990s and thus serves as a strong check to robust human rights -Diminishes the importance of war crimes accountability -Rae also argues that domestic courts lack impartiality and resources, so tribunals and truth commissions should require international elements -However, international tribunals are difficult to set up because major players such as China and the U.S. are often culpable for human rights abuses themselves and, as Security Council members, have undermined efforts to achieve international justice and domestic reconciliation -Rae points out that the great powers such as China and the U.S. who aided the Khmer Rouge and the Indonesian military respectively, must be taken into justice as well 9 -Because it is unlikely that leaders of great powers be put on trial, Rae advocates that truth commissions can serve as some sort of pitiable compensation -Truth commissions can also cast shame on both criminals and international actors involved in war crimes and can thus potentially serve as deterrents to future crimes of similar nature -Rae seems to prefer truth commissions over war crimes trials -Truth commissions are less inflammatory and more acceptable to both sides of the conflict; the lack of coercive punishment encourages war criminals to testify truthfully and reduces great power obstructionism -Conversely, tribunals can be harmful to a nation trying to achieve some degree of harmony and reconciliation after the war crimes have been committed -Rae concludes that due to individuals and states’ desire to avoid justice, truth commissions are more effective than war crime tribunals -If war crime tribunals are actually used, they are usually in tandems with truth commissions ETHNICITY, RELIGION AND VIOLENCE Change and Persistence in Chinese Culture Overseas: A Comparison of Thailand and Java (Skinner) -Skinner seeks to examine the causes that resulted in such differences in Chinese immigrants in Thailand and Java -Thailand: Chinese immigrants completely assimilated to Thai society, with Thai names, customs and values -Java: Descendants of Chinese immigrants retained their Chinese name and continued to identify themselves as Chinese -Ethnic culture -Thailand: The Thai exuded ethnic confidence and maintained an unbroken line of tradition -Elite stratum was indigenous -Rulers in Thailand were always Thai -Java: Kingdom was weakened by the Dutch -Elite stratum was non-indigenous -The Chinese naturally chose to associate with elite Thais in Thailand and with the Dutch in Java -Stratification of ethnic culture -Thailand: Class and ethnic group did not coincide -Thais represented in all strata of society -Java: Class and ethnic group tended to coincided -Dutch were elite, no exception -Chinese as intermediate roles, no exception -Javanese in agriculture, no exception 10 -Because the indigenous was a class below the Chinese, there was no incentive to assimilate with the Javanese -Mobility restrictions -Thailand: No residential and mobility restriction -The Chinese were useful for economic development so they were granted freedom in mobility -Java: Required to live in ghettos and could only travel with passes -Dutch forced segregation of the Chinese (Policy of Divide and Rule) -By reducing contact between the Javanese and the Chinese, assimilation was again retarded -Institutionalized procedures for assimilation -Thailand: Chinese are free to identify themselves as Chinese or Thai -Java: Chinese are rigidly identified as Chinese -Immigrants’ descendants who was more Javanese than Chinese was still constrained to identify as Chinese -Development of the Peranakan -More Indonesian than Chinese, but still identify as Chinese -In the 1900s, this is the situation in both nations: -Thailand: Chinese moved directly in Thai society -Java: Chinese moved into the intermediate Peranakan society -Differences between these nations in the scope of anti-Sinicism: -Thailand: Since the Chinese are allowed to become Thai and merge with the Thais, discrimination is generally limited to the China-born Chinese -This further encourages Chinese assimilation in the society -Java: In Indonesia, the Javanese suffers inferiority complex due inferior stratification combined Javanese pride -This creates a backlash against the Chinese once the indigenous have gained political power -All Chinese, Peranakan included, are equally discrimina
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