The Military and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific

Edited by

R.J. May

Viberto Selochan

All electronic versions:



Cover design: Michael Birch



Cover photo: George Gittoes

Australian War Memorial


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Table of Contents

Preface to the ANU E Press Publication
1. Introduction: Democracy and the Military in comparative perspective
Democracy and the Military
The Case Studies
Comparing experiences
2. The Military and Democracy in Indonesia
Suharto and ABRI
1970-1988: ABRI Under the New Order
1988-1991: ABRI Faces an Uncertain Future
ABRI’s Dilemma
3. The Military and Democracy in Thailand
Coups and the Military’s Struggles for State Power
Coups and Democratisation
The Military’s Mission and Its Political Involvement
The Communist Insurgency and Military-Initiated Liberalisation
The Military, Society, and Democratisation
The May 1992 Uprising and the Prospect of Democratic Development
4. The Military and the Fragile Democracy of the Philippines
Origins of Democracy in the Philippines
The President, the Military and Democracy
Abrogating Democracy
Reconstituting Democracy
5. Burma’s Struggle for Democracy: The Army Against the People
Democracy and its Roots
The Military and its Roots
Military Rule: First Phase, 1962–1974
Military Rule: Second Phase, 1974–1988
Opposition to Military Rule: 1962–1988
On the Unity of the Army, 1948–1988
Military Rule: Third Phase, 1988–1993
6. Pakistan: Civil-military Relations in a Praetorian State
The Heritage
The Gradual Rise of the Military
The Political Institutions and their Degeneration
Material Benefits to the Military
The Political Forces and Military Rule
Post-Withdrawal Civil-Military Relations
7. The Military and Democracy in Bangladesh
The Nature of the Political System at Independence
The Emergence of the Military as the Ruling Elite
Politicisation of the Armed Forces
Popular Attitudes to Democracy
Prospects for Democracy and the Role of the Military
8. Patterns of Military Rule and Prospects for Democracy in South Korea
The Emergence of Military Rule
Changes in Military Rule: The Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan Regimes
Democratisation and the End to Military Rule?
Prospects and Conclusions: Toward a Democratic Polity with Civilian Control of the Military?
9. The Military Versus Democracy in Fiji: Problems for Contemporary Political Development
Regime Vulnerability
Fiji’s Colonial Legacy
The Military in Fiji
Future Prospects
10. Government and the Military in Papua New Guinea
The Colonial Heritage
The Role of the Military in Post-Independence Papua New Guinea
Military-Civil Relations in the Independent State