Organising and Sustaining Hegemony: A Gramscian Perspective on Suharto's New Order Indonesia.
Casci, R. O. (2006). Organising and Sustaining Hegemony: A Gramscian Perspective on Suharto’s New Order Indonesia. (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2629
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2629
The Suharto New Order was born out of ethnic conflict around religious, ideological and regional/cultural issues that were threatening national chaos. As a pre-requisite to pursuing the socio-political and economic developmental agendas deemed necessary to legitimize their hold on power, the new regime committed the resources of the state behind forging national unity and stability out of potentially antagonistic ethnic and cultural diversity. This study examines how the Suharto New Order sustained the processes that organised the Indonesian nation behind its agendas through an exclusive representation of the state ideology Pancasila, as the ideological pillar of socio-political and economic development. The Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, viewed social politics as an arrangement that inextricably linked pluralism, political participation and ideological supremacy and placed critical emphasis on the methods by which a ruling order deployed ideology and culture to craft mass consensus that would underwrite the moral and intellectual legitimacy of hegemonic rule. The study is original in that it contrasts Gramsci's insights into ideology as a discourse of hegemonic legitimacy, in the context of the Suharto New Order's exclusive representation of Pancasila as the ideological pillar of the regime's arrangement of Indonesian life. The study also examines whether the Gramscian model of hegemonic order is robust when employed to explain the Suharto regime's decline and collapse, as well as the prospects for socio-political and economic stability during the post-Suharto transitionary phase and the pressures of Islamic socio-political resurgence, which were accompanied by demands for more liberal democratic processes and participation. Antonio Gramsci provides the analytical framework for the study, and the Suharto New Order the behavioural perspective, with the prime purpose of the research being to test Gramsci's model of hegemonic order and ideological legitimacy against a contemporary context. With Indonesia comprising the world's largest Islamic population, the Suharto New Order's endeavours to construct national consensus and unity around Pancasila's secular-nationalist orientation suggest prima facie a highly appropriate perspective in which to test Gramsci's theories. The post-Suharto era of transition, also offers a timely opportunity to test the Italian Marxist's thoughts on crafting national consensus to underwrite a ruling arrangement's ideological legitimacy in the contemporary environment of Islamic socio-political resurgence accompanied by a global spread of secular, liberal democratic ideals.
The University of Waikato
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