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Contradictions of corporatism: Workers and the state in new order Indonesia

Hadiz, Vedi Renandi (1996) Contradictions of corporatism: Workers and the state in new order Indonesia. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The emergence of a new industrial working class in Indonesia has taken place in the context of decades of sustained industrialisation under the New Order. Because industrialisation has created the conditions which make working class organisation more possible than in the past, the 1990s has witnessed the rise of industrial unrest and the proliferation of new working class-based organisational vehicles. This has occurred in spite of the presence of stringent mechanisms of state control over labour.

The theoretical interest of the study lies in the role and prospects of organised labour in very late industrialising countries like Indonesia. Through an historical analysis of the emergence, features of, as well as contradictions within various models of accommodation between state, capital, and labour in different industrialisation experiences, it is argued that the development of effective labour movements is increasingly hindered the later that industrialisation proceeds. This has to do with specific constellations of state and class forces and the institutional arrangements of state-society relations that derive from them. The consequences of the increasing international mobility of capital also poses obstacles to the emergence of substantial working class movements in very late industrialising countries.

The study is also concerned with the factors that shape Indonesian state labour policy in the New Order. It is argued that stringent state controls is essentially a legacy of struggles between historical agencies in the 1950s and 1960s, specifically the army and the Left. The maintenance of these controls in contemporary times is more rooted in vested interests to ensure the survival of a social and political framework characterised by the demobilisation of society-based social movements and organisations, than in economic considerations. Although the development of the working class is creating pressures for reform of state labour policy, fundamental change is hindered by the fact that the emergence of an independent labour movement contradicts the essential logic of such a framework.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Robison, Richard
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