Politics and Governance in Indonesia: The Police in the Era of Reformasi, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Politics and Governance in Indonesia

The Police in the Era of Reformasi, 1st Edition

By Muradi


192 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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How does an authoritarian state reform its police force following a transition to democracy? In 1998, Indonesia, the third largest country in the world, faced just such a challenge. Policing had long been managed under the jurisdiction of the military, as an instrument of the Suharto regime – and with Suharto abruptly removed from office, this was about to change. Here we see how it changed, and how far these changes were for the better.

Based on direct observations by a scholar who was involved in the last days of the New Order and who saw how the police responded to regime change, this book examines the police, the new regime, and how the police was disassociated from the military in Indonesia. Providing a comprehensive historical overview of the position of police in this change of regime, the book focuses on two key areas: the differences between local and national levels, and the politicisation associated with decentralisation. Arguing that the disassociation of the Indonesian National Police from the military has achieved only limited success, the book contends that there is continued impetus for the establishment of a professional police force and modern and democratic policing, which will entail effective public control of the police.

A pioneering study of the police in Indonesia, examining key issues in the post-Suharto era, this book will be of interest to scholars of Southeast Asian politics and of policing and politics in the developing world.


"Muradi’s work is necessary reading not only for researchers but also for the Polri and Indonesian leaders."

Wildan Sena Utama Universitas Gadjah Mada

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Transition to Democracy and the Police: Theories and the Case of Indonesia Part 1: Historical Legacies and early Reformasi 1. The Police in Sukarno’s Era: From Colonial State to the Overthrow of the Guided Democracy State 2. Under the Thumb: the Police During Suharto’s New Order and Early Reformasi Part 2: Reformasi and its effect on the police 3. Politicization on the Police: The Struggle Over Wahid Presidential Control 4. Developing a More Independent and Professional of the Police Part 3: Consolidation, Development and Corruption 5. Resolving the Divisive Issues of the Rival Chiefs and the Group of Eight 6. Corruption in the Police Part 4: Local Perspectives 7. Cosmetic Changes: Roles of the Police in Local Areas 8. The Budget, Local Politics and Jealously 9. Politicization of the Police Part 5: National Perspectives 10. The Internal Conflicts and the Effect of Extortion Activities 11. The Police Budget and Extortion Activities 12. Conclusion: Disassociation and the Reforms of the Police - Its Position and Relationship in Post-Suharto Indonesia

About the Author

Muradi received his PhD from Flinders University, Australia. He is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Padjadjaran, Jatinangor, Indonesia.

About the Series

Rethinking Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly-changing region which continues to defy predictions and challenge formulaic understandings. This series will publish cutting-edge work on the region, providing a venue for books that are readable, topical, interdisciplinary and critical of conventional views. It aims to communicate the energy, contestations and ambiguities that make Southeast Asia both consistently fascinating and sometimes potentially disturbing.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General