Khaki Capital: The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia

Although Southeast Asia has seen the emergence of civilian rule, the military continues to receive a large chunk of the national budget and, with significant assets and economic activities, often possesses enormous economic clout – enhancing its political power while hindering democratization or civilian rule. The political economy of the military in less developed countries is thus a crucial subject area in terms of democratization. This study examines such ‘khaki capital’ in seven Southeast Asian cases – Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Each chapter analyses the historical evolution of khaki capital in the given country case; the role of internal and external factors (e.g. military unity and globalization) in this trajectory; and how the resulting equilibrium has affected civil-military relations.

This work is important for understanding how and why military influence over parts of the economy in Southeast Asia has remained an impediment to achieving civilian control and democratization. Ultimately, this book tells the story of how militaries in Southeast Asia have benefitted economically and the extent to which such gains have translated into the leveraging of political power.

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Although Southeast Asia has seen the emergence of civilian rule, the military continues to receive a large chunk of the national budget and, with significant assets and economic activities, often possesses enormous economic clout – enhancing its political power while hindering democratization or civilian rule. The political economy of the military in less developed countries is thus a crucial subject area in terms of democratization. This study examines such ‘khaki capital’ in seven Southeast Asian cases – Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Each chapter analyses the historical evolution of khaki capital in the given country case; the role of internal and external factors (e.g. military unity and globalization) in this trajectory; and how the resulting equilibrium has affected civil-military relations.

This work is important for understanding how and why military influence over parts of the economy in Southeast Asia has remained an impediment to achieving civilian control and democratization. Ultimately, this book tells the story of how militaries in Southeast Asia have benefitted economically and the extent to which such gains have translated into the leveraging of political power.

 

Publisher: NIAS Press

Paperback

2017

ISBN: 9788776942250