The Rise of the Managerial State in Post-Independence Indonesia (1950-1965)
Location: Virtual Event
Sponsor: Harvard University Asia Center
Southeast Asia Lecture Series
Farabi Fakih, Universitas Gadjah Mada
Discussant: Mattias Fibiger, Harvard Business School
Indonesian historiography paints the transition to Suharto’s ‘New Order’ regime in 1966 as heralding the rise of the developmental state, emphasizing on the shift from the chaotic and raucous period of liberal democracy (1950-1957) and Sukarno’s revolutionary state (1957-1965). Yet, Sukarno’s revolution under his so-called ‘Guided Democracy’ represented an experimental form of applying American-style managerialist ideology with ideas of state-society relations that have developed since the colonial period. The talk looks at how American ideas of scientific management and developmental economics were imported, localized and readapted to build on the foundations of the later New Order state. How Sukarno’s left-leaning, anti-American Guided Democracy took on the job of integrating modern ideas into his emergent state points to the hegemonic technoscientific notions of managerialism that transcend the Cold War divide. On a wider level, it looks also at how these managerialist notions legitimated a new form of postcolonial leadership of the so-called ‘experts.’ And to what extent do Sukarno’s socialist pandering within the discourse of his ‘Revolution’ determined more by American managerialist ideologies instead of being rooted in Bandung solidarity.