Political Violence in Indonesia — Legacy of Suharto’s Dictatorship
Abstract: For three decades Indonesia was governed by a dictatorial military right-wing regime led by General Suharto1 — the so-called ‘New Order’. The regime was born in an enormous massacre, when the largest communist party outside the Sino-Soviet bloc was virtually eradicated. Thhoughout the years Indonesian politics has been dominated by a language of violence — on a local and national level, in the relations between the state and society, and between the country’s center and outer regions. A whole new infrastructure has been developed to drain the country’s wealth to the benefit of an elite, and to carry out violence — directly, via diff erent state proxies, or even in collaboration with the criminal underworld. Although the dictatorship came to an end a decade ago, its legacy was hard to overcome. The New Order has left its imprint on the society, which is unlikely to vanish easily after the introduction of any institutional reform.
Keywords: Suharto, Indonesia, New Order, Violence