STRUCTURE AND THE POLITICAL ACTOR: AN INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE FOR IDEOLOGY AND ECONOMY IN FOUR MILITARY REGIMES (BRAZIL, CHILE, INDONESIA, THAILAND)
Doctor of Philosophy
In an attempt to understand why the military tends to commit a coup in reaction to the rise of leftist popular forces, and why the military officers in the post-coup period are inclined to implement politico-economic policies which most benefit the business elite at the expense of the economically underprivileged classes, this study proposed the Interactive Model. This model critically examines the explanatory effectiveness of the structuralist approach, such as the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian model and Middle-Class Coup (or, Veto-Coup) hypothesis, in solving the above mentioned questions, but does not underrate its theoretical usefulness. In this study, which is primarily based on the voluntaristic approach focusing on the creative role of political actor, a synthetical framework of analysis is introduced. Regarding the officer corps as the prime political actor, the Interactive Model claims that the officers' political will, ideology, and commitment to their corporate interests play the most decisive role in bringing about radical political change like coup and the post-coup regime transformations. In the meantime, structural factors, such as political disorder, deteriorating class conflicts, and belief in economic rationality, are believed to indirectly influence the political actor. Four countries, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, and Thailand, were comparatively studied in this study. As coup-maker, officers are found to have violently reacted to the rise of the Left primarily because leftist forces posed a threat to their corporate interests. In the post-coup period, officers in power, as the state-manager, usually sided with the dominant economic powers, but tension often arises between the two. This study argues that these conflicting phenomena need to be understood with reference to the state-manager's ideology and political interest.