Khaki Capital

The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia

Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkiat (eds)

304 pp., illustrated
NIAS Studies in Asian Topics # 61
Available from NIAS Press worldwide




Hardback - 2017, In production
ISBN 978-87-7694-224-3, £65.00
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Paperback - 2017, In production
ISBN 978-87-7694-225-0, £18.99
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• First book to scrutinize the linkage between income sources of militaries and their political power in Southeast Asia.
• Explores the military-industrial complex in the region.
• Focuses on how much economic clout Southeast Asian militaries have had and how this has influenced civil–military relations.

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 benefited economically and the extent to which such gains have translated into the leveraging of political power.

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