Although Southeast Asia has seen the emergence of civilian rule, the military continues to receive much of national budgets and, with significant assets and economic activities, often possesses enormous economic clout - enhancing its political power while hindering civilian rule and democratization. The political economy of the military in less developed countries is thus a,crucial subject area in these terms. This study, the first of its kind covering Southeast Asia, examines such 'khaki capital' in seven countries - Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia - individual chapters being devoted to each of them. Each case study analyses the historical evolution of khaki capital in that country; the effect 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 book is important for understanding how and why military influence over parts of the economy in Southeast Asia remains an impediment to civilian control and democratization.
Ultimately, this book describes how militaries in Southeast Asia have benefited economically and the extent to which such gains have been leveraged into political power. This is the first book to scrutinize the military-industrial complex in Southeast Asia and the linkage between income sources of militaries and their political power. As such, it will be of keen interest not only to scholars and students of Southeast Asian politics and economy but also to policy-makers, NGOs, businesses, journalists and many others engaged with issues of political and economic power, democratization and civil-military relations in the region.
Paul Chambers lectures at the College of ASEAN Community Studies, Naresuan University, and is a research fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. He has written extensively on security sector reform, democracy and peace studies, especially in Southeast Asia. Napisa Waitoolkiat is Director of the College of ASEAN Community Studies, Naresuan University. Her research focuses upon emerging democracies in several areas including electoral politics, civil-military relations, political accountability, corruption, democratization, and human security in Southeast Asia.