The International and Transnational Construction of Authoritarian Rule in Island Southeast Asia, 1969-1977
This dissertation examines the making of authoritarian rule in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore from 1969-1977. American President Richard Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger funneled vast sums of U.S. military and economic aid to island Southeast Asia via the anticommunist policy of the Nixon Doctrine. Facing no meaningful communist threats, national leaders in the region then used American largesse to construct and consolidate newly authoritarian regimes. Indonesia played a leading role in this process, disseminating its authoritarian state-building doctrine of national resilience and encouraging a “New Orderization” of island Southeast Asia. The transformation of the region’s political systems then reverberated on both sides of the Pacific. In the United States, diasporic communities and human rights groups lobbied against the provision of American aid to authoritarian regimes and contributed to a broad left-right coalition that undermined the Nixon and Ford administration’s core foreign policy projects. In island Southeast Asia, the narrowing of legitimate channels of political contestation produced an efflorescence of disloyal opposition movements, including communist, Islamist, and separatist insurgencies. The narrative emphasizes several themes, including the international and transnational construction of authoritarian rule, the importance of regional history, and the agency of American and Southeast Asian leaders and publics.
History; International relations; Authoritarianism; Nixon Doctrine; Indonesia; Singapore; Malaysia; Philippines
Tagliacozzo, Eric; Chen, Jian; Pepinsky, Thomas
Ph. D., History
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis