Khaki Capital

The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia

Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkiat (eds)

Available from NIAS Press worldwide
ISBN Hardback: 978-87-7694-224-3, £65.00 (June 2017)
ISBN Paperback: 978-87-7694-225-0, £22.50 ()

About the book

• 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.

About the author

author image not supplied

Paul Chambers lectures

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 SE Asia.

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by Eddie Lim
From journal: Pacific Affairs
“Editors Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkiat bring to the body of literature an important book that examines a phenomenon often discussed but seldom defined convincingly, precisely due to the complex environment of Southeast Asia”