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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryIndonesia's government in the "new order" period, 1965-1998, was highly centralized under President Suharto. The government included the president & the military (which he was closely associated with as a former general), as well as the forest department and the provincial governments which were essentially implementing agencies for the dictatorship
SubtypeGovernment Agency
Interest HeterogeneityMedium (2)
ExplanationAlthough the members of the central government all had an interest in maintaining central control over forest resources, it appears that there was some differences between concession holders (often powerful members of the military) and the forest department over how forests should be managed.
Costs Of ExitYes
ExplanationIndividuals who left the government lost access to privilege and patronage, and sometimes their freedom, or even their lives. While great wealth could be amassed by Suharto's allies, those outside of this system had limited opportunities and were subjected to political persecution.
Proportionality (Of Costs And Benefits)No
ExplanationWhile certain members of the government (particularly family members and military and business leaders with close ties to Suharto) received most of the benefits of the system, in the form of privileged access to forest concessions - they incurred few costs. Costs were largely borne by those dependent on forests for their subsistence, or by the natural systems themselves.
Actor Group CoordinationBoth formal and informal
ExplanationThe government was a centralized hierarchy that had a high level of formal coordination. At the same time, informal kinship and clientelist connections between key actors (particularly among Suharto's military allies) played a key role in the forest governance system, enabling many 'friends' of the regime to gain forest concessions and to bend or escape legal consequences for formally illegal activities.
LeadershipFormal leader
ExplanationSuharto was a strong formal leader of the government.
Leadership AccountabilityLow (1)
ExplanationSuharto was a dictator with little accountability to others working in the government, or to citizens.
Leadership AuthorityHigh (3)
ExplanationSuharto was a dictator with a great deal of authority over others working in the government, and over the nation as a whole.
Actor Group TrustHigh (3)
ExplanationThe regime operated through a small and very tight-knight group of allies which Suharto trusted; this trust was based on family ties, on proving useful to Suharto, not having a political agenda that would challenge Suharto in any way, and of course not criticizing the regime. As a Machiavellian, Suharto had a good instinct for whom to trust. For instance, BJ Habibie, one of Suharto's closest allies, won his trust showing persistent obeisance (strong deferential respect), and having usefulness in technological knowledge and in mobilizing the community of Muslim 'modernist' intellectuals, though there was also a personal friendship to Suharto dating back to much before the New Order (Amir, 2007); meanwhile, Azwar Anas won Suharto's trust due to his ability to integrate West Sumatra into Indonesia's unitary state, and later secured his position by allying with Habibie (Prasetyawan, 2006). The importance of trust between Suharto and his close allies could also be seen in the recent interpretation of his regime's fall as a result of increasing tensions (i.e. the breakdown of trust and reciprocity) between Suharto and previously loyal oligarchs (see Fukukoka, 2013).
Past CollaborationHigh (3)
ExplanationThe members of the government of Indonesia worked very closely together during this period, although to be fair, it was probably largely due to central coordination as opposed to trust between members.
Personal CommunicationMore than once a year (5)
ExplanationAlthough not all members of this group communicated on a frequent basis with each other, some subgroups communicated with each other very frequently (on a daily basis).
Remote CommunicationMore than once a year (5)
ExplanationAlthough not all members of this group communicated on a frequent basis with each other, some subgroups communicated with each other very frequently (on a daily basis). Although we have no direct evidence of this, given the period, we assume that much of this communication took place by telephone, remotely.