Emerging Business Elites in Newly Independent Indonesia

  • J. Thomas Lindblad
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


In her penetrating analysis of colonial legacies in Asia, economic historian Anne Booth comes to the startling discovery that indigenous Indonesians, prior to independence, constituted a larger proportion of the non-agricultural labor force than their counterparts in British or even Japanese colonies in Southeast and East Asia. “It would appear,” she writes, “that many indigenous Indonesians were availing themselves of a greater range of economic opportunities than were other Southeast Asians, or indeed the indigenous populations of Taiwan and Korea.”1 Such an observation is at variance with the received view that economic decolonization was severely delayed in Indonesia because of the extreme shortage of qualified indigenous Indonesians capable of taking up management and supervisory functions in the economy. Was newly independent Indonesia indeed lagging behind its neighbors in terms of gaining control of its economic resources? What did the business elites look like that came to the fore during the crucial, formative years in the 1950s, when at long last international recognition of Indonesian independence had been attained and the emphasis in the decolonization process could shift from politics to economics? This will be the main question addressed in this chapter.2


Business Group Chinese Firm Dutch Company Business Elite Positive Discrimination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© J. Thomas Lindblad 2011

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