Living with Oligarchy: The Clothing Business in Provincial Indonesia

Rochman Achwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Indonesia: The Rise of Capitalcontinues to occupy an important position in the study of Indonesia's polity and economy. Its emphasis on broad processes and big structures provides the tools to uncover the genesis, triumph and reconstitution of a politico-business oligarchy during the Soeharto era and beyond. By employing the theses of politico-business oligarchy and that of embeddedness, this paper argues that the dominance of the predatory state-capital alliance originally forged during the New Order ensures the continued marginalisation of Indonesian provincial clothing entrepreneurs. It examines the patterns of business networks emerging from such entrepreneurs and how they adapt, resist and re-adapt to state policies driven by the interests of the politico-business oligarchy. Utilising clothing-producing regions in Central Java and Bali as case studies, this paper shows how the employment of different strategies of survival have resulted in different outcomes, but none of which has strengthened the structural position of provincial entrepreneurs within the Indonesian political economy in the post-Soeharto era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-294
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Embeddedness
  • Indonesia
  • clothing industry
  • corporate capital
  • institutional innovation
  • political economy


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