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Open Access The Gatekeeper (1950s–1970s)

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The Gatekeeper (1950s–1970s)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes a more limited form of power generation, among a rising group of senior bureaucrats and their dependents. It discusses four economic and political processes that help explain the rise of this provincial middle class, and focuses on localism that adds a crucial territorial dimension to Kalecki's intermediate class analysis. The chapter describes the local predatory regime which in many ways resembled the 'bureaucratic capitalists' long recognized by Southeast Asia scholars such as Fred Riggs and notably Richard Robison. Researchers who study the bureaucracy purely in abstract terms of the quality of governance overlook the map. Indonesian policymakers, by contrast, are acutely aware of this spatiality. Kupang's middle classes largely owe their existence, and their relative autonomy, to the town's spatial distance from Jakarta. Members of the middle class in Kupang were gatekeepers for Timor on behalf of the nation.

Keywords: gatekeepers; Indonesian policymakers; Kupang; power generation; provincial middle class; senior bureaucrats; Southeast Asia scholars; Timor



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