The author of this article argues that the paradox of postcolonial states pursuing internal and external policies remarkably similar to those of their colonial predecessors, despite the passage from colonialism to independence, is best resolved by focusing on the distinct, long-standing, institutional interests of the state-qua-state. It is these interests that make explicable the key policies of Suharto's New Order toward economic development, the Chinese minority, participatory organizations, and internal and external security. The author analyzes the nature and growth of the Dutch colonial state, its decline and near-collapse between 1942 (Japanese invasion) and 1965 (downfall of Sukarno's Guided Democracy), and its revival under ex-colonial sergeant Suharto.

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