Dissertation Abstracts

Political Recruitment and Representation in Indonesia (in the Case of the First Female President Megawati Sukarnoputri)

Author: Ricarda Gerlach, rgerlach02@yahoo.de
Department: Political Sciences
University: University of Vienna, Austria
Supervisor: Prof. Eva Kreisky
Year of completion: 2017
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Transition , Gender , Recruitment , Representation
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Biography and Society , Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management


This thesis examines how factors of recruitment of politician Megawati Sukarnoputri are intertwined with the topic of representation. Furthermore, how these specific societal groups are aimed to be represented by her becoming leader of opposition and President. This goal is achieved by overcoming androcentric research by focusing specifically on uncovering secrets, hidden power structures, dichotomy and inequality. The political biography of Megawati Sukarnoputri is analysed with a special emphasis on sex/gender relations. The theoretic approach explores the challenge to develop and create processes of effective representation. According to feminist, postcolonial, constructivist and demonstrative theories of democracy and representation, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion of specific groups are scrutinised. The uncovering of these structures is aimed at rendering processes of political participation visible and consequently to explore possibilities for change. Especially Bourdieu’s theory of the forms of capital and its extension by moral capital (Kane) generate an approach for explanations. Following the constructivist approach that reality is socially created, the methodological approach was triangulation. This method combines different qualitative methods as every method has its advantages and disadvantages. Triangulation aims to compensate the limits of different methods and balances them out. The idea that texts are empirical material, which reconstructs meaning, is implicit in this research. Therefore, archive and media articles were examined. To receive further background information and expertise of an inside-view, interviews with distinguished experts and representatives of various fields relevant to Megawati’s recruitment were undertaken.