Dissertation Abstracts

Political Recruitment and Representation in the Case of the first Female President of Indonesia - Megawati Sukarnoputri (until 2004)

Author: Ricarda - Gerlach, rgerlach02@yahoo.de
Department: Political Sciences
University: University of Vienna, Austria
Supervisor: Eva Kreisky
Year of completion: 2018
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Representation , Transition , opposition movement , Gender
Areas of Research: Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change , Biography and Society , Women in Society


This thesis examines the political biography of Megawati Sukarnoputri analysing it with a special emphasis on sex/gender relations. Furthermore, foci of research are on how factors of her recruitment are intertwined with the topic of representation and capital and how specific societal groups are aimed to be represented by her becoming leader of opposition, Vice President and finally President. An androcentric perspective of research is accomplished by focusing specifically on uncovering hidden power structures, dichotomies and inequalities. The theoretic approach explores the challenge to develop and create processes of effective representation. According to feminist, postcolonial, constructivist and demonstrative theories the terms democracy and representation as well as 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 of triangulation was chosen. Triangulation combines different qualitative methods as various methods have their advantages and disadvantages. It aims to compensate the limits of these 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 emic perspective, interviews with distinguished experts and representatives of various fields relevant to Megawati’s recruitment were undertaken.