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Paulo Gorjao - Regime Change and Foreign Policy: Portugal, Indonesia, and the Self-determination of East Timor

Paulo Gorjao - Regime Change and Foreign Policy: Portugal, Indonesia, and the Self-determination of East Timor

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Published by: Cameron Paige on Nov 11, 2008
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(7.c'7
t
Regime
Change
and
ForeignPolicy:
Portugal,
Indonesia,and the
Self-determinationof
East
Timor
PAULO
GORJAO
This article
argues
that
the
narure
of
interim
govemments
is
not
a
satisfactory
explanation
of
foreign
policy
initiatives,
or
their
absence,
duringparticular
types
oftransitionto
democracy.
The
proposal
is
rejected
for
two
main
reasons.
on
ihe
one
hand,
boththe
Portuguese
(1974-76)and
Indonesian
(1998-99)
transirions
ro
democracy
provide
evidence
that
contradicts
it.on
the
otherhand,the
propositiondoes
notexplain
whichforeign
policy
decisions
are
taken
and
the
t"o.oni
why.
This
afticle
argues
that
we
shouldfocusinstead
on
the
new individual
and
corporare
evaluationsandstrategies
that
comeabout
inside
a
country
as
aresult
of
new
elite
alignments,
following
the
installationof
a
democraticregime,
which
opens
a
window
of
opportunity
for
makingforeign
policy
changes-
Moreoveqtheperieptions
of
the
international
community
also
influence
the
decision-making
of
individual
anrl
corporateinterests
and
their
strategies.
Wherethe
preceding
authoritarian
regime
pursued
foreign policies
that
the internationalcommunity
regardedasillegitimate,
then
there
wili
be
incentives
to
change
policy.This
approachsheds
more
light
on
the
case.
studies
involving
Portugal,Indonesia
andEast
Timoaby
identifying
correclly
the
foreign
policyinitiativesthat
weretakenduringthe regime
transitionslo
democracyand
byexplainingthe underlying
reasons.
Introduction
Amongdemocratictheorists,
it
is
cornmonly
accepted
thatevery
regime
change
from
an
autocratic
to
a
democratic
government
will
constrain
and
influence
notonly
decision-making
procedures
but
also the
domestic
political
agenda.
In
fact,the
majorityof
democratic
transition
studiesaim
to
describe,
explain
and,
ifpossible,
predicthow regime
changeconstrains
and
influencesdomestic
politics.
A
topic
not well
represented
in
the
literature
is
the relation
between
regime
changeand
foreignpolicy.Contrary
to
the
position
takenby
Altison6
Paulo
Gorjdois
a
lecturer
in
the
Department
of
InternationalRelations
at
Lusiada
Univenity,
Lisbon
and
doctoralcandidate
in
the
bepartment
ofsocial
and
Political
SciencesattheCatholic
universityofLouvain.
Hethanks
AnrhonySmithfor helpful
commenrson
an
earlierdraft,
and
Peter
Burnell
andanonymousreferees
of Denocratizatianfor useful
suggestions.The
research
was-supported
by
Fundaqdo
para
a
Cidncia
e
a
Tecnologia,portugal.programme
PRAXISXXI,BD
20380.
Democratization,Vol.9,No.4,
Winter
2002.
pp.l42_l5g
PUBLISHED
By
FRANK
CASS.rO:,rOOfr
 
REGIMECHANGE
AND
FOREIGNPOLICY
143
K.
Stanget'lr
I
will
argue
thatthe
nature
of
interim
goYemments
is not
a
satisfactory
explanation
for
foreign
policy
initiatives,
or
their
absence,
during
particulir
types
of
transition
to
democracy.']
Their
naturedoes
not
explain
which
specific
foreign
policy
initiatives
are
taken,
and
why'This
article
i.gu",
that
byintroducinginto
theanalysis
the
new
domestic
individual
andcorporateevaluationsand
strategies
-
aconsequence
of
the
new
alignment
ofthe
newelites
-
the
installation
of
a
new
democratic
regimemayopenawindowofopportunityforspecificforeignpolicy
ch-anges.
Furthermore,
this
approach
explains
which
foreignpolicy
initiatives
are
taken,and
why,
and
why
some
foreignpolicy
decisionscan
faceresistance,
or
are
nottakenat
all.
I
will
also
argue
thattheperceptionofthe
internationalcornmunity
of
the
foreign
policy
options
is
a
powerful
influenceuponthedecision-rnakingprocedures
followedby
the
individual
and
corporateinterests
andstrategies.
If
an
authoritarianregime
followed
a
foreign
policy
orientation
thatthe
intemationalcommunityperceived
as
illegiiimite,
thenthere
would
be
strongincentivesto
change
it'
th.
pro."rr
leadingtothe
self-deter'rinationof
East
Timor
was
chosen
o,
o
.oi.
study.
This
started
with
Portugal'stransition
to
democracybetween1914
and1976
and
ended
with
Indonesia'scomparableexperience
during 1998-99.The
East
Timorese
experiencecontradicts
the'nature
of
ihe
interim
government'explanation
forforeignpolicy
changes.
In
contrast'
East
Timoreseself-determination
is
explained
by
the
emergence
of
new
individualandcolporateinterestsand
strategies
during
the
transition
to
democracy
in
Portugal
and
Indonesia.
The
case
allowsus
to
testtheexplanationoffered
here
in
twototally
differentcontexts.
For
while
Portugal's
democratic
transition
occurred
duringthe
coldwar
inthe
1970s,
Indonesia's
cameafter
the
end
of
the
Cold
War,
inthe
1990s.
Oneis
a
Catholiccountry
andtheotheris
largely
Muslim.
One
is
aEuropeanstateand
theother
is
in
Southeast
Asia.Onecouutry
experienced
a
iransitionto
democracy
through
a
provisionalrevolutionary
government
and
the
otherhad
an
incurnbent
caretaker
government'
Yet,
clespite
the
political,cultural,
economic,socialandreligious
differences
between
poriugal
andIndonesia,
the
approach
suggested
here
illuminates
the
foreign
policy
decisions
of
both,
in
regardto
East
Timor'
Tlpe
of
DemocraticTransition,Nature
of the
Interim
GoYernment'
and
ForeignPoticyAtransition*is'theinterval
betweenone
political
regimeand
another'''In
other
rvordi a
transitionoccurs
after
a
'process
of
dissolution
of
an
authoritarian
regime'
has
been
triggered
andentls
with
'the installation
of
some
formof
democracy,the
returnto
some
formof
authoritarian
rule'
or
 
r44
t}teDEMOCRATIZATION
W
_r
trfltT,ff::ffi
*::::|::".:'"9*:b:,lTnreformaandruptu,o..e,r,irJ"-r'urrii.u,ion
dentifies
rransaction,breakdown/colrapse
and
extrication.;
rr*rilllll
ation,reforma
and
transaction
correspona
to
th"
a*.iiio*'to;|il;**
where
the
initiative
tobeginthe
regimi
change
is
taken
uytr,,
uutrroituriun
elites.
Replacement,
ruptura
and
breakdown/collapsl
Oescrii"
nose
situationswhere
the
authoritariangovernmentswereoverthrown
by
the
opposition.
Transplacement
andextricationoccurwhenboth
the
authoritariangovernmentandthe
oppositionwork
togethe,
t"ii"g""il"i,
newdemocratic
regime.
--:r'.'
s(
Each
thatQt
of
transition
breakdown/collapse.
But
if
the
.members
of
the
#'.
srrua[lons.,,
governmentscorrespond
to
those
situations
wh||
r@Thblel.
TABLE
I
LinzlStepan
Share/lVlainwaringTransformationTransactionBreakdown/collapse
Extrication
Soarce:Adapted
from
S.
Huntington
,
The
Third
lfave
(Norman,
OK
andLondon
:
lggl),p.ltA.
Reforna
Ruptura
transition
until
the

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