The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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David Bourchier

Assoc/Prof David Bourchier

Associate Professor
Asian Studies

Contact details
Asian Studies
The University of Western Australia (M257)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2074
+61 8 6488 1167
Personal homepage
Room G11, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus
BA Flin. & Murd., PhD Monash
David Bourchier was born in Australia and grew up in Sri Lanka, the Soviet Union and Canberra. He studied at Flinders, Murdoch and Monash Universities graduating in politics in 1996. His main academic interest is in the politics of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He has taught courses on Asian politics and Indonesian language at Flinders University, RMIT, Murdoch University. He has been at UWA since 1998, where he has taught several units relating to modern Indonesia and Southeast Asia as well as all levels of Indonesian.

Key research
David has written on many aspects of Indonesian society and politics, with publications on law, labour, ideology, international relations, human rights and the military. Publications include "Habibie's Interregnum: Reformasi, Elections, Regionalism and the Struggle for Power" in Chris Manning and Peter van Diermen (eds) Indonesia in Transition: Social Aspects of Reformasi and Crisis (ISEAS, Singapore, 2000); "Conservative Political Ideology In Indonesia: A Fourth Wave?" in Lloyd Grayson and Luke Shannon (eds) Indonesia Today: Challenges of History (ISEAS, Singapore, 2001); and, together with Hamish McDonald, Desmond Ball, James Dunn, Gerry van Klinken, Douglas Kammen and Richard Tanter, Masters of Terror: Indonesia's Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999 (Australian National University, Canberra, 2002)
Research on law and politics led to publications including "The romance of adat in the Indonesian political imagination and the current revival” in Jamie Davidson and David Henley (eds) The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics: The deployment of adat from colonialism to indigenism, Routledge, London and New York (2007) and “Positivism and Romanticism in Indonesian Legal Thought” in Timothy Lindsey (ed) Indonesia Law and Society, The Federation Press, Sydney (2008).
His books include (with John Legge) Democracy in Indonesia, 1950s and 1990s; (with Vedi Hadiz) Indonesian Society and Politics: A Reader (Routledge-Curzon, London and New York, 2003) as well as the sole authored Dynamics of Dissent in Indonesia (Equinox, Jakarta 2010) and Illiberal Democracy in Indonesia: The idea of the family state (Routledge, London and New York, 2014).
Current external positions
David heads the Joint Selection Team for the Australia Awards Scholarships in Indonesia. The Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships funded by the Australian Government. In 2012 the Australian Government invested $334.2 million in Australia Awards, with Indonesia the largest single recipient.
New and noteworthy
David has followed the 2014 elections in Indonesia closely and has written several short articles in the media on this topic, including in The Conversation. He has been interviewed recently on several radio stations including ABC Radio National and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

For reviews of David's new book, Illiberal Democracy in Indonesia: The Idea of the Family State, see
Current projects
The Politics of Islamic creationism

Ideology in post-authoritarian Indonesia
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM