From rowing between two reefs to sailing in two oceans: the end of a thousand friends, zero enemies?
Pang, Jackson Y.M.
Malley, Michael S.
Barma, Naazneen H.
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Under the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), Indonesia made positive strides in improving its international image, and the country’s global stature is on the ascent. These outcomes were largely attributed to SBY’s internationalist foreign policy, which adopted a principle of a thousand friends, zero enemies and preferred a multilateral approach to problem solving. Despite the successes gained from SBY’s all directions foreign policy, Indonesia’s foreign policy has turned nationalistic under Jokowi. In comparison with SBY’s preference for cooperation and conflict avoidance, Jokowi’s foreign policy decisions have shown a willingness to take unilateral actions and to be less conciliatory toward other countries. What set of factors informed Indonesia’s foreign policy during SBY’s drive for multilateralism and cooperation among countries and how much of the nationalist turn in Indonesia’s foreign policy under Jokowi can be explained by changes in these factors? This thesis examines three domestic factors that have shaped Indonesia’s foreign policy under both presidents: the state of Indonesia’s economy, public opinion during each president’s administration, and the strength of the president’s political coalition. This thesis argues that changes in these three domestic factors took place during the period of transition between the two presidents, and Jokowi’s interpretation of and response to the changes, subjected to the constraints imposed on a democratic system, caused the nationalist turn in Indonesia’s foreign policy.
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