Category: Foreign Policy

The recent visits of President Joko Widodo to Australia and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Indonesia came in the wake of another tense period in the bilateral relationship, caused mainly by concerns over Papua. Why does this issue remain so sensitive and what is its history in the relationship? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues and more with Dr Richard Chauvel in Talking Indonesia.

Early in the term of President Joko Widodo it seemed unlikely that Australia and Indonesia would continue to enjoy the amicable relations they experienced under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. On the eve of Jokowi’s first bilateral visit to Australia, Dr Dave McRae writes that despite frequent tension, both countries share a strong belief that good relations must be maintained.

The exact details of what instigated the recent dispute between the Indonesian and Australian militaries remain unclear. But whatever the cause, Professor Tim Lindsey writes that the bilateral relationship is changing, and this kind of turbulence is likely to become more common.

In our final post for 2016, we send off this rather depressing year by taking a look back at some of the expert commentary and analysis published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again in mid-January.

An Indonesian representative to the UN won praise last month for laying into Pacific countries that questioned Indonesia’s human rights record in Papua. Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge writes that defensive statements about sovereignty do nothing to address the humanitarian issues that are, in fact, the primary concerns of state and non-state actors in the Pacific.

President Joko Widodo made an appeal to Southeast Asian unity in the face of regional instability as the ASEAN Summit kicked off in Laos this week. Dr Avery Poole writes that this may bode well for Indonesia’s traditional leadership role in ASEAN but we are unlikely to see significant progress on key regional governance challenges.

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s contrasting approach to foreign policy compared to his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, stands to reshape Australia-Indonesia ties. In this public lecture, Dr Evi Fitriani charts President Joko Widodo’s distinct approach to foreign policy and outlines the implications for Indonesia’s relationship with Australia.

Over the past few years, the idea that Indonesia will be the next rising power in Asia has grown in prominence among academics and political and business leaders. But Professor Richard Robison argues that a number of characteristics of the Indonesian state mean that these “great power” aspirations will remain unfulfilled.

The past month has seen rising tensions in the South China Sea. What are the implications of recent developments for Indonesia, and how can it best respond? Will Indonesia’s relations with China be affected? Dr Dave McRae speaks to Dr Makmur Keliat, from the University of Indonesia, about these issues and more in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Will Australia see a return to warm relations with Indonesia after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s meeting with President Joko Widodo? Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, spoke to ABC’s The Drum, about the prospects for the bilateral relationship.

Malcolm Turnbull’s replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister of Australia did not make the front pages of any of Indonesia’s main papers last week. But as Agus Salim and Tim Mann write, it was clear that Indonesians will not be shedding any tears over Abbott’s downfall.

President Joko Widodo is often portrayed as more inward looking than his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. This would seem to be reflected in the Indonesian approach toward ASEAN under Jokowi. But as Dr Avery Poole argues, the reality is more complex.