Yudhoyono’s Foreign Policy: Is Indonesia a Rising Power?

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13b.Yudhoyono’s Foreign Policy

  • Author: Evi Fitriani
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Editor: Edward Aspinall, Marcus Mietzner and Dirk Tomsa
  • Book Title: The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia’s Decade of Stability and Stagnation
  • Publication Year: Singapore
  • Publisher: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
  • Language: English
  • Short Description:

The chapter seeks to assess whether Indonesia is a rising power and analyze President Yudhoyono’s role in shaping Indonesia’s foreign policy during the ten years of his presidency, paying attention to an apparent paradox. On the one hand, Indonesia’s growing international reputation as a rising or emerging is often attributed to its successful democratization and its image as a model Muslim democracy (Acharya 2014). On the other hand, however, both the media and academic observers of Indonesian domestic politics have increasingly questioned whether the country really deserves this praise (Harsono 2012). In this chapter, I argue that this seeming paradox is explained in part by Yudhoyono’s approach to foreign policy. The president’s personality heavily shaped Indonesia’s approach to foreign affairs, especially during his second term when he made the narrative of a successful Muslim democracy a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Building the appeal of this narrative, Yudhoyono brought Indonesia back into the community of nations, restoring its visibility in the eyes of the international community. It would be premature, however, to consider Indonesia as a rising power.