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Indonesian Foreign Policy: From Free and Active to Leadership in the Indo-Pacific

  • Columbia University International Affairs Building Rm. 918 (map)

For the past half-century Indonesia has pursued a foreign policy that is geared towards protecting the national interest through cooperation rather than confrontation, and through free/independent and active policy-making rather than alliances. Does such an approach to foreign policy still serve Indonesia well in dealing with the current regional and global dynamics? Joko Widodo introduced his vision to make Indonesia a Global Maritime Fulcrum soon after being sworn in as president in 2014, which three years later, in 2017, was further elaborated in the Indonesian Ocean Policy as a vision of “Indonesia as a sovereign, advanced, independent, strong maritime nation that is able to provide positive contribution for peace and security in the region as well as to the world”. Entering 2018, with Indo-Pacific being the geopolitical buzzword, Indonesia has proposed its own version of the Indo-Pacific vision. How have these latest developments shaped Indonesia’s current foreign policy?

Dr. Shafiah Muhibat is the Head of Department of International Relations, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia. She was recently a Senior Fellow at the Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) Singapore from January to December 2017. She has done and taken part in extensive research projects on politics and regional security in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific since 2000. She has special interest in issues of regional security in East Asia, maritime security, Indonesia’s foreign policy, and regional cooperation. In addition to her interest in security issues, in the recent years she has also looked into issues related to development cooperation. She was the Chief Editor of The Indonesian Quarterly, a quarterly academic journal published by CSIS, from 2013 to 2016. She was also a lecturer at two private universities in Jakarta from 2005 to 2009. She obtained a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hamburg.

Hosted by NYSEAN and Weatherhead East Asian Institute.