Expert reviews Indonesian foreign policy during SBY’s reign

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – In the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), Indonesia tried to redefine its international identity which had long been obscured by the New Order, such as domestic transitions and economic development.

SBY believes Indonesia’s foreign policy must be based on diplomacy and multilateralism which not only fulfills national interests, such as national unity and stability, but also includes broader ambitions, the realization of peace at regional and global levels.

SBY then put forward his idea to make Indonesia a modern country based on three main pillars, a just and strong economy, a modern and stable democracy, and a developing civilization.

“In this context, we agree that Indonesia in the SBY era adopted a proactive and global profile foreign policy which in its implementation focused on projecting democratic Islamic identity and fulfilling an active role in international institutions,” said lecturer of International Relations, FISIP UNAIR, Radityo Dharmaputra.

Radityo argued that limitations in the realization of SBY’s globalist policy were caused by a limiting pattern of Indonesia’s strategic culture. It can be seen from the rhetorics of foreign policy, with an outward orientation, to improve Indonesia’s international status bound by Indonesia’s strategic cultural identity structure and an emphasis on foreign policy orientation, which tends to be defensive and inward looking.

Through this paper, Radityo used post structural logic regarding discursive structures and how he was able to limit a country’s foreign policy choices. Based on this logic, he argued that the Indonesia’s strategic culture narratives limit SBY’s foreign policy choices.

Based on the explanation above, Radityo hoped that there will be a new understanding that will contribute to the discourse of foreign policy. Specifically, he hoped his writing can provide a deeper understanding related to the relationship between identity and foreign policy.

Furthermore, at the theoretical level, Radityo hoped to provide a new perspective in analyzing foreign policy through a combination of poststructuralist discourse analysis with strategic cultural concept.

At the empirical level, Radityo was able to add new references and perspectives to studies about Indonesia, especially on foreign policy and strategic culture.

Furthermore, his biggest hope was to be useful, not only for the community and scientists, but also for the government. Through his work at least policy makers can have a more comprehensive perspective on the formulation of Indonesian military and foreign policy. This comprehensive view is related to the argument that in its formulation, Indonesia’s foreign and military policies will not be able to escape the constraints of its strategic culture.

“So to understand the content, please go to the link below,” said Radityo in the end.

Author: Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor  : Nuri Hermawan

Link      :

Radityo Dharmaputra, Agastya Wardhana, dan M. Anugrah Pratama, 2019. A Forced Continuity? Tracing Indonesian Strategic Culture in Yudhoyono’s Foreign Policy (224-2014), Tamkang Journal of International Affairs 23/2 P81-139

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