During his presidential campaign, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) criticised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s regional and global activism as mostly “pencitraan” or image building with little direct benefits to the common people. As a businessman with little experience in international affairs Jokowi outlined a more down to earth foreign policy mainly aimed at serving Indonesia’s economic interests. While expressing admiration for Sukarno’s Tri Sakti of political independence, economic self-reliance and cultural distinctiveness as well as vigorous nationalism in defence of Indonesian national interests, Jokowi’s earlier foreign policy pronouncement underscored a more pragmatic and transactional approach with a stress on key bilateral relations. Jokowi also gives special emphasis to Indonesia’s maritime identity, envisaging Indonesia as a global maritime fulcrum. Concerns that Indonesia would become more inward-looking, including fear that Jakarta would pay less attention to ASEAN, however, have been proven groundless. While there have been important changes in the style and thrust of Indonesia’s foreign policy under Jokowi, there are also continuities, especially in ensuring that Indonesia and ASEAN would continue to enjoy strategic autonomy while leveraging the different regional interests of external powers.
About the Speaker
Dewi Fortuna Anwar straddles the world of academia, political activism and government. She is a Research Professor at the Center for Political Studies-Indonesian Institute of Sciences and was the Deputy Chairman for Social Sciences and Humanities-LIPI from 2001 to 2010. Between October 2010 and May 2015, Dewi served as Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs, and from May 2015 to February 2017 as Deputy for Government Policy Support to Vice President Boediono and Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla of the Republic of Indonesia respectively. In 1998-1999, Dewi served as Assistant Minister of State Secretariat for Foreign Affairs during the Habibie Presidency. In 2015, Dewi was appointed a member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences (AIPI). She has written widely on Indonesia’s foreign policy, Indonesia’s democratization as well as on ASEAN and regional political and security issues. Dewi is also the Chairman of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, The Habibie Center, a private think-tank based in Jakarta. Dewi was a Visiting Fellow at CSEAS, Kyoto University in early 2010 and a Visiting Professor at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in 2007. Dewi sits and has sat in a number of national and international advisory boards. She is currently a member of the Governing Board of SIPRI and a Board Member of Shift, based in New York. She served as a member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) in 2004-2008, and a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters in 2008-2012. Dewi was an APSA Congressional Fellow at the U.S. Congress in 1990-1991. She obtained her PhD from Monash University, Melbourne in 1990, while her M.A. and B.A. (Hons) were from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1982 and 1981 respectively.