22 October 2014
While President Jokowi has to contend with intense short-term domestic challenges, it does not mean he will completely decry the internationalist foreign policy outlook of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. His primary strategies will be to turn Indonesia into a “global maritime nexus” and pursue a “Look West” strategy.
Indonesia aims to play a bigger role in Asia Pacific Region under President Joko Widodo. The key indicator was his campaign promise that Indonesia under his presidency would adopt a foreign policy stance emphasising Jakarta’s role as a “global maritime nexus”. In the short –term, domestic political contingencies and concerns over domestic political instability will require him to consolidate his power base. Constrained by such circumstances, how does he aim to shape Indonesia’s foreign policy trajectory?
President Jokowi, as he is fondly known, represents a new democratic trend for Indonesia. He defeated a coalition of big parties backing the Prabowo-Hatta ticket. He does not have a military background nor enjoy the status of a prominent figure in his own Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP). Jokowi’s victory was a product of voluntarism, behind the scenes business and civil society networks, combined with the multiplier effect of the new media.
…Leonard C. Sebastian is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Indonesia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He is co-editor of a forthcoming publication Indonesia’s Ascent: Power, Leadership and Asia’s Security Order soon to be published by Palgrave Macmillan. Emirza Adi Syailendra is a Research Analyst at the same programme.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 27/10/2014