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The interplay between grand strategy and defence diplomacy: examining Indonesia’s post-new order period

Wenas Inkiriwang, Frega Ferdinand (2020) The interplay between grand strategy and defence diplomacy: examining Indonesia’s post-new order period. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In the post-New Order period, Indonesia underwent significant foreign policy reforms which reduced the armed forces’ roles in foreign policymaking. Despite this reduction, there has been an upsurge in Indonesia’s defence diplomacy in the last fifteen years. The thesis examines both the rise and nature of Indonesia’s defence diplomacy in this period, comparing the Yudhoyono and Widodo administrations. More specifically, the thesis explores the interplay between defence diplomacy and grand strategy by analysing the two presidents’ respective approach to grand strategy and how their priorities have influenced Indonesia’s defence diplomacy. The thesis involves three qualitative case studies, focusing on strategic dialogues, joint exercises, and inter-military assignments by way of peacekeeping, from 2004 to 2019. The discussion builds on the combined analysis through interviews, field observations, and primary as well as secondary source materials. The dissertation offers three main arguments. First, the rise and increase of activities understood as defence diplomacy are strongly driven by three factors: assessments relating to great power security challenges and rivalry, the perceptions and preferences of national leaders, and the military’s interest in enhancing its status internationally. Secondly, while these factors do affect different elements of defence diplomacy in varying ways, defence diplomacy has become an established instrument for implementing policy goals associated with Indonesia’s grand strategy. In some respects, defence diplomacy has proven more effective than ordinary diplomacy. Third, the greater reliance on defence diplomacy has led to institutional rivalry with the Foreign Ministry in particular, but its extent has remained limited. This dissertation contributes to several literatures. It offers original cases to the study of Indonesia’s defence diplomacy. It explores the role of defence diplomacy in Indonesia’s contemporary engagement strategy vis-à-vis China and the United States, and It contributes to the strategic studies literature by exploring defence diplomacy as an aspect of grand strategy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Frega Ferdinand Wenas Inkiriwang
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Haacke, Jürgen

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