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The making of Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum (GMF) grand strategy: origins and implementation

Raymon, Ricky (2021) The making of Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum (GMF) grand strategy: origins and implementation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004549


This study examines the origins and implementation of Indonesia’s grand strategy, the Global Maritime Fulcrum (GMF), during Joko Widodo’s first term (2014-2019). Though Indonesia’s leaders sought recognition of the country’s geography as an archipelagic state decades ago, they did not adopt until recently a maritime-based grand strategy. The sudden emergence and adoption of the GMF - given the long period during which political leaders had but little appreciation for the country’s maritime domain – makes for a puzzle that this dissertation attempts to address. To approach the topic, the study draws on several theoretical frameworks, builds on Neoclassical Realist theory for insights relating to the role of domestic factors in mediating systemic imperatives. To capture specifically the origins of the GMF, the dissertation also draws on works on policy entrepreneurship. With respect to its implementation in relation to foreign policy and defence, the study relies on insights from the literature on leaders’ personality and foreign policy making, bureaucratic politics, and civil-military relations. The analysis provided is informed by multiple interviews with individuals closely related to GMF formulation and implementation. The dissertation demonstrates that while major shifts in Indonesia’s external environment — in form of China’s increasing assertiveness and the rise of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical narrative — stimulated the GMF’s formation, it was domestic factors — the 2014 Presidential Election and the dissatisfaction over the previous development policy and foreign policy administration— that led the GMF to be adopted as Indonesia’s new grand strategy. Notwithstanding the success of policy entrepreneurship in GMF adoption, its implementation in foreign policy and defence has proven to be half-hearted and ambiguous. The thesis attributes this to President Widodo’s general disinterest in foreign policy and defence, fewer influential advocates of the GMF in its implementation phase, and Widodo’s close relationship with the army.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Ricky Raymon
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jokowi, Indonesia, grand strategy, Global Maritime Fulcrum, GMF, foreign policy, maritime
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Haacke, Jürgen

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