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  • Author or Editor: Geoffrey C. Gunn x
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Abstract

Declaring independence in August 1945, the fledgling Republic of Indonesia almost immediately sought to stamp its identity, both nationally and internationally. A Muslim majority state, the founders of the Republic backed by the military adopted secularism over religion around a catch-all culturally embedded national ideology of Panca Sila (in part harking back to ancient maritime empires). Facing down a range of challenges, both domestic and international, Indonesia under founding President Sukarno also emerged as host of the now iconic Bandung Conference of 1955, positioning the country as a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Under threat of U.S. and UK machinations, Sukarno would tilt to a pro-Phnom Penh-Beijing-Pyongyang axis, down until his ouster in 1965 by his U.S.-backed successor, General Soeharto. Under military rule for the next 34 years, President (General) Soeharto, in turn, would anchor Indonesia to the (initially) anti-communist Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Today, as the dominant economy within ASEAN, post-Soeharto reformist Indonesia offers a moderate Islamic face to the West at a juncture where the nation appears to be shedding its strict neutrality in foreign policy by hedging against a rising China. As this contribution demonstrates, the historical-cultural bases of Indonesian society cannot be ignored in any discussion of Indonesian foreign policy, indeed, largely consistent across vastly different regimes, with respect to the role of the military, the Panca Sila ideology, Islam, and even the nature of the Indonesian archipelago literally controlling the sea lanes between the Indian and Pacific oceans.

In: Asian Culture, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Volume II
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West
In: World Trade Systems of the East and West