Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Indonesia’s National Role Conceptions: Continuity Amidst Regional Change

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posted on 2021-11-13, 12:54 authored by Borchers, Henning

This thesis analyses Indonesia's foreign policy in view of role conceptions held by the country's policy and intellectual community and their impact on policy behaviour at the ASEAN level. These role conceptions capture the ways decision-makers perceive Indonesia’s standing and influence in the region and beyond and include the country’s ‘independent and active’ foreign policy doctrine as well as widely held views of the country being a model democracy, a mediator and – increasingly – key actor in regional and global affairs. The research draws attention to how these notions shape Jakarta’s role in ASEAN Community-building and security regionalism. It focuses on a range of initiatives that emphasise ASEAN’s ‘liberal agenda’, including the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN’s approach to conflict resolution and the promotion and protection of human rights. In so doing, it critically reflects on Indonesia’s domestic performance, which stands in at times stark contrast to its agenda on the international stage. I argue that Indonesia’s commitment to promoting liberal norms and values in regional affairs is predominantly instrumental as it aims at consolidating ASEAN cohesion vis-à-vis the influence of external powers in order to advance the country’s regional leadership ambitions and desire to play a more active role at the global level.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

International Relations

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of International Relations

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Capie, David