AED 10.00

ISBN: 978-9948-798-05-7

28 Feb 2023
Strategic Trends Series (14)

Indonesia: Asia’s Other Rising Major Power

Prof. Richard Javad Heydarian

Executive Summary

This paper provides a comprehensive overview of Indonesia’s steady emergence as a ‘middle power’ and, down the road, a potential major power in the Indo-Pacific. It analyzes the Southeast Asian country’s age-old pursuit of strategic autonomy, dating back to the advent of the Cold War in the mid-20th century, and its attendant efforts to enhance cooperation and foster solidarity among post- colonial nations across the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, the paper explains Indonesia’s emergence as a full-fledged ‘middle power’ in the 21st century, thanks to its proactive participation in peace processes around the world as well as its advocacy for a stable and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific. Finally, the paper analyzes the Southeast Asian country’s booming economy, modernizing armed forces, and coterie of capable diplomats and world-class strategic thinkers, who could collectively transform Indonesia into a global power by the middle of the 21st century.

Key words: Indonesia, strategic autonomy, middle power

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Richard Javad Heydarian is an Asia-based academic and policy adviser. He is a Professorial Chairholder in geopolitics at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and has delivered lectures at the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Beijing universities, and previously was a Visiting Fellow at National Chengchi University (Taiwan), and an Assistant Professor in political science at De La Salle University.  As a columnist, he has written for the world’s leading publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, and is a regular contributor to Aljazeera English, Nikkei Asian Review, South China Morning Post , and the Straits Times He has written extensively on Philippine politics, populism and Asian affairs. His latest books are “The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and “The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Global Struggle for Mastery” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Among his latest academic works are, “Penal Populism in Emerging Markets” (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and “The Ascent of Asian Strongmen: Emerging Market Populism and the Revolt Against Liberal Globalization” (Springer 2020); "Philippine Politics: From Rizal to Duterte" (Oxford University Press, 2020), "Subaltern Populism: Dutertismo and the War on Constitutional Democracy" (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is also a regular contributor to leading global think tanks such as Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Brooking Institution, and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His forthcoming book is “China’s New Empire” (Melbourne University Press, 2022).