Indonesia and the Muslim World

Between Islam and Secularism in the Foreign Policy of Soeharto and Beyond

by Anak Agung Banyu Perwita

  • Published:
  • Pages: 238 pp.
  • Series number: 50
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

This stud explores Islam as a domestic political variable in Indonesia’s foreign policy since independence, arguing that increasingly Indonesia’s foreign policy toward the Muslim world has become based on domestic political struggles. In support of this argument, the author mainly draws on material from the period when the New Order regime ruled, but also brings in more recent material to demonstate how Indonesian foreign policy is still shaped by the same forces today

Popular hostility and official ambivalence in Indonesia to the United States-led ‘War on Terror’ seem easily understandable in in the world’s largest Muslim country. But this kind of analysis misses the complexity of Indonesia and the host of internal differences behind this opposition. Military and bureaucratic elites since independence have worked to create a more secular nationalist Indonesian identity out of a multi-ethnic/religious mix, often provoking religious opposition. This dynamic (found also in Turkey, for instance) has especially shaped Indonesia’s encounter with and view of the outside world – and not least its reaction to events affecting the Muslim world.

In this study, the author explores Islam as a domestic political variable in Indonesia’s foreign policy since independence. Here, Anak Agung Banyu Perwita argues that increasingly Indonesia’s foreign policy toward the Muslim world has become based on domestic political struggles. In support of his argument, the author mainly draws on material from the period when President Soeharto’s New Order regime ruled Indonesia but brings in more recent material from the post-Soeharto era to demonstate how Indonesian foreign policy is still shaped by the same forces today.


Containing a wealth of information on the role of Islam in Indonesia’s foreign policy, this book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how the world’s largest Muslim country is reacting to the international challenges of the modern world.

author image not supplied

 

 

Anak Agung Banyu Perwita, born on 6 February 1967, is a Professor of International Relations, at the Department of International Relations, Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung-INDONESIA. Currently is  Vice Rector for Relations and Cooperations, at the same university. The writer obtained MA in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Lancaster University, UK (British Chevening Scholarhsip, 1994) and Ph.D from Flinders University-Australia (Australian Development Scholarship, 2002).His subject interests are foreign policies and strategic studies.
 
He had also experiences as  overseas visiting fellows in several places, such as:
  1. DAAD Research Visiting Fellow, Indonesia Research Unit, Institute of Political Sciences, International Relations/Foreign Policy Studies, University of Giessen, Germany (2005).
  1. Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA) Research and Teaching Fellowship (2004), Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia.
  1. Visiting Fellow, Clingendael Institute of International Relations, Denhaag-Netherlands (Feb-March 2004)
  1. Fulbright Fellows, University of Southern Carolina, Columbia-USA (June-July 2003).
  1. Asian Visiting Fellow, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) Copenhagen-Denmark (March 2003).

 

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by Robert W. Hefner
From journal:
Pacific Affairs

“…suitable for a general readership.”

“…suitable for a general readership.”

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