The problem of Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN political and security cooperation

  • A. G. Smorzhevska Institute of international relations of Taras Shevchenko National university of Kyiv
Keywords: multilateral diplomacy of Indonesia, regional integration, regional agenda-setting, norm-setting, conflict resolution


The study is dedicated to modern approaches and policy of the Republic of Indonesia toward the process of regional integration in Southeast Asia. Key aspects and instruments of Indonesia’s increasing contribution in strengthening of the political and security cooperation between members of ASEAN have been explained by the researcher. The aim of the article is to identify the role of Indonesia in conduction of multilateral diplomacy within the framework of ASEAN political and security sphere, forms of its implementation as well as the specifics of limiting factors for such leadership. It has been argued by the author that Indonesia’s commitments to ASEAN and its desire to promote or inhibit the process of regional integration vary depending on policy areas and level of compliance to its national interests. Consequently, Indonesia’s main interests and priorities concerning the ASEAN integration process lie in security and defense sphere. Indonesia’s key role in building of the ASEAN Political and Security Community is to provide ideas and political concepts as well as to shape the regional agenda. Therefore, the country implements the relevant agreements and puts forward a number of regional initiatives in foreign policy and defense. Moreover, assuming the fact that direct regional mechanisms of conflict resolution has not been fully implemented yet, Jakarta works on its development, acting as a mediator and a reliable regional partner. In addition, it is worth to underline that Jakarta makes substantial contribution to regional efforts in counterterrorism. The benefit of this study is that it takes into consideration the specifics of the factors that reveal the limitations for leadership in the security sphere. The core principles of ASEAN functioning determine the degree and nature of Member States’ leadership in the region. The material power resources and implementation on power through coercion gave way to soft instruments of regional leadership, such as agenda-setting, mediation and innovation. Therefore, the nations’ leadership should be built on shared norms and values and could be effective only in case of corresponding common interests and purposes of other Member States. As a result, there is no evidence to suppose that ASEAN can lose its importance for Indonesia as this vector is still considered as a center of security architecture in Southeast Asia and main instrument for maintaining of the regional stability by the authority of the country. Moreover, it is also a precondition for the approval of Indonesia’s leadership and the implementation of its policy in other multilateral structures of cooperation by means of new diplomatic methods.


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How to Cite
Smorzhevska, A. G. (2017). The problem of Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN political and security cooperation. Grani, 20(5), 48-54.