Lowy Institute Papers | 06 September 2007

Australia and Indonesia: current problems, future prospects

Since the fall of President Suharto in 1998, Australia-Indonesia relations have been quite volatile with the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia being withdrawn briefly in 2006, the first time this has ever happened.

  • Jamie Mackie

Since the fall of President Suharto in 1998, Australia-Indonesia relations have been quite volatile with the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia being withdrawn briefly in 2006, the first time this has ever happened.

  • Jamie Mackie

Executive Summary

Indonesia’s democratisation has brought the two neighbours’ political systems more in line with each other. Yet, this has not led to quieter times. Rather, suspicions in Indonesia over Australia's interests towards the provinces of Papua have deepened along with Australian worries about religious developments in Indonesia.

In his Lowy Institute Paper, Professor Jamie Mackie, a very experienced Indonesia analyst who has researched the bilateral relationship for over five decades, evaluates the sources of this volatility and ways the two governments can counteract them and the potential problems if things stay as they are.

The Paper can be downloaded here.