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Indonesia: Punching below its weight

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27 February 2014 14:48

In a new Lowy Institute Analysis paper launched today, Dr Dave McRae argues that Indonesia is unlikely to become a significantly more influential international actor in the medium term, despite its size, strategic location and economic potential.

Titled More Talk than Walk: Indonesia as a Foreign Policy Actor, McRae identifies four features that will define Indonesia's foreign policy: it will project the image of a great power despite its middle power abilities; it will remain non-aligned but lean towards the US; ASEAN will continue to be a key platform for Indonesia's regional and international aspirations; and it will take up Muslim concerns rather than having a distinctly Islamic foreign policy.

Despite rising tensions between Australia and Indonesia, McRae says it is unlikely Indonesia's relationship with Australia will become a key feature of Indonesian foreign policy in coming years. 'Outside of periodic bilateral spats, Australia can appear invisible in Indonesia's foreign policy discussions', said McRae.

Photo by Flickr user adiputraryan.

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