• Class Number 3566
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Marcus Mietzner
    • AsPr Marcus Mietzner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Aristyo Darmawan
SELT Survey Results

This course examines Indonesia's foreign and security policy against the background of the country's decades-long, but still unfulfilled quest for a larger global role. As the nation with the fourth-largest population in the world, and as the third-largest democracy, Indonesia rightly aspires to expand its influence and have a greater say in international affairs. But both its foreign policy and its regional and international security policy have often been criticised as insufficient to achieve this goal. What, then, have been the hurdles to Indonesia's development into a key diplomatic and security actor? What have successive Indonesian presidents done to overcome these obstacles and increase Indonesia's international weight? How do Indonesia's neighbours, including Australia, view Indonesia's foreign and security potential, and its limitations? What is the most likely trajectory of Indonesia's foreign and security role in the decades ahead? How has the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the country hard, influenced this trajectory?

In this course, we will investigate the questions outlined above, and evaluate Indonesia's status in the web of regional powers in the Asia-Pacific region. In doing so, we will also reflect on key theoretical and conceptual questions in regards to the sources of a country's diplomatic and strategic power. Indonesia, with its quickly growing economy but continuously weak military, is a highly suitable case study for investigations into what exactly constitutes political and security influence in today's global security system. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Possess a deep understanding of the historical and conceptual foundations of Indonesian foreign and security policy.
  2. Possess knowledge of key concepts for analysing core issues of foreign and security policy. This will include understanding definitions of, among others, middle and great powers, realism, constructivism and democratic foreign policy.
  3. Apply these concepts in analysing Indonesia's past and current foreign and security policy..
  4. Conduct research independently and effectively, especially by identifying scholarly acceptable sources and materials.
  5. Express themselves clearly and scholarly in verbal and written formats.

Research-Led Teaching

This course draws from more than 25 years of research experience in Indonesia. The convener has studied Indonesian politics, and especially military politics, since the 1990s.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

The examination will be in the form of a take-home exam. Normal access to online and other resources is allowed.

Required Resources

Since some elements of this course can be accessed online (such as lecture recordings), a stable internet connection is recommended.

While it will be sufficient to read the allocated articles each week, it would be useful for you to read Amitav Acharya's book on Indonesia's alleged rise as a global player. This course will critically question some of Archaya's theories, and thus is useful to serve as a contrasting point for many of the lectures.

The details of the book are: Amitav Acharya (2014) Indonesia Matters: Asia's Emerging Democratic Power Paperback, World Scientific Publishing.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

+ written comment sheets on all writings (except take-home exam)

+ verbal feedback in class and consultation hours

+ for the take-home exam: marks announced on Wattle.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 19 FEBRUARY: Introduction
In this lecture, we will discuss the basics of course administration, and briefly lay out its main themes. It is vital for students to attend this event and ask any questions they may have. Please read the CMS guide before class.
2 26 FEBRUARY: Concepts of Foreign and Security Policy
In this class, we discuss key concepts of foreign and security policy. One of the key themes to be discussed in this context is that of “power”. What makes a state “powerful?” Is it a strong military? A big population? An effective economy? And further, what does it take for a state to be a small, middle or great power? All of these concepts will be used throughout the course in order to assess Indonesia’s status in world affairs. Required reading: Gideon Rose (1998). Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy, World Politics 51 (1): 144-172.Recommended reading: David A. Baldwin (1997). The Concept of Security, Review of International Studies 23 (1): 5-26
3 4 MARCH: The Foundations of Indonesian Foreign Policy, 1945-65
This lecture discusses the origins and foundations of Indonesian foreign policy. These are inspired by the principle idea of a “free and active” [bebas dan aktif] foreign policy, which is aimed at avoiding dependence on only one great power. During much of the revolution (1945-49), the democratic period (1950-57) and the early phase of Sukarno’S guided Democracy (1959-63), this policy was applied consistently. After 1963, however, Jakarta solidly aligned with communist Beijing, raising questions about the independence of its foreign policy. Required reading: Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung (1990). “The Basic Principles of Indonesia’s Foreign Policy”, in: Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, Twenty Years Indonesian Foreign Policy, 1945-65. Yogyakarta: Duta Wacana University Press, 15-28. Recommended reading: Richard Mason (2010). Indonesia, the Cold War and Non-Alignment: Relations of the Early Indonesian Cabinets with the United States, 1950-52. Journal of International Studies 6: 15-36.

4 11 MARCH:: Indonesian Foreign Policy under the New Order, 1965-1998
This lecture focuses on the massive shift of Indonesia’s foreign policy towards the West after the military take-over in 1965. While never formally aligned, Indonesia remained a close partner of the West until 1990, when the end of the Cold War led to a deterioration in the relationship. At the end of Suharto’s rule, Indonesia’s foreign policy was once again “free and active”, with Suharto maintaining key friendships across the globe. Required reading: Michael R. Vatikiotis (1993). Indonesia's Foreign Policy in the 1990s, Contemporary Southeast Asia 14 (4): 352-367.Recommended reading: Rizal Sukma (1995). The Evolution of Indonesia's Foreign Policy: An Indonesian View, Asian Survey 35 (3): 304-315.
Since 11 March is a holiday, the lecture will be pre-recorded and posted online, so that students can watch it anytime before the tutorials. The date of the pre-recording will be announced in due course to allow students who wish to participate in the online recording of the lecture can do so.SHORT PAPER DUE 15 MARCH, 23.55.
5 18 MARCH: Indonesian Foreign Policy under Democracy, 1998-2024
In this lecture, we will explore how Indonesian policy was influenced by its democratization after 1998. While some authors say that being a democracy has changed Indonesia’s foreign policy, others believe that it has remained unchanged and still adheres to the “free and active” policy. Others again have claimed that Indonesian foreign policy has become more “Islamic”, reflecting the increasing influence of Muslim groups after democratization. In short, what exactly is “democratic” about Indonesia’s current foreign policy? Required reading: Jurgen Rueland (2017). Democratizing Foreign-Policy Making in Indonesia and the Democratization of ASEAN: A Role Theory Analysis. TRaNS 5(1): 49-73.Recommended reading: Lucas Greenslade, Indonesian Foreign Policy and Democracy under Widodo: A Role Theory Analysis. Honours Thesis, The Australian National University October 2023.
6 25 MARCH: Instruments of Foreign Policy I: The Indonesian Economy
This lecture will ask to what extent the Indonesian economy is (or has the potential to be) a major asset for Indonesian foreign policy makers. On the one hand, Indonesia’s large market and population make it attractive to other powers, but its consistent underperformance in the economic realm has thus far limited the economy’s ability to increase Indonesia’s foreign policy capacity. In the lecture, we look at Indonesia’s economy today, and assess its development trajectory in the next 30 years or so. In particular, we will assess the potential for Indonesia's economy to re-emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Required reading: PwC, PwC Indonesia Economic Update: Second Quarter 2023, Pwc Indonesia.Recommended reading: World Bank, The Invisible Toll of COVID-19 on Learning, World Bank East Asia. .
Since Friday, 29 March, is a holiday, those students in the Friday tutorials are encouraged to attend the other tutorials in the week: Tuesday 14-15 and Thursday 15-15. Both are in Coombs Extension 1.04. However, you will not be penalized if you can't make it.
7 15 APRIL: Essay Writing: Some Guidelines
In this lecture (and in the tutorials), we will discuss essay writing guidelines in preparation for the research essay assignment.

8 22 APRIL: Instruments of Foreign Policy II: The Indonesian Military
This lecture analyses the other conventional power source (besides the economy) that states have to bargain in the international arena: the armed forces. Is the Indonesian military large and effective enough to make Indonesia a middle or even great power? Which impediments have limited its growth and modernisation in the past? The lecture will review the evolution of the Indonesian military in the 1940s, and demonstrate why it remains essentially an internally oriented security apparatus rather than a defence force. Required reading: Iis Gindarsah and Adhi Priamarizki (2021). Explaining Indonesia’s Under-balancing: The Case of the Modernisation of the Air Force and the Navy. Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 8 (3): 391-412.Recommended reading: Evan A. Laksmana (2019) Reshuffling the Deck? Military Corporatism, Promotional Logjams and Post-Authoritarian Civil-Military Relations in Indonesia, Journal of Contemporary Asia 49(5): 806-836.
Since Thursday, 25 April, is a holiday, those students in the Thursday tutorial are encouraged to attend the other tutorials in the week: Tuesday 14-15 or Friday 14-15, 15-16 or 16-17.. All are in Coombs Extension 1.04. However, you will not be penalized if you can't make it.
9 29 APRIL: Indonesia’s External and Domestic Security Challenges
Indonesia’s security policy has an international, but also a major domestic component. Internationally, Indonesia faces the rise of China’s assertiveness, especially in the South China Sea; territorial disputes with Malaysia; and a wide range of transnational crimes, including terrorism. But much of Indonesia’s security diplomacy and policy remains domestically oriented: for example, it has developed a Pacific policy specifically designed to undermine foreign support for Papuan independence. This lecture will summarise Indonesia’s security challenges and policy, and explain how Indonesia balances its external and domestic elements. Required reading: Yohanes Sulaiman (2019). What Threat? Leadership, Strategic Culture, and Indonesian Foreign Policy in the South China Sea. Asian Politics & Policy 11(4): 606-622.Recommended reading: Tiola (2021), Indonesia’s China andUS Approach: Crafting Policies Out of Standard Operating ProceduresJournal of Asian Security and International Affairs 8(3): 324–345.

10 6 MAY: Indonesia and ASEAN: Leadership or Not?
This lecture discusses Indonesia’s role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As the largest nation in Southeast Asia, many observers view Indonesia as its natural leader. But has Indonesia always played this role? If so, why not? On the other hand, some in Indonesia claim (and others in ASEAN fear) that ASEAN could be “too small” for Indonesia, and that the country could in the future focus more on global bodies such as the G20 than ASEAN - as well as on larger regional areas such as the Indo-Pacic. This lecture will review ASEAN’s past and future trajectory, as well as Indonesia’s role in it.
Required reading: Felix Heiduk (2016). Indonesia in ASEAN: Regional Leadership between Ambition and Ambiguity. SWP Research Paper, Berlin.Recommended reading: Rakhmat Syarip (2020). Defending Foreign Policy at Home: Indonesia and the ASEAN-Based Free Trade Agreements. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 39 (3): 405–427.
11 13 MAY: Indonesia and Australia: Reluctant Neighbours
This lecture assesses the diplomatic relationship between Indonesia and Australia. The relationship, while cordial, has often been disrupted by a range of sensitive issues, ranging from Papua to refugees and intelligence leaks. How has Indonesia viewed and defined its relationship with Australia, and how does this perception fit with Australia’s? The lecture uses the discussion of Indonesia-Australia relationship to summarise some key points of this course and locate Indonesia’s place in global affairs. Required reading: Sian Troath (2019). Bonded but not Embedded: Trust in Australia-Indonesia Relations, Keating & Suharto to Turnbull & Jokowi. Australian Journal of International Affairs 73(2):126-142.Recommended reading: Mark Beeson, Alan Bloomfield and Wahyu Wicaksana (2021). Unlikely Allies? Australia, Indonesia and the Strategic Cultures of Middle Powers. Asian Security 17 (2): 178-194.

12 20 MAY: Wrap-Up Lecture and Take-Home Exam Preparation TAKE-HOME EXAM DUE 3 JUNE, 23.55.

Tutorial Registration

The registration for tutorials is through MyTimetable.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation (10%) 10 % * * 1,4,5
Short Paper (20%) 20 % 15/03/2024 29/03/2024 2,4,5
Research Essay (35%) 35 % 06/05/2024 20/05/2024 1,2,3,4,5
Take-Home Exam (35%) 35 % 03/06/2024 15/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


See Assessment Task 1.


See Assessment Task 4.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Tutorial Participation (10%)

You will be assessed on your tutorial participation. The assessment is primarily based on the quality of your contributions in class (and therefore, not simply on the frequency of your contributions and/or attendance.) After each tutorial, you will receive a mark. Absence is marked as zero, unless docomentation on justifiable absence is provided. At the end of the semester, the average of your eight best marks achieved throughout the semester will be your total mark for tutorial participation. In order to prepare for the tuorials, it is essential that you have read the required reading and attended/listened to the lecture of that week. The better you are prepared through reflecting on these materials (and, optionally, additional material you researched yourself), the more effectively you will be able to engage in class, and the better your mark will be.

For students who feel uncomfortable with public speaking in class or who face participation hurdles due to the specific circumstances created by the pandemic, the course convener accepts brief written commentaries on the main reading of the respective week as a substitute for a contribution made in class. Students who wish to make use of this opportunity should send this brief commentary to the course convener within one week of the tutorial for which the student seeks a substitute participation mark. However, such students should write to the course convener at the beginning of the semester and explain their reasons for not being able to contribute in class. Unavailability due to work commitments or similar reasons are not acceptable - the mechanism of substituting oral contributions with brief commentaries is designed to accommodate students who can't contribute in class because of the barriers mentioned above, not because of pragmatic timing issues or matters of convenience.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 15/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,4,5

Short Paper (20%)

After the lecture on 4 March, a question will be explained and subsequently released in writing on Wattle. This question has to be answered by all students in a 1000-word paper that must be submitted through Turnitin on 15 March at 23.55 at the latest.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 06/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 20/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay (35%)

A research paper of up to 2000 words is due no later than 6 May at 23.55, and must be submitted through Turnitin. Students are free to choose any topic that is related to the overall subject of this course - that is, Indonesian Foreign and Security Policy. For more detailed guidelines on the research paper, please refer to the manual posted on the Wattle site of this course - and our discussion in Week 7.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 03/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 15/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Take-Home Exam (35%)

A take home exam will be posted on Wattle in the last week of the semester, and must be returned through Turnitin no later than 3 June at 23.55.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments (with the exception of the take-home exams) will be returned as hard copies with written commentary in text and a separate comment sheet, or via Turnitin comments online. The time in which the assignment will be returned varies and is based on the length of the assignment. Please refer to the items in the assessment summary for detailed return times.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re-submission of assignments after the deadline is only permitted after consultation with the course convener. Before the deadline, students are free to replace their previous submissions at any time.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

Research Interests

Indonesian politics; democracy and elections; the political role of the armed forces; Islamism

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Marcus Mietzner

Research Interests

Indonesian politics; democracy and elections; the political role of the armed forces; Islamism

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

By Appointment
By Appointment
Aristyo Darmawan

Research Interests

Aristyo Darmawan

By Appointment

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