The Enduring Strategic Trinity: Explaining Indonesia's Geopolitical Architecture

Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 95-116, June 2011

22 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2012 Last revised: 25 Nov 2012

See all articles by Evan A. Laksmana

Evan A. Laksmana

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ; Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper seeks to describe and assess the geopolitical architecture of Indonesia as the largest archipelagic state in the world. It makes two main inter-related arguments. First, Indonesia’s geographical traits suggest that it could be both a source of weakness and vulnerability as much as it brings enormous potential for political, economic, and even military power. Second, the historical origins and conceptual foundations of ‘geopolitics’ as a policy theme suggest that Indonesia’s geopolitical architecture is based on three building blocks  the ‘strategic trinity’: geostrategy (the military and security dimensions), geoeconomics (the resource and economic dimensions), and geopolitics (the social and political dimensions). While these arguments are not novel in themselves, this paper represents among the first attempts to systematically analyse and assess Indonesia’s geographical traits and how they shape the country’s strategic thinking, foreign policy, and national security system. The paper will also consider how Indonesia’s geopolitical architecture could help explain the country’s resurgent interest in the Indian Ocean Region in recent years.

Keywords: Indonesian Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Geopolitical Architecture, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean

Suggested Citation

Laksmana, Evan A., The Enduring Strategic Trinity: Explaining Indonesia's Geopolitical Architecture (June 1, 2011). Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 95-116, June 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1979860

Evan A. Laksmana (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ( email )

Syracuse, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.evanlaksmana.com

Centre for Strategic and International Studies ( email )

Jl. Tanah Abang 3 No. 23-7
Jakarta
Indonesia

HOME PAGE: http://www.evanlaksmana.com

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