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The Middle Power Moment: A New Basis for Cooperation between Indonesia and Australia?

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Indonesia’s Ascent

Part of the book series: Critical Studies of the Asia Pacific Series ((CSAP))

Abstract

Middle powers have suddenly become fashionable again. The economic and strategic problems currently being experienced by the United States (US) and China’s still limited ability to shape the international system, suggest that there are currently opportunities for non-great powers to influence international affairs.1 Indeed, there is a growing literature that focuses on the role that might be played by those states that are neither superpowers nor failing, but which are seeking to play a more prominent role in the international system. Australia has been at the forefront of this process, but its most immediate neighbor and the principal focus of the following discussion—Indonesia—is also increasingly described as a significant regional middle power. Just as important, Indonesia has been experimenting with some aspects of middle power diplomacy, even if it does not always use this term widely. It is an opportune moment, therefore, to revisit middle power theory, explain its recent resurgence and see whether Indonesia actually measures up.

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© 2015 Mark Beeson and Will Lee

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Beeson, M., Lee, W. (2015). The Middle Power Moment: A New Basis for Cooperation between Indonesia and Australia?. In: Roberts, C.B., Habir, A.D., Sebastian, L.C. (eds) Indonesia’s Ascent. Critical Studies of the Asia Pacific Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137397416_11

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