Abstract

Indonesia is frequently mentioned as an emerging player in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping, but its role has been understudied compared to other emerging powers. Drawing on interviews with foreign and defence ministry officials, and independent analysts in Jakarta, as well as statements by Indonesian representatives in the UN and other forums, this article makes three arguments. First, although Indonesia has a long history of involvement in UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs), there has been a major change in policy in the last decade, with much greater importance attached to peacekeeping. Jakarta has set itself the goal of becoming a top ten troop contributing country with 4,000 personnel deployed by 2019. Second, although Indonesia retains a strong preference for traditional “blue helmet” missions mandated by the UN Security Council (UNSC), and based on principles of host country consent, impartiality and non-use of force, its views on peacekeeping are evolving. While Indonesia has concerns about aspects of the “new” peacekeeping agenda, such as Protection of Civilians and robust peace enforcement missions, in practice it has proved to be more pragmatic than some of its rhetoric might suggest. Third, although emerging powers are frequently portrayed as conservative, Indonesia has been an advocate for a more ambitious approach to peacekeeping in Southeast Asia. It was the first to argue for an ASEAN peacekeeping force and has supported the use of regional troops to monitor peace agreements. In sum, the Indonesian case supports some of the claims made about emerging powers and peace operations but challenges others, underlining the diversity of this group of states.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1793-284X
Print ISSN
0129-797X
Pages
pp. 1-27
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-15
Open Access
No
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