2017 Indonesia Update

Indonesia in the new world: globalisation, nationalism and sovereignty

15–16 September

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Coombs Lecture Theatre, H C Coombs Building #9, corner Fellows Road and Garran Road, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601


Today, globalisation is more complex than ever. The effects of the global financial crisis and increased inequality have, in many countries, spurred anti-global sentiment and encouraged the adoption of populist and inward-looking policies. Discontent has manifested in some surprising results: Brexit, Trump, and possibly more to come. In Indonesia, it has led to rising protectionism, a rejection of foreign interference in the name of nationalism, and economic policies dominated by calls for self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, human trafficking and the abuse of migrant workers have shown the other side of globalisation.

Againts this background the ANU Indonesia Project held its 35th Indonesia Update conference on 15 and 16 September in Canberra. As usual, the coference kicked off with the updates on politic and economic development. Then centered on the theme “Indonesia in the New World: Globalisation, Nationalism and Sovereignty”, fourteen papers were presented to the audience of more than 500 during the one-and-half-day event. The topics included the historical dynamics of Indonesia’s engagement with the global world, its stance in the South China Sea, and the emergence of new nationalism. Speakers also examined nationalism in practice (for example, food sovereignty and resource nationalism) and the impact of and response to globalisation, as well as poverty, inequality, and gender issues.

Following the Canberra conference, we held two “Mini Indonesia Updates” on 18 September, in Sydney (in collaboration with the Lowy Institute) and in Adelaide (in collaboration with the University of Adelaide’s Institute for International Trade).

The papers presented in the conference will be published in the Indonesia Update book series and will be launched next year, in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)/ Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.

The conference is free of charge

Conference convenors

Arianto Patunru
ANU Indonesia Project

Mari Pangestu
University of Indonesia

Muhamad Chatib Basri
University of Indonesia

Conference administrator

Indonesia Project
The Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
Canberra ACT 2601

P 61 2 6125 3794
F 61 2 6125 3700

ANU Indonesia Project wishes to thank The Australian National University and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their substantial and continuing support.



  • Speakers’ profiles and videos of Globalisation, nationalism and sovereignty at New Mandala.
  • Summary of the 2017 Indonesia Update, Day 1 and Day 2.
  • Summary of Political and Economic Update at Lowy Institute for International Policy and Indonesia in the new world at Institute of International Trade, University of Adelaide.
  • Photos on our facebook page.
  • Previous Indonesia Updates.


Media coverage

“The main takeaway from the Australian National University’s annual Indonesia Update conference is that economic nationalism is taking structural hold on the country in contrast to the cyclical interventionism that has previously occurred during times of high commodity prices,” Greg Earl wrote in The Interpreter, Economic diplomacy brief: Free vs fair trade in Indonesia, RBA on iron ore, ageing in Asia and more.

Creco Research Institute co-founder Raden Pardede said that radicalism that continues to grow since Jakarta election has hampered investment. The issue has made investors suspend their capital expenditure, he said. “It has resulted in a sluggish investment growth this year,” he said at the Indonesia Update Conference 2017 held last week at Australia National University, Canberra, Australia. Radicalism hampers investment by Tempo. The Indonesian language version is available (by subscription).

“Kekuatan oligarki mengendalikan konservatisme Islam dan hiper-nasionalisme dalam beberapa tahun terakhir di Indonesia. Fenomena ini terlihat dari terbentuknya kompetisi antar elit oligarki, melalui kekuasaan dan sumber daya yang melibatkan politik identitas.” Vedi Hadiz: Oligarki kendalikan konservatisme Islam di Indonesia by Koran TEMPO, another version of this article was also published in Bisnis.com.

The world has yet to fully recover from the global financial crisis. Economic growth is still lackluster. Inequality increases even in countries where poverty has gone down. These factors are widely seen as the main causes that have led to the rising anti-global sentiments around the globe and prompted leaders to adopt populist and inward-looking policies. In Indonesia, such discontent has also manifested in rising nationalism, which in economic sphere takes the form (or is used as justification for) protectionism, rejection of foreign interference and economic policies aiming for self-sufficiency in an array of commodities, including those of which Indonesia is a natural net importer. Arianto Patunru, Co-convenor of the 2017 Indonesia Update, wrote for The Jakarta Post in Globalisation, protectionism, populism under Jokowi (premium content).


Presentations and videos

View full program.


POLITICAL UPDATE. Indonesia’s year of democratic setback: toward a new era of deepening illiberalism?

Presenter: Vedi Hadiz (University of Melbourne), Discussant: Thomas Power (ANU), Chair: Helen Sullivan (ANU).

Download slides by Vedi Hadiz.

ECONOMIC UPDATE. Effectivity of policy reform in democracy and regional autonomy regime

Presenter: Raden Pardede (CReco Consulting), Discussant: Riatu Qibthiyyah (Universitas Indonesia), Chair: Budy Resosudarmo (ANU).

Download slides by Raden Pardede, Riatu Qibthiyyah.

Globalisation, nationalism and sovereignty: the Indonesian experience

Presenters: Anthony Reid (ANU), Edward Aspinall (ANU), Shafiah Muhibat (Nanyang Technological University) with an Overview by Mari Pangestu (Universitas Indonesia). Chair: Robert Cribb (ANU).

Download slides by Edward Aspinall, Shafiah Muhibat.

Nationalism in practice

Presenters: Jeffrey Neilson (The University of Sydney), Eve Warburton (ANU), Yose Rizal Damuri (Centre for Strategic and International Studies). Chair: Allaster Cox (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

Download slides by Jeffrey Neilson, Eve Warburton, Yose Rizal Damuri.

Poverty, inequality and gender issues

Presenters: Arief Anshory Yusuf (Padjadjaran University), Peter Warr (ANU), Janneke Pieters (Wageningen University), Robert Sparrow (Wageningen University). Chair: Robert Sparrow (Wageningen University).

Download slides by Arief Anshory Yusuf and Peter Warr, Janneke Pieters and Robert Sparrow.

 The human face of globalisation

Presenters: Anis Hidayah (Migrant CARE), Dominggus Elcid Li (Institute of Resource Governance and Social Change). Chair: Greg Earl (ANU Indonesia Project).

Download slides by Anis Hidayah, Dominggus Elcid Li.

Response to globalisation

Presenters: Manggi Habir (Bank Danamon Indonesia), Titik Anas (Presisi Indonesia). Chair: Mari Pangestu (Universitas Indonesia).

Download slides by Manggi Habir, Titik Anas.

Concluding remarks: navigating the new globalisation

Presenters: Hal Hill (ANU), Deasy Pane (ANU), Danny Quah (National University of Singapore)

Download slides by Hal Hill and Deasy Pane, Danny Quah.