Role conflict and the limits of state identity: the case of Indonesia in democracy promotion

Moch Faisal Karim
2016 The Pacific Review  
This paper aims to analyse why Indonesia projects democracy as a state identity by taking on the role of democracy promoter? This paper argues that Indonesia's aspiring role as a democracy promoter is not a manifestation of a firm and coherent democratic political culture, which is more likely to be a permanent feature of states. Thus, rather than seeing it as firmly established state identity, instead, Indonesia's democratic identity should be seen as role conception articulated by foreign
more » ... cy elites in its quest for international prestige. Its role as a democracy promoter has enabled Indonesia to enhance its other roles conceptions such as an intellectual leader in ASEAN as well as a bridge-builder at the global level. However, this paper further argues that Indonesia's role as a democracy promoter has also been hindered due to the inter-role conflicts arising from its enactment of multiple roles. As a result, Indonesia's enactment of the role as democracy promoter have relatively less impactful towards democratisation in the region. To substantiate this argument, the paper examines Indonesia's strategies in promoting democracy and human rights in three case studies, namely Indonesia's role in mainstreaming human rights in ASEAN, Indonesia's democracy promotion through the Bali Democracy Forum, and Indonesia's engagement toward democratization in Myanmar.
doi:10.1080/09512748.2016.1249908 fatcat:3r263ruyvjbgxpt5iadjtvxmpe