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[A. Patanru, M. Pangestu, M.C. Basri (eds), Indonesia in the New World: Globalisation, Nationalism and Sovereignty. ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute. Singapore, 2018. 358 p.]

review / Irati Zozaya

Indonesia in the New World: Globalisation, Nationalism and SovereigntyThe book consists of fifteen articles, written by different experts, on how Indonesia has dealt with globalisation and what effect it has had on the country. The texts have been coordinated by Arianto A. Patunru, Mari Pangestu and M. Chatib Basri, Indonesian academics with experience also in public management having served as ministers in different governments. The articles combine general approaches with specific aspects, such as the consequences of the opening up to international trade and investment in the mining industry or the nationalisation of foodstuffs.

To explain Indonesia's present-day status , the book occasionally recapitulates periods of its history. In fact, one of the concepts that crops up frequently in the book is that of nationalism: it could be said, according to the authors, that this is what has most marked Indonesia's relationship with the world, beyond who has led this country of 260 million inhabitants at any given time.

The first part of the book reference letter looks more generally at Indonesia's experience with globalisation, nationalism and sovereignty. It begins by showing the colonial era and how, under Dutch and British pressure to open up to the world, a strong nationalist sentiment began to emerge. After the occupation by Japan during World War II, total autarchy was introduced, leading to a problem that is still very present in Indonesia today: internship smuggling. In 1945 the country achieved its long-awaited independence under President Sukarno, who closed Indonesia to the rest of the world in order to focus on reasserting national identity and developing its capabilities. This led to the deterioration of the Economics and subsequent hyperinflation, which ushered in a new era: the New Order.

In 1967, with Suharto's accession to the presidency, a cautious opening to foreign trade and investment flows began. However, Suharto repressed political activity and during his rule the military gained much influence and the government retained control over Economics. Moreover, the end of his presidency coincided with the Asian financial crisis (1997-1998), which led to a fall in the country's economic growth and a slowdown in poverty reduction, and consequently a growth in inequality. The financial crisis undermined confidence in the president and culminated in the collapse of the New Order.

The next period covered is the Reformasi, an era that marked the beginning of a more open and democratic political climate. The next two presidents, Abdurrahman Wahid (1999-2001) and Megawati Soekarnoputri (2001-2004), were more concerned with economic recovery and democratic consolidation, and a protectionist system endured in terms of Economics. The book does not focus much on the next president, Yudhoyono (2004-2014), noting only that he was an internationalist who maintained a more cautious and ambivalent stance on economic issues.

Finally, in the 2014 elections, Joko Widodo came to power and holds the position presidency today. Under him, Indonesia has returned to the path of economic growth and stabilised as a reasonably successful democracy. As the president, commonly known as Jokowi, has taken further steps to emphasise political sovereignty and promote economic autarky and national cultural renaissance, his term has been characterised as 'new nationalism'. In his political speech , Jokowi puts Indonesia as goal of foreign conspiracies and calls for vigilance against such threats. However, the country maintains an ambivalent stance towards international openness and cooperation since, although trade restrictions have increased again in recent decades, Jokowi emphasises global engagement and has revived regional negotiations.

All this has led to public dissatisfaction with globalisation, with up to 40% of citizens believing that globalisation threatens national unity. One of the most negative and important effects in Indonesia is that of workers who have been forced to migrate and work abroad under very poor conditions. However, the later parts of the book also show the positive consequences of globalisation in Indonesia, including higher productivity, increased wages and economic growth. The authors therefore emphasise the importance of constructing a narrative that can generate public and political support for the country's openness and counter the growing anti-globalisation sentiment.

As is the case with a book that is the sum of articles by different authors, its reading can be somewhat tiresome due to a certain reiteration of content. However, the variety of signatures also means a plurality of approaches, which undoubtedly provides the reader with a wealth of perspectives.

Categories Global Affairs: Asia World order, diplomacy and governance Book reviews