Sovereignty and the Sea: How Indonesia Became an Archipelagic State
John G. Butcher and R.E. Elson
Until the mid-1950s nearly all the waters lying between the far-flung islands of the Indonesian archipelago were as open to the ships of all nations as the waters of the great oceans. In order to enhance its failing sovereign grasp over the nation, as well as to deter perceived external threats to Indonesia’s national integrity, in 1957 the Indonesian government declared that it had “absolute sovereignty” over all the waters lying within straight baselines drawn between the outermost islands of Indonesia. At a single step, Indonesia had asserted its dominion over a vast swathe of what had hitherto been seas open to all, and made its lands and the seas it now claimed a single unified entity for the first time.
International outrage and alarm ensued, expressed especially by the great maritime nations. Nevertheless, despite its low international profile, its relative poverty, and its often frail state capacity, Indonesia eventually succeeded in gaining international recognition for its claim when, in 1982, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea formally recognized the existence of a new category of states known as “archipelagic states” and declared that these states had sovereignty over their “archipelagic waters”.
Sovereignty and the Sea explains how Indonesia succeeded in its extraordinary claim. At the heart of Indonesia’s archipelagic campaign was a small group of Indonesian diplomats. Largely because of their dogged persistence, negotiating skills, and willingness to make difficult compromises Indonesia became the greatest archipelagic state in the world.
Maritime Security and Indonesia: Cooperation, Interests and Strategies
Indonesia is the largest archipelago state in the world comprising 17,480 islands, with a maritime territory measuring close to 6 million square kilometres. It is located between the two key shipping routes of the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Indonesia’s cooperation in maritime security initiatives is vitally important because half of the world’s trading goods and oil pass through Indonesian waters, including the Straits of Malacca, the Strait of Sunda and the Strait of Lombok.
This book analyses Indonesia’s participation in international maritime security cooperation. Using Indonesia as a case study, the book adopts mixed methods to assess emerging power cooperation and non-cooperation drawing from various International Relations theories and the bureaucratic politics approach. It addresses not only the topic of Indonesia’s cooperation but also engages in debates across the International Relations, political science and policy studies disciplines regarding state cooperation. Based on extensive primary Indonesian language sources and original interviews, the author offers a conceptual discussion on the reasons underlying emerging middle power participation or non-participation in cooperation agreements. The analysis offers a fresh perspective on the growing problems of maritime terrorism and sea robbery and how an emerging power deals with these threats at unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
The book fills a significant gap in literature on Indonesian foreign policy making in the post-1998 era. It provides the first in-depth study of Indonesia’s decision making process in the area of maritime security and will thus be of interest to researchers in the field of comparative politics, international relations, security policy, maritime cooperation, port and shipping businesses and Southeast Asian politics and society.
Vivian Louis Forbes
Y.H. Teddy Sim (Editor)
This edited work explores piracy and surreptitious activities such as privateering, war-making, slave-hunting and raiding, focussing on Southeast Asia in the early modern period. Readers will discover nine essays studying the different sub-regions of the Malay Archipelago and adjacent seas and exploring the nature and historiographical perception of piracy, maritime conflict and surreptitious activities. The authors probe the linkages between these occurrences with war and economy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in particular, and look at the transition into the nineteenth century.
The introduction covers the study of piracy in this period and chapters explore themes of Siak and Malay activities, Dutch privateering, Chinese actions in the Melaka-Singapore region, activity in the Malukan Archipelago and the political background of the Maguindanao “piracy” in the early eighteenth century. Later chapters explore the Sulu Sultanate and the seafaring world, the deeds of Iberians in this region and especially the identities and activities of the Portuguese in these seas.
The authors contribute to the literature by complementing studies that favour a closer discussion of the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ sectors in history. This book opens up the subject area for delving into the various geographical locales and participating groups, as well as their possible linkages with one another and with other groups.
This volume will be of interest to students and academicians of Southeast Asian studies and those with a general interest in maritime piracy.