- 一般財団法人 日本国際政治学会
- 国際政治 (ISSN:04542215)
- vol.2011, no.164, pp.164_115-128, 2011
Many previous studies on the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) argue that regional countries tried to draw Indonesia into regional affairs in a friendly and constructive manner, since Indonesia had been regarded as a potential great power in Southeast Asia. In reality, however, Indonesia took the initiative in the process of forming ASEAN, and thus other member countries changed their opinions regarding Indonesia's participation in regional cooperation. They began by viewing such participation as negative. The Indonesian government, especially its army, believed that it had a natural right to play a leadership role in regional affairs due to Indonesia's potential power, and regarded the regional cooperative body as one of the vehicles to expand Indonesia's influence. Other regional countries, especially Malaysia, had vague but realistic concerns regarding Indonesia's initiative. They were concerned that Indonesia would play a dominant role in regional cooperation and, in the longer term, utilise the forthcoming regional organisation as a diplomatic tool to gain regional hegemony. There has not been adequate discussion of the way in which Indonesia's initiative in the process of establishing ASEAN caused concerns among the members about Indonesia's motives and preferences. Moreover, even the researches that refer to ASEAN countries' mistrust of Indonesia do not clarify the impact of these concerns on the process of establishing the association and, in particular, how the mistrust was mitigated during the negotiation process.<br>This research hypothesises that as a means of gaining sufficient trust to achieve regional cooperation, Indonesia sought to reassure the other states of its intentions by forming an institution in which unilateral acts by Indonesia were constrained. More specifically, Indonesia sought to reassure other future members of ASEAN by rejecting cooperation which would cause tensions with communist countries who regarded the new organization as anti-communist and a pro-Western defence alliance. Moreover, the proposed organization was reassuring to other future members of ASEAN because it was also structurally difficult for Indonesia to gain a dominant or leading role in it. Moreover, through regional cooperation, Indonesia refrained from using its power to inflame tensions among other countries, blocs and specific peoples inside and outside the region. Further, Indonesia's delegation to the founding meeting of ASEAN in August 1967 told other delegates that Indonesia would allow the maintenance of foreign bases in the region, even after the advent of the new organization. This was welcomed by other members not only because their defence depended on external powers such as the US and UK but also because this military presence would likely keep the expansion of Indonesia's regional influence in check.