Strangers Next Door?: Indonesia and Australia in the Asian Century



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There are no two neighbouring countries in the world that are more different than Indonesia and Australia. They have huge differences of religion, language, culture, history, geography, race, economics, worldview, and population (Indonesia at 270 million, Australia less than 10 per cent of that). In fact, Indonesia and Australia have almost nothing in common other than the accident of geographic proximity. This makes their relationship turbulent, volatile, and often unpredictable. Strangers Next Door brings together selected insiders and leading observers to critically assess the state of Australia-Indonesia relations and their future prospects, offering insights into why the relationship is so important for Australia and why it is so often in crisis, and what this means for the future. The book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the Indo-Pacific region, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Indonesia, and each country’s politics, economy, and foreign policy. It contains chapters with content that will interest specialists but is written in a style accessible to a general audience. The book spans political relations and diplomacy, security and defense, the economy and trade, Islam, education, development, the arts, legal cooperation, the media, women, and community ties among other themes. Contributors assess the current state of relations in their sphere of expertise, and outline the factors and policies that could shape bilateral ties-and Indonesia’s future-over the coming decade. University of Melbourne scholars Tim Lindsey and Dave McRae, both prominent observers and commentators on Indonesia, including its relations with Australia, edit the volume, providing a synthesising introduction as well as their own thematic chapters. [Subject: Asian Law, Comparative Law, Public Law]

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