chapter  7
Indonesia and the Liberal Peace: Recovering Southern Agency in Global Governance
ByJonathan Agensky Joshua Barker
Pages 18

ABSTRACT It is necessary to move beyond the marginalization of the global South towards a

perspective that takes it as a relational, generative, and agentive site within world politics.

Indonesia is an instructive case in this regard: its participation in various multilateral peace

projects constitutes a narrative of Southern agency that runs counter to dominant accounts of

contemporary global governance. The dominant methodologies of peacekeeping, worked out

through various iterations into a project of liberal governance, have been deeply implicated

in many sets of illiberal relations. This illiberal side to the ‘liberal peace’ can be seen in the

ways particular North-South relations have been structured into peace governance, as well

as its instrumentalization by powerful domestic elements of Southern states. This is well

exemplified by the Indonesian case, whose postcolonial transitions have been caught up in

problematic civil-military relations, with both its governments and armed forces deriving

various types of support from the international community at various times. Following the

Cold War, and especially post-Suharto, these have intertwined with matters of ethno-religious

violence, military authority, democratization, and the rise of political Islam. Indonesia’s

participation in global liberal governance interventions raises questions about peace

operations as a world-ordering technology.