• Abstract

    Australia and Indonesia are two middle-power neighbors with the ability to maintain more friendly bilateral relations than in the past. They also work actively to contribute to peace and stability in the region. Does the development of bilateral relations affect their status as a middle power? Can bilateral relations promote a transition from middle power to major power in the region? There is no consensus on how to define middle powers; thus, the objective of this study is not to suggest a new definition of middle power in the debate. Instead, it applies diverse interpretations of the concept in examining the feasibility of the concept of middle power transition. This notion can be used to measure the extent to which such a transition affects a middle power. Interaction between two middle powers serves as an independent variable, and the concept of middle power is the dependent variable in this study. This study uses a qualitative method to argue that Australia and Indonesia may change their middle power position, identity, and behavior due to the development of bilateral relations. The two middle powers may have some characteristics of major power. However, this does not necessarily mean that they shift to become major powers in the region. Australia and Indonesia have the potential to transform to be more powerful as influential actors in the region and an active contributor to peace and stability in the region. This bilateral case study contributes to a broader understanding of the contested concept of middle power.

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How to cite

Hanggarini, P., Madjid , M. A., Perwita, A. A. B., & Wiranto , S. (2023). The development of middle powers interaction: Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations. Multidisciplinary Reviews, 6(4), 2023041. https://doi.org/10.31893/multirev.2023041
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