On Friday March 19th, the Institute of International Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada (IIS UGM), held the second edition of the Cangkir Teh discussion virtually using Zoom Meetings. In this occasion, IIS UGM invited Rizky Alif Alvian, a professor at the International Relations Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada, as a speaker in this discussion–titled “The Transformation of Indonesia’s South-South Cooperation: From Solidarity to Interests?”. Alongside Rizky, IIS UGM also invited Muhammad Indrawan Jatmika, research staff at IIS UGM as the moderator of this discussion.
In this discussion, Rizky explained an article that he wrote with Dr. Poppy S. Winanti, titled “Indonesia’s South-South cooperation: when normative and material interests converged”. The article was published in the International Relations of the Asia Pacific journal in the September 2019 edition. Through this discussion, Rizky invites the participants to discuss the transformation dynamics of Indonesia’s South-South cooperation and the combination between normative and material interests that are involved–influenced by the political dynamic Indonesia experience.
Rizky opened the session by analyzing the definition of the “South” that is often used in the development discourse, where he sees that the majority of the Global South states experience the same fate as postcolonial countries. This can be seen from the actors who are involved in the Bandung Conference. These Global South states then form a cooperation initiative based on two foundations. First, normative interests, based on the shared sense of fate and the will to no longer be an object of the Global North, and material interests, based on each country’s political and economic interests, including Indonesia.
However, over time, South-South cooperation experienced a transformation, including those done by Indonesia. Consequently, the motivation of the cooperation that started with a normative foundation shifted to a convergence between normative and material interests. In this contemporary era, Rizky argues that Indonesia’s foundation of South-South cooperation is a convergence between normative and material goods.
Furthermore, Rizky divided Indonesia’s South-South cooperation into three different phases. During the Old Order, Indonesia’s South-South cooperation was fully based on normative interests grounded on solidarity to make a revolutionary Global South cooperation. In the second phase, under the New Order, Indonesia started to prioritize material goods by prioritizing political and economic gains as the main backdrop in designing South-South cooperation. The last phase, or the third phase, is marked by the convergence between normative and material interests–started during the Reform era and is continually preserved until now.
After the presentation, Rizky invited the participants to discuss together the South-South cooperation Indonesia has done. Moderated by Indrawan, the discussion session went well and was filled with the participants’ enthusiasm.
Writer : Raditya Bomantara
Editor : Mariola Yansverio