The Jakarta Option

Could Indonesia Ever Be an Ally?

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The Jakarta Option webinar

Australia and Indonesia face similar threats in a changing Asia. Could this lead to closer ties?

The Jakarta Option, the latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs, examines Australia’s relationship with Indonesia and the prospects of the two neighbours working together as tensions in Asia increase.

In this Australia Institute webinar, our panel will discuss how Canberra can adapt to a changing Indonesia as the world’s fourth-most populous nation enters a new era under its next president, Prabowo Subianto.

This event is free but registration is essential.


Sam Roggeveen | Director, International Security Program, Lowy Institute

Sam Roggeveen is Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program and author of The Echidna Strategy: Australia’s Search for Power and Peace.

Before joining the Lowy Institute, Sam was a senior strategic analyst in Australia’s peak intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments.

Sam writes for newspapers and magazines in Australia and around the world, and is a regular commentator on the Lowy Institute’s digital magazine, The Interpreter, of which he was the founding editor from 2007 to 2014.

Dr Maria Monica Wihardja | Visiting Fellow, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

Monica is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and an adjunct assistant professor at National University of Singapore.

She was a World Bank Economist in the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice and the recipient of the Nikkei Asia Scholarship 2023.

In 2017, she was seconded to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Staff in charge of strategic economic issues, where she oversaw the food policy reforms and stunting prevention agenda.

Monica has a PhD in Regional Science from Cornell University, a MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University.

Dr Evan A. Laksmana | Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Military Modernisation, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Dr Evan A. Laksmana is Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Military Modernisation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and editor of the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment.

He held senior research positions at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has also held non-resident affiliations with Carnegie China, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, the National Bureau of Asian Research, Sydney University, German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

His research on civil-military relations, military change, and Southeast Asian defence and foreign policies has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals and global media outlets. He earned his PhD in political science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University as a Fulbright Presidential Scholar.

Dr Emma Shortis | Senior Researcher, International & Security Affairs Program, the Australia Institute

Emma is historian and writer, focused on the history and politics of the United States and its role in the world.

Emma’s first book, Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States, was published by Hardie Grant in 2021. She is host of the Australia Institute’s After America podcast and appears regularly in Australian and international media.

Before joining the Australia Institute, Emma was a Lecturer at RMIT University, where her academic work focused on international relations and climate transition. Before that, she spent a year in the United States as Fox-Zucker International Fellow at Yale University, where she finished her PhD in history.


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