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A Diplomatic Counter-revolution: Indonesian diplomacy and the invasion of East Timor

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2020

MATTIAS FIBIGER*
Affiliation:
Harvard Business School Email: mfibiger@hbs.edu

Abstract

This article reinterprets the Indonesian invasion of East Timor as a ‘diplomatic counter-revolution’. Using the central archival records of the Suharto regime for the first time in English-language scholarship, it unearths a diplomatic campaign undertaken by agents of the New Order to secure international support for an Indonesian invasion of East Timor. This diplomatic offensive spanned Southeast Asia, non-aligned and Afro-Asian networks, Western capitals, international institutions and media circuits, and global capital markets. Its success tipped the balance of power in Jakarta away from advocates of restraint like Adam Malik and towards advocates of annexation like Ali Murtopo. The diplomacy behind Indonesia's invasion of East Timor reveals that the architecture of globalization, lauded by some scholars as inherently liberatory, was in fact agnostic, capable of being turned to counter-revolutionary purposes in addition to revolutionary ones. And it suggests that diplomacy itself had been counter-revolutionized, as geopolitical and geoeconomic change combined to make the international system, particularly the states of the Global South, far more hostile to state-making claims and transformative world-making projects.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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A Diplomatic Counter-revolution: Indonesian diplomacy and the invasion of East Timor
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A Diplomatic Counter-revolution: Indonesian diplomacy and the invasion of East Timor
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A Diplomatic Counter-revolution: Indonesian diplomacy and the invasion of East Timor
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