By Hree Dharma Santhi Putri Samudra
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Constructivism has emerged as an influential theoretical approach within the field of International Relations, providing insights into how state identities, norms, and values shape international politics. As a social theory, constructivism emphasizes the role of ideational factors in the formation and conduct of a state’s foreign policy. This focus on the importance of ideational factors contrasts with more traditional theories of international relations, such as realism and liberalism, which tend to prioritize material factors, such as military capabilities and economic interdependence, as key determinants of state behavior. By examining the interplay between ideational factors and state behavior, constructivism offers a unique perspective on the dynamics of international politics, highlighting the ways in which norms, values, and identities can influence foreign policy decision-making.
Given the significant role that political parties play in shaping state behavior, it is important to investigate the influence of political party affiliation on a head of state’s foreign policy decision-making. Political parties often have distinct ideologies and values, which can influence the policies and priorities of the leaders affiliated with them. By examining the relationship between political party affiliation and foreign policy decision-making, researchers can gain a better understanding of how political parties shape state behavior and contribute to the dynamics of international politics.
Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy and a key player in Southeast Asia, provides an interesting case study for analyzing the influence of political party affiliation on foreign policy decision-making. In recent years, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has played a significant role in shaping Indonesia’s foreign policy, particularly under the leadership of President Joko Widodo. Jokowi, a member of the PDI-P, was re-elected for a second term in 2019, and his foreign policy priorities have been shaped, in part, by his affiliation with the party.
This study seeks to explore the influence of political party affiliation on a head of state’s foreign policy decision-making, specifically focusing on Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo during his second term in office. By applying Alexander Wendt’s theory of constructivism, this study examines how Jokowi’s membership in the PDI-P shapes his foreign policy priorities and approach. Wendt’s constructivist theory posits that state interests and identities are shaped by ideational factors, such as norms and values, which in turn influence their foreign policy. This theoretical framework is particularly relevant for analyzing the role of political parties in shaping a state’s foreign policy, as it allows for an examination of how party ideologies and values influence a leader’s decision-making process.
The findings of this study have important implications for our understanding of foreign policy formation and the role of political parties in shaping a state’s international relations. By examining the relationship between political party affiliation and foreign policy decision-making, this research contributes to the growing body of literature on the influence of ideational factors in international politics. Furthermore, the case study of Indonesia offers insights into the foreign policy priorities and challenges facing a key player in Southeast Asia, shedding light on the dynamics of regional politics in a rapidly changing global context.
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