This paper examines the security context of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. East Asia presents a fundamental paradox for scholars of international relations. It has arguably more sources of interstate tension than any other region of the developing world. However, it has experienced no significant interstate conflict since the end of the China-Vietnam war in 1979. After briefly reviewing the principal security challenges that East Asia faces, the paper then looks at the three categories of explanations for the long peace in the region: hegemony and balancing; institutions and elite socialization; and economic interdependence.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • John Ravenhill is director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. He was previously head of the School of Politics and International Relations in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, and chair of politics at the University of Edinburgh.