IULI INR Guest Lecture Series: “Foreign Policy: Serving National Interests” held by International Relations Department

15 March 2017 – IULI International Relations Department was pleased to host a Guest Lecture themed around one of the study core areas: foreign policy. The lecture, part of the “INR Guest Lecture Series,” was the first for this semester and was delivered by Mr. Laurentius Amrih Jinangkung, LL.M., from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and moderated by the Department Chair, Mr. Sammy Kanadi. Mr. Jinangkung currently serves as Director of Legal Affairs and Economic Treaties at the Ministry, after previously holding various diplomatic posts in Vienna, Washington, D.C. and The Hague.

In his lecture, titled “Foreign Policy: Serving National Interests,” Mr. Jinangkung explained the causative relationship between a state’s foreign policy and its definition of national interests, drawing examples from various policies from several countries. He elaborated, for example, on how the Trump Administration’s policy of withdrawing the US from its commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has a strong economic motive, which can be discovered by examining the country’s trade balance sheet. The lecture also explored the prospect of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as a new trade regime in the region after the US withdrawal. Another example that Mr. Jinangkung put forward as a case of a strong relationship between foreign policy and national interests is the profound legal rationale behind Indonesia’s enduring support for the Palestinian cause—refuting  the common misconception of attributing religious reasons for Indonesia’s position on Israel.

The lecture received an enthusiastic welcome from students. During the following Q&A session, many questions were raised, with topics ranging from those of pure academic interest to practicalities in the diplomatic world. For several students the lecture was especially interesting because it presented them with an opportunity to discuss matters related to their future career with a practitioner in the field. For the Department as well as the University, the lecture also contributed positively to our professional networking efforts. (SaK/MiE)


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