Indonesia’s Digital Diplomacy: Problems and Challenges

Ludiro Madu


This paper explains the recent development of Indonesia’s digital diplomacy—which Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has conducted—in responding to the growing challenges of information, communication, and technology (ICT) towards its national interest. The use of the internet and its social media has definitely changed the practices of diplomacy among sovereign states, including Indonesia. Analyzing the issue within the interplay between internet and diplomacy, this paper looks at the way Indonesia’s MOFA and its diplomats have kept up with the rapid development of the ICT by mastering the use of internet in winning people’s hearts and minds. Tracing back the MOFA’s policies and implementations of digital diplomacy through its website and other platforms of social media reveals its strong commitment in using digital diplomacy in managing its foreign relations in the recent internet era. Digital diplomacy has presented several benefits for having direct and interactive communication with foreign audiences. In addition, Indonesia’s digital diplomacy has also had to deal with various problems which are closely related to the increasing use of internet among states and non-state actors—both in domestic and international levels—which may put risk to state-to-state relations. Therefore, this paper argues that the response of Indonesia’s MOFA and its diplomats towards the increasing use of digital diplomacy would determine its capability in managing various problems and challenges of international relations in the recent internet era.


Indonesia; Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); digital diplomacy; Digital Command Center; the National Cyber and Encryption Agency

Full Text:



Anonymous (2014). What Is Digital Diplomacy? From retrieved October 1, 2016.

Anonymous (2015). Digital Diplomacy Week for Indonesian Senior Diplomat. From retrieved October 1, 2016.

Anonymous (2017). Pengumuman Pengadaan Perangkat dalam Rangka Pembangunan Digital Command Center Tahap II, KEMENLU TA 2017. From retrieved July 1, 2017.

Anonymous (2016). Diplomats and Diplomacy. From .

Arquilla, J. & Ronfeldt, D. (1993). Cyberwar Is Coming. Comparative Strategy. Vol. 12, pp. 141-165.

Bjola, C. & Holmes, M. (2015). Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.

Cave, D. (2015). Does Australia do digital diplomacy? The Interpreter. From Retrieved October 5, 2016.

_____ (2016). Digital Diplomacy Links: The Spy Who 'Liked' Me, Cyber Influencing, ISIS, Indonesia and more. From Retrieved October 5, 2016.

Conway, M. (2004). Cyber Terrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger? From .

Cooper, A. F., Heine, J., & Thakur, R. (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 453–472.

Copeland, D. (2015). Digital Technology. In A. F. Cooper, J. Heine, & R. Thakur (eds.), The Oxford handbook of modern diplomacy. Oxford: OUP.

DiploFoundation (2015). ‘Digital Diplomacy, E-diplomacy, Cyber diplomacy.’ From .

Dizard, W. P. (2001). Digital Diplomacy: US Foreign Policy in the Information Age. Washington DC.: Praeger Publisher.

Effendi, A. (2016). Teknologi Informasi Pengaruhi Kehidupan Masyarakat Indonesia. From Retrieved October 2, 2016.

Funnell, A. (2014, March 25). E-diplomacy Goes Global. From .

Halim, D. (2016). Digital Diplomacy a New Way to Solve Problems: Foreign Minister. From retrieved September 25, 2018.

Hocking, B., Melissen, J. (2015). Diplomacy in the Digital Age. The Netherlands: Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

Hui, J. Y. (2010). The Internet in Indonesia: Development and Impact of Radical Websites. Journal of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 33, Issue 2.

Jing, Y. (2017). Social Media and E-Diplomacy: Scanning Embassies on Weibo. From retrieved May 1, 2018.

Lim, M. (2003). The Internet, Social Networks, and Reform in Indonesia. In N. Coultry, & J. Curran (Eds.), Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World, pp. 273-288. (Critical media studies). Lanham, MD [etc.]: Rowman & Littlefield.

Lovez, K. & Murray, A. (2013). ‘The Digital Diplomacy Potential.’ KMWorld 22(6).

Madu, L. (2008). Ambalat Netwar between Indonesia-Malaysia, 2005: Theoretical Reflection on International Relations in Internet Era (Ambalat Netwar antara Indonesia-Malaysia, 2005: Refleksi Teoritis mengenai Hubungan Internasional di Era Internet). Journal Global & Strategis, Vol II, No. 1, January-June 2008, pp. 1-22.

_____ (2017a). Indonesia's Foreign Policy under President Jokowi: More Domestic and Nationalist Orientations. International Journal of Scientific Research in Science and Technology. (3)2: 189-197.

_____ (2017b). Indonesia’s Public Diplomacy in the Internet Era: Bringing the State Back in Dialogo Journal (4)1: 37 – 42.

Manor, I. (2018). How to Re-integrate #Digital into Diplomacy. From

Movanita, A. N. K. (2016). Minister Said The Important Role of Social Media For Diplomacy. (Kata Menlu soal Peran Penting Media Sosial untuk Kelancaran Diplomasi). From retrieved October 5, 2016.

Natarajan, K. (2014). Digital Public Diplomacy and a Strategic Narrative for India. Journal Strategic Analysis. Vol. 38. Issue 1. pp. 91-106.

Potter, E. H. (2002). Cyber-diplomacy: Managing Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Parameswaran, P. (2015). Indonesia’s Cyber Challenge under Jokowi. From retrieved October 2, 2016.

_____ (2018). What's Next for Indonesia’s New Cyber Agency? From .

Ramadhan, A. (2018). Towards Indonesian Digital Diplomacy. From .

Raeburn, S. (2013, November 25). Foreign Policy Meets Social Media: Indonesia Spy Row Ushers in Digital Diplomacy. From .

Titifanue, J., Tarai, J., Kant, R., & Finau, G. (2016). From Social Networking to Activism: The Role of Social Media in the Free West Papua Campaign. Pacific studies. November 2016.

Verrekia, B. (2017). Digital Diplomacy and Its Effect on International Relations. Independent Study Project. From .

Watts, C. (2016). What Should We Make of The Islamic State’s Ramadan Wave of Violence. Foreign Policy Research Institute. From retrieved September 7, 2016.

Yosephine, L. (2016). Savvy Social Media Diplomacy A Standard in Digital Era. retrieved October 1, 2016.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Jurnal Hubungan Internasional

Creative Commons License   

Jurnal Hubungan Internasional by Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at

Print ISSN: 1829-5088 / Online ISSN: 2503-3883