Northwestern Events Calendar


The Smiling General & Nixon's New Asia: Suharto's Gambit, the Nixon Doctrine, and the Evolution of Development

When: Monday, March 4, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Graduate Student Lecture Series

Brandon Kirk Williams

PhD Candidate, History

UC Berkeley

On June 1, 1970, Indonesian authoritarian Suharto toured the Port of Oakland at the end of a whirlwind state visit that ran from Washington D.C. to Disneyland. Suharto returned to Jakarta with a restored confidence in the survival of his regime, the New Order, after a successful trip that included Richard Nixon’s vow to preserve high aid flows. Drawing on records from the National Archives of Indonesia and archives from the United States, I argue that the restoration of close ties between the United States and Indonesia does not follow a simple Cold War narrative. Richard Nixon, I argue, cemented the new relationship that simultaneously created regime stability in Indonesia and heralded a new era for the United States in Asia and the trajectory of development. My paper concludes by gesturing to another conclusion: in post-Vietnam War Asia, Indonesia’s post-1965 path becomes a central way to reconsider the Cold War in Asia and the emergence of globalization in Asia.

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