Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Cathy Wu

Committee Member

Jonathan Leib


Barry Buzan and the Copenhagen School scholars introduce the concept of Securitization in International Relations. This concept argues that threat is formed and based on the interpretation of the actors . Threat does not naturally arise from the situation of state. Rather, it arises because of how prominent actors politicize the issues.

This study mainly focuses on analyzing the effects of Illicit Drugs Securitization in Indonesia. Previous literature has analyzed the issue of Illicit Drugs Abuse and trafficking problems in Southeast Asia in general, but few focus on Indonesia in particular. As the biggest state in South East Asia and its prominent role as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pioneer, the Illicit Drugs Securitization in Indonesia is important issue to research. Moreover, this state has faced many other challenges, such as the severe impact of 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, tsunamis and other natural disasters, separatism, and significant power transitions from an authoritarian regime to a democracy. This ‘transition of power’ has also brought Indonesia deeper into the Global realm.

The growing problems of Illicit Drugs Abuse and Trafficking, in line with the Globalization process have pushed the Indonesian Government to make securitizing the country a national priority. The Indonesian domestic socio-political situation today is impacted by both strong global influences and securitization. The securitization of Indonesia is, by nature, a complex process. Yet, through this thesis, I seek to identify the vital elements of the securitization process and analyze its effects. I argue that the securitization process is unavoidable. Yet, despite this inevitability, I argue that there are many possible forms that the securitization of Indonesia could take, each dependent on the policy ultimately chosen by the state. At the end of this thesis, I will describe the possibilities that I believe may arise due to the Illicit Drugs Securitization process in Indonesia.


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