On 16 September 2014, Indonesian lawmakers unanimously agreed to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP), becoming the last ASEAN member state to ratify. Eight of the 10 member states had ratified by 2006, and nine had ratified by 2010. Although the ratification bill reached the Indonesian Parliament during the 2000s, it was always disapproved. This article seeks to re-examine Indonesia’s lengthy delay and address its long-awaited ratification. Accordingly, we build on Robert Putnam’s theory of ratification from two-level game theory and develop a framework for analysing delayed ratifications. Although the negotiated AATHP was ‘soft’ and thus low-cost for domestic stakeholders, key domestic stakeholders had little appetite for ratification and limited substantive pressure came from neighbouring governments during the 2000s. However, in the context of heightened public concern and calls for government action and positive palm oil industry responses to international pressures, persistent international pressure and measures during the 2010s, particularly from Singapore, provided parliamentarians with enough incentive to symbolically ratify the agreement. Addressing Indonesia’s delayed ratification is important in understanding ASEAN’s ongoing struggle to combat transboundary haze pollution and offers a useful case study in the still-developing area of ratifications in the environmental regime formation literature.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science