2016 has been a tremendous year for comic book fans and international relations students, such as my self. Of course there’s Batman v Superman, Civil War, trailer to many upcoming superhero films, Marvel acquire licensed for cinematic Spiderman, revamped Aquaman portrayed by Jason Momoa, DC Rebirth, aaaand many more.


On the realm of International Affairs too, many phenomenon and event took place, some were really unprecedented that i wont believe it if someone told me a few years ago.  Migrant crisis, ebola outbreak, killer clown, west europe terrorism attack, Trump running for president, Putin called his citizen to come back to mother Russia, and the latest twist, Philippines ‘separation’ from US. See, you’re not wake up in the morning, knowing that Philippines said ‘enough with US’ ,  while yesterday you still consider them to be US’ last bastion in Southeast Asia. So why did this happened? *Turn on scholar mode

*Disclaimer: This post is typed without me reading my old text book, and constructed solely on my vague memories of 2006 class, so please do correct me if anything is not to your liking.

Di kelas Pengantar Ilmu Politik, terutama pertemuan minggu kedua, kami diajarkan mengenai level of analysis, yaitu, instrumen dasar, yang harus ditentukan dalam mengkaji ‘seluruh’ fenomena internasional (or global you millenials called it nowadays). Level of analysis  or LoA (for easier typing) bertujuan untuk menspesifikkan analisis, terutama dalam mencari kausalitas dalam suatu kejadian.  LoA terbagi ke dalam tiga level, yaitu Sistem, Negara, dan Individu (Idiosyncratyic) . And i guess explaining through example will be better.

Let’s say you wanna explain the cause behind Brexit. Through the System level, you could say that the euro crisis that struck UK neighboring countries has stained economic cohesion, with a chained effect to other currency (read: pounds). Not to mention the policy on migrant management that is still going at the moment, could prove to be a security threat to UK. Hence, these external factor, looming in the sistem where UK is a part of, create the initiative for Brexit.

If you use the State level, you may find that 58% citizens think UK participation in EU is a waste of resources, invitation for unwanted migrant, a shackle for the empire, and many more. So, in order to calm the public unrest, to create more job opportunities that’s otherwise filled by foreigners, to be able to spend more money on social security and development, UK decided to go full Brexit. See the difference on the internal factors on a state level that influenced the decision?

Now, through an Individual level, we can put it this way: the ‘leader’ of UK just want to exit EU, and that’s that. Brexit happened because he/she wants it, not because EU is dragging them down, or because the people aspired it, but maybe because they’re not a EU fan, they opposed integration, they have bad experience with euro or foreigners, and others personal and psychological reasons. This is what we call idiosyncratic. Of course the usage of Individual level of analysis on Brexit would be unfit, when the queen is not involved in political matters, and Cameron is a Europeanist at that moment.

But the idiosycratic value will best describe our recent Manila – Washington Divorce…..

From the system level, Philippines is still involved in dispute concerning the South China Sea. Following the decision of International Tribunal about Philippines claim, tension arise between the two countries, and Manila does need US back up remembering how China has her own allies in the region.

If we look at the state level, (i’m not too familiar with Philippines domestic situation) i think Philippines hold no grudges agains US. They enjoy the trade, the military cooperation, maybe a little anti US movement here and there, but there are no real threat coming from accros the atlantic.


When we take a look at Duterte, however, the pieces are starting to assemble. He justa hate USA. we all know from his past remarks on Obama, how US can fu*k off, we don’t need your human rights bullsh*t, and other resentment. See, this s where idiosyncratic  overcome other factors, though sometimes illogical. Duterte leadership just doesnt get along with US principle of freedom and human rights, he has his own ways, and his people support it. He thinks he can lead peacefully without constant pestering from people 10000 km away. And he find comfort in China and Russia embrace, cause, we all know Putin 😀

There, i hope this simple and shallow explanation can give you a general understanding of waht to do when your teacher or boss tell you to find the reason behind a country coup d etat, trade agreement establishment, unlikely truce, and other international phenomenon. I really do have a beautiful composition about this article in my mind, but my measly writing skill turned it into an average post, so i humbly apologize. See you in another blabbering.

-me, the long lost IR student-

2 thoughts on “Idiosyncracy

  1. To see what’s happening in the IR sphere in 2016, the follow up next year will be interesting too. ASEAN with the Philippines Chairmanship and US with the new President 😀

    Nice writing bem blognya substansi banget hahaha

    • ardiwardhana says:

      Wah ini super pencitraan Lin, post laennya tetep gravure sama Seo Hyun kok,hwahahaha

      And I just know that next year is Philippines’ turn, wow,gonna be interesting indeed 😀
      #makeamericagreatagain :p

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