Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition

Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition

Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition

Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition

Synopsis

Surveys in detail the most significant problems now facing Indonesia, raises vital issues for further investigation, and analyzes the results of the 1999 election.

Excerpt

On May 21, 1998, Indonesia's President Suharto resigned, forced from office by sustained and overwhelming popular protest in the face of deteriorating social and economic conditions. In so doing, the man who assumed the mantle of power from Indonesia's founding president Sukarno and ruled Indonesia for over 30 years became perhaps the most spectacular casualty of the economic crisis that has swept across Asia and beyond.

Suharto's resignation came at a time of wrenching social, political, and economic upheaval in Indonesia, the world's fourth-largest country and home to the largest Muslim population of any country. Suharto's successor, B.J. Habibie, endorsed greater political participation, but the country remained mired in rising poverty, and ethnic, regional and religious tensions.

Indonesia Beyond Suharto provides both a survey of Indonesia's post-independence development and a multidisciplinary assessment of the pressing issues now confronting the country. This volume is not an attempt to predict Indonesia's future; rather, it provides a wide-ranging examination of the key social, political, and economic factors that have shaped Indonesia's developmental successes and its latest crisis.

Many people have contributed in bringing this volume to publication. The Asia Society thanks Don Emmerson and his outstanding team of authors whose dedication to their study is reflected in these chapters. Thanks are due to Deborah Washburn, who conceived the idea and paved the way for the volume; Karen Fein, who skillfully edited and shaped the manuscript in its initial stages; and Mai Shaikhanuar-Cota, who managed the production. Andrew Thornley submitted valuable comments on the volume. Angela Che provided indefatigable ad-

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