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Indonesia: State and Society in Transition

Jemma Purdey, Antje Missbach, and Dave McRae
Indonesia: State and Society in Transition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-851-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-852-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-855-1
2020/261 pages
"Comprehensive and nuanced.... This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Indonesian politics and society today." —Burhanuddin Muhtadi, Pacific Affairs

"An authoritative, knowledgeable and highly readable introduction to the country." —Diego Fossati, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

"If you want to understand Indonesia today, [this] is a worthy volume with which one might start."—Robert H. Taylor, Asian Affairs

"Timely and intellectually bracing.... In both its range and policy balance, this book is a significant achievement, and deserves to be read by all with an interest in Indonesian politics and society today." —Robert W. Hefner, Indonesia

"[A] refreshing new perspective on ... Indonesia's history, politics and society.... It is informative and precise, enriches existing knowledge, links loose ends and is a real treasure trove of knowledge." —Kristina Groβmann, International Quarterly for Asian Studies

"An excellent primer.... The expert authors have succinctly synthesized key research on Indonesia conducted over the past two decades to provide an eminently readable account of modern Indonesian state and society."—Elisabeth Kramer, Contemporary Southeast Asia

"An insightful and penetrating—but at the same time highly readable—account." —William Liddle, Ohio State University

"A very knowledgeable overview of the various aspects of Indonesia's political and social life." —Ashutosh Varshney, Brown University


Indonesia remains a country in transition even now, some two decades after its extraordinary shift from authoritarianism to democracy and from economic crisis to a rapidly growing economy. What explains the trajectory of that shift? What challenges does this island nation of 270 million people—with the world's largest Muslim population—face now, as the quality of democratic life erodes and it grapples with profound social and economic inequalities?

Addressing these questions, the authors comprehensively explore the dynamics of Indonesia's politics, society, political economy, and culture, as well as its role in the international order.


Jemma Purdey is research fellow at the Australia-Indonesia Centre at Monash University and adjunct fellow in Deakin University's Faculty of Arts and Education. Antje Missbach is senior research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University and senior research fellow at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute. Dave McRae is senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute.


  • Indonesia: An Underrated Country?
  • Preindependence Indonesia.
  • The Slide into Authoritarianism.
  • Political Reforms After 1998.
  • The Structures of Democratic-Era Politics.
  • Persistent Inequality: Health, Education, and Work.
  • Civil Society and Human Rights.
  • Media and Popular Culture.
  • Indonesia in World Affairs.