Post-Suharto Indonesia Grapples with Political Transition

January 7, 2003

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A New Council on Foreign Relations Press Book Sheds Light on the Challenges Facing the Habibie Government

For further information contact: April Wahlestedt, Director of Communications (212) 434-9544


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March 15, 1999 - Indonesia has entered a period of turmoil and change far greater than at any time since former President Suharto took power more than three decades ago. Reeling from the economic crisis that swept through Asia in 1997-98 and facing its first democratic election in over 40 years, the world’s fourth most populous nation now enters a critical transition period. Key opinion leaders around the world need to understand the forces and constituencies that are likely to emerge and affect the transition. These are the findings of a new book titled The Politics of Post-Suharto Indonesia (Council on Foreign Relations Press).

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Co-editors Adam Schwarz, a consultant on Southeast Asia and the Council’s 1997ÿ98 Murrow Press Fellow, and Jonathan Paris, a Fellow with the Council’s U.S./Middle East Project, bolster these conclusions with an analysis of the end of President Suharto’s 32-year reign. They then illuminate key challenges facing the Habibie government: implementing a more representative political system, restoring economic health, containing ethnic and religious tensions, and managing the military’s evolving political role.

Foreign policy specialists, academics, and businesspeople will find The Politics of Post-Suharto Indonesia an indispensable guide to understanding Indonesia’s current efforts to rebuild its economy and forge a new political system.

This volume contains chapters by leading specialists on Indonesia, including: John Bresnan, Robert W. Hefner, R. William Liddle, and Takashi Shiraishi.

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The Council on Foreign Relations, founded in 1921 and based in New York, is a national nonpartisan membership organization and think tank dedicated to fostering America’s understanding of other nations through study and debate.

To receive a copy of the book or arrange interviews with the authors, please call Jessica Vander Salm at 212 434 9537.

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