Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance, and Regime Change in Indonesia


Edward Aspinall

Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific


Stanford: Stanford University Press

Available From: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 0-8047-4845-4
Binding: paper
Pages: xiii, 328


Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance, and Regime Change in Indonesia is the eighth title in the East-West Center book series, Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific, published by Stanford University Press.

Opposing Suharto presents an account of democratization in the world's fourth most populous country, Indonesia. It describes how opposition groups challenged the long-time ruler, President Suharto, and his military-based regime, forcing him to resign in 1998. The book's main purpose is to explain how ordinary people can bring about political change in a repressive authoritarian regime. It does this by telling the story of an array of dissident groups, nongovernmental organizations, student activists, and political party workers as they tried to expand democratic space in the last decade of Suharto's rule.

This book is an important study not only for readers interested in contemporary Indonesia and political change in Asia, but also for all those interested in democratization processes elsewhere in the world. Unlike most other books on Indonesia, and unlike many books on democratization, it provides an account from the perspective of those who were struggling to bring about change.


Details and ordering information at
Stanford University Press



  1. Regime and Opposition
  2. Suharto's New Order: Origins and Opening
  3. Regime Friction and Elite Dissidence
  4. Proto-opposition: NGOs and the Legal Aid Institute
  5. Student Activism: From Moral Force to Popular Mobilization
  6. Megawati Soekarnoputri and the PDI
  7. Prelude to the Fall: The 1996 Crisis and Its Aftermath
  8. The Fall of Suharto
  9. Indonesia's Opposition and Democratic Transition in Comparative Perspective
  10. Legacies of Suharto and His Opposition


"Opposing Suharto should become the standard work on the last decade of the Suharto presidency."

--Indonesia Journal


"Well written and documented."



"Aspinall's work warrants praise by the academic community and is an important and timely contribution to the literature on democratization and Southeast Asia."

--History: Reviews of New Books


"This book contains the most comprehensive analysis available of political opposition in Indonesia during the long rule of Suharto. The book is impressive in that it deals with a wealth of data and complicated developments over a long period, and yet does so in a coherent and readable manner."

--Pacific Affairs