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Indonesia: Preface
Country Study > Preface


This edition supersedes the fourth edition of Indonesia: A Country Study, published in 1983 under the editorship of Frederica M. Bunge. It provides updated information on the world's fourth most populous nation and the world's largest Muslim population. Although much of what was reported in 1983 has remained the same in regard to traditional behavior and organizational dynamics, regional events have continued to shape Indonesian domestic and international policies.%

To avoid confusion over the pronunciation of Indonesian names and terms, the revised spelling of Indonesian names, known as ejaan yang disempurnakan (perfected spelling), generally is used in the book. Although Sukarno used the Dutch spelling of his name -- Soekarno -- during his lifetime, he himself recognized that official use required the use of "u" rather than "oe" in his name. In keeping with this line of thinking, this edition uses "u," the pronunciation of which will be more familiar to English-speaking users of this book, instead of "oe" in Sukarno, Suharto, and other personal names. The spelling of contemporary place-names conforms with the system used by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Indonesian spellings are given for all province names, such as Jawa Tengah (Central Java). Similarly, the names Sumatera Utara (North Sumatra) and Sumatera Selatan (South Sumatra) are used to refer to provinces on the island of Sumatra. Conventional spellings of names, such as Java, East Java, Central Java, and West Java, are used when referring to the entire island or its eastern, central, or western regions.%

Because of the widespread use of acronyms and contractions in Indonesia, they are listed in a table along with an English translation. A chronology is also provided(see table B). Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist readers unfamiliar with metric measurements.

Users of this book are encouraged to consult the chapter bibliographies at the end of the book. They include several general and specialized bibliographies that will lead readers to further resources on Indonesia. Additionally, users may wish to consult the annual editions of the Association for Asian Studies' Bibliography of Asian Studies, as well as yearbooks listed in the bibliography, for information published since 1992. Another important source for deriving research materials in Indonesian and other languages is Herman C. Kemp's Annotated Bibliography of Bibliographies on Indonesia (Leiden: KITLV, 1990). Those who read Indonesian will find many publications available in that language at the Library of Congress and other major research libraries.%

The illustrations on the cover and chapter title pages represent wayang (shadow puppets) used to act out traditional Indian epic dramas. Wayang, a very popular form of entertainment in Indonesia, come in a variety of forms -- some influenced by Islamic traditions. The ones used in this book are based on the Javanese tradition. -

Table A. Selected Acronyms and Contractions

Table B. Chronology of Important Events

Data as of November 1992

Last Updated: November 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 4 of 210


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