Edward Aspinall

Dr Edward Aspinall

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2011
  • Section(s): Asian Studies


Edward Aspinall spent part of his teenage years living in Malang, Indonesia, where he developed an interest in the history and society of Indonesia and the wider region. He studied Indonesian society and language in his undergraduate years at Flinders, Adelaide and Sydney Universities, and then wrote his PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) on the topic of democratic opposition to Suharto. During the 1990s, he conducted extensive fieldwork, most of it in Jakarta, talking to Indonesian students, non-government organisations and other activists who were struggling to end authoritarian rule in their country. His PhD dissertation was revised and published as a book – Opposing Suharto (2005).

During periods lecturing at the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney he taught Indonesian language and politics, Asian studies and history, before rejoining the Australian National University in 2005. For much of the 2000s his research focused on the conflict and peace process in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh, leading to another book, Islam and Nation (2009). His current research interests include ethnic politics in regional Indonesia and money politics and vote buying across Southeast Asia.

He has headed the Department of Political and Social Change at the ANU since 2009.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.