Increased interest in Indonesian culture and politics is reflected in this work's effort to advance and reject various notions of what it means to be Indonesian. It also addresses perceptions of how Indonesia's citizens and state officials should interact. Because, in recent times, the Indonesian state has been so strong, much of the book is about state-sanctioned and state-supported notions of Indonesian identity and culture and efforts to come to terms with—or sometimes to challenge these official or dominant notions.
The contributions presented here represent a wide range of disciplines, points of view, and ideological orientations. Taken together they convey the notion that much might be gained if the idea were abandoned that a single understanding of what constitutes Indonesian culture is possible or desirable.