Edward Aspinall is a specialist of the politics of Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. His interest in the study of politics, especially Southeast Asian politics, began when he lived in Malang, East Java, as a teenager. After studying Indonesian language and politics at high school and university, he completed his PhD at the ANU in 2000 on the topic of opposition movements and democratisation in Indonesia.

After that, he researched a range of topics related to Indonesian democratisation and civil society, especially the separatist conflict in Aceh. His current research interests include ongoing research on Indonesian national politics. In particular, he is engaged as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in a study on the role of ethnicity in everyday politics in Indonesia.

He is also part of a multi-country study on ‘money politics’ in Southeast Asia, looking at the role of patronage, vote buying, clientelism and related phenomena.