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Approaching Islam and politics from political economy: a comparative study of Indonesia and Malaysia

Hadiz, V.R. and Teik, K.B. (2011) Approaching Islam and politics from political economy: a comparative study of Indonesia and Malaysia. The Pacific Review, 24 (4). pp. 463-485.

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The article traces the trajectories of Islamic politics in Indonesia and Malaysia in relation to the changing political economy of these two countries. The approach adopted is to understand Islamic politics less on the basis of Islamic doctrine, or conflicts over its interpretation, than in connection with the changing social bases of politics, the context established by capitalist economic transformations, the evolution of the post-colonial state from the Cold War and its aftermath, and of crises of political economy in the 1980s and 1990s. The exercise reveals important convergences and divergences in trajectories that help to explain the complex historical processes which have shaped Islamic politics in these two cases and possibly beyond. It also reveals the entanglement of Islamic politics in very profane conflicts over power and tangible economic resources over time. In both countries a new form of Islamic populism has emerged as a major articulator of grievances against the secular state and perceived social injustices. However, the same historical processes have enabled the social agents of Islamic politics in Malaysia to contest state power more effectively than their counterparts in Indonesia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Routledge
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