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Political economy and Islamic politics: Insights from the Indonesian case

Hadiz, V.R. and Robison, R. (2012) Political economy and Islamic politics: Insights from the Indonesian case. New Political Economy, 17 (2). pp. 137-155.

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It is argued in this study that the trajectory of Islamic politics in Indonesia has been shaped within larger processes of state formation and socio-economic and political changes associated with the advance of the market economy and the pressures of globalisation. It incorporates the Indonesian case into a vast and well-developed debate that has hitherto focused on North Africa and the Middle East. As such it offers a distinct interpretation that goes beyond the prevailing understanding of Islamic politics in Indonesia as the product of conflicts over ideas, doctrine or culture or the institutional requisites of authoritarianism or democracy. Specifically, it is proposed that Islamic politics has been underpinned variously by the conservatism of small propertied interests, the populism of marginalised urban and small town middle classes and the ambitions of the upper middle classes and business. While these dynamics are found across much of the Muslim world, the political outcomes have been diverse. We show that the Indonesian trajectory has been greatly influenced by the failure of Islamic politics to establish effective cross-class alliances behind the banners of Islam and the ability of the secular state to effectively establish its own apparatus of populist politics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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