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Title: Democratic Islamism : Islamists' engagement with democratic politics in post-Suharto Indonesia
Author: Ikhwan , Hakimul
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 4217
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2015
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There has long been a perceived binary opposition between democracy and Islamism, whereby a number of influential scholars suggest that the presence of the former threatens the latter and vice versa. Based on indepth fieldwork in Cianjur, Indonesia, from 2011-2012, I found that the development of democracy in post- Suharto Indonesia from 1998-2013 was simultaneous with a growth in Islamism as manifest in the expansion of various Islamist political parties and civic associations. Islamism and democratic politics had come to work in conjunction whereby Islamism was not always in conflict or constantly supportive of the democratic processes. The development of democracy and democratisation in post-Suharto Cianjur brought an enhanced spirit to revitalise the local religious/transcendental identity that was contingent with the percieved threats of modernisation to local cultures, traditions, and religious values. My thesis argues that the employment of Islamist symbolism reflected in the shariatisation of local policies i.e. the Gerbang Marhamah and the zakat policy, was a manifestation of the 'discursive tradition' of Islam as well as a product of local democratic politics. I found that contestation and compromise over sharia-associated policies did not eliminate the spiritual and transcendental dimension of the policies. Rather, the policies were rooted in the current Islamists' practice and interpretations related to shariatisation and knowledge over religious texts (Quran, Hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence) and traditions based in the classical era of Islam. Sharia-associated policies were, in addition, a product of democratic processes in which the Islamists and the nationalists took part in contestation and compromise over the open-ended processes. In this regard, Islamists engagement with democratic politics in Cianjur had indeed developed into a form of 'democratic Islamism' whereby neither democracy nor Islamism were fixed but, through ongoing contestation and compromise within and between the Islamists and the nationalists, came to take on multiple and dynamic forms that puts into question many influential assumptions about the incompatability of Islam and democracy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available