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Title: Understanding the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism through a multi-dimensional analysis : the case of Republic of Indonesia
Author: Nugroho, Wibawanto
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3444
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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Terrorism is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that encompasses elements of politics, economics, social, and ideology, driving people to commit violent acts and become involved in such activity. As of today, the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism still inflict global society with formidable challenges, and one way to overcome such challenges is by leveraging our knowledge on the multi-dimensional, determining factors/elements that lead people to commit terrorist attacks and other radical-related activities. In other words, as our struggle against terrorism is a global endeavour that may last a generation or more, leveraging our knowledge on such multi-dimensional, determining factors/elements will increase our understanding of the underlying causes and patterns that continue to inspire jihadist terrorism. However, it is wrong to equate the religion of Islam with terrorism. Perhaps most importantly, the Islamic tradition is all-encompassing, combining religious and secular life and law. This surely complicates attempts to understand the Islamist ideology and counter-measures to it solely through the lens of traditional Western political science. Therefore, a distinction must be made between the religion of Islam and a set of often-conflicting political ideologies known as Islamism, where many forms of them are non-radical, reformists or gradualists. That is why, Islamist extremists who advocate acts of terrorism may be properly termed Islamist terrorists, who seek to cloth their acts in the trappings of the Islamic religion. In this case, they use their own religious-based arguments to justify their violent acts. This Ph.D. thesis examines the multi-dimensional factors that lead to the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism in Indonesia by focusing on the individuals who committed series of deadly terrorist attacks from 2002 – 2009 and some other radical-related activities in Indonesia until 2017. Such factors encompass at least the economic grievances, social grievances, political grievances, radical ideology, social network, state repression (“stick”), and government incentive (“carrot”), all which are the key variables in determining the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism. Through a systematic, multi-dimensional analysis using qualitative and quantitative research methodologies (including the social network analysis), this Ph.D. thesis will specifically examine what factors drove people with the association to Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and radical-Islamist movements to commit and become involved in terrorist attacks? and why and how might such factors/elements influence these people to commit terrorist attacks in the future? The combined qualitative, quantitative, and social network analysis in this Ph.D. thesis has proven and confirmed the main hypothesis, where the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism in Indonesia are indeed caused by the intertwining interaction of these multi-dimensional factors instead of being otherwise. The ideological-related variables followed by the social network-related ones are proven as the two most significant factors in the pattern of Islamist terrorism in Indonesia. In other words, the set of economic, social, and political grievances will not cause Islamist terrorism in Indonesia to occur if there are no intervening variables: the social network and radical ideology being involved in the equation. Subsequently, the other two moderating variables also play its own role, namely the state repression and the government incentive. According to various examinations of multivariate statistical analysis in this Ph.D. thesis, these two variables on their own will not cause the Islamist terrorism to occur in Indonesia, but when combined with the existence of social network and radical ideology, these two variables are proven as the moderating variables to exacerbate the occurrence of Islamist terrorism in Indonesia. In conclusion, by looking at this current pattern, it could be predicted that Indonesia herself is still likely to become both the producer and battlefield of global-Islamist terrorism in near future. Therefore, the Indonesian national counterterrorism policy and strategy need to be updated and well integrated with the Indonesian national policy and grand strategy to better address the existence and latent threat of Islamist terrorism in the archipelago.
Supervisor: Ashour, Omar Sponsor: Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan Republik Indonesia (Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islamist ; Terrorism ; Counter Terrorism ; National Security ; Strategy ; Republic of Indonesia