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Subnational Islamization through Secular Parties: Comparing Shari'a Politics in Two Indonesian Provinces

Colloquium with Prof. Michael Buehler, Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The Arab Spring has reinvigorated debate about the influence of Islamic activism on politics in democratizing Muslim countries, particularly the adoption of Islamic law (shari'a). Most studies emphasize the causal primacy of Islamist parties in shari'a policymaking. Yet, the determination of policy agendas is almost never under the absolute control of one group. This is especially true for democratizing, Muslim-majority countries where decades of authoritarian rule have allowed secular elites to become deeply entrenched in state institutions. Based on field research in Indonesia, I argue that the state mediates the influence of Islamist groups in shari'a policymaking.
Michael Buehler (Ph.D., The London School of Economics and Political Science) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and a Faculty Associate at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University. Specializing in Comparative Politics, his teaching and research interests evolve around state-society relations under conditions of democratization and decentralization. He is particularly interested in state-civil society relations, the relationship between party systems and social movements as well as state-religion relations.

In 2008, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden, Holland. Between 2008 and 2010 he was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Southeast Asian Studies at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University in New York City, USA. In 2011, he became an Associate Research Fellow at the Asia Society in New York City, USA.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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