Talk at the Library: The Spread of Morality Laws in Democratizing IndonesiaVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Political Shifts in the World’s Largest Muslim-Majority Country
Since the collapse of the authoritarian New Order dictatorship in 1998, Indonesia has experienced a process of democratization – but also a “conservative turn” in politics. Hundreds of morality laws have been adopted across the archipelago. These range from dress codes for women and restrictions on the religious practices of minority groups to bans of alcohol and extra-marital relations. Most observers have been quick to interpret these developments as an “Islamization” of Indonesian politics resulting from a growing conservatism of Indonesian society. However, a closer look at the spread of these morality laws reveals a more complicated picture.
To what extent have morality laws been introduced in Indonesia? How to explain the variegated patterns in the diffusion of morality laws since 1998? What role do the patronage-centered electoral processes play in this? And why is democratization in Muslim-majority countries often accompanied by similar political shifts?
Join us for a Talk at the Library with Michael Buehler, a political scientist at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and author of the book The Politics of Shari’a Law: Islamist Activists and the State in Democratizing Indonesia.
This event is for Asia Society Members only. How to become a member?
Attendance is free. In order to avoid no-shows for tickets at our office, a CHF 50 no-show fee will be charged if you do not cancel your registration until 24 hours before the event the latest.
Michael Buehler (Ph.D., The London School of Economics and Political Science) is a Reader in Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Michael specializes in Southeast Asian politics with particular reference to state-society relations during democratization and decentralization. He published a book with Cambridge University Press titled The Politics of Shari’a Law: Islamist Activists and the State in Democratizing Indonesia; articles in disciplinary journals such as Comparative Politics and Party Politics; area studies journals such as Third World Quarterly and South East Asia Research; chapters in Beyond Oligarchy, Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia, and Deepening Democracy in Indonesia; as well as online contributions to Aljazeera, Inside Indonesia, The Diplomat, The Financial Times, and New Mandala.
For the past 17 years, Michael Buehler has also consulted on aid effectiveness, corruption eradication, party financing, procurement reform and other governance and political reform issues in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East for, among others, the Asia Foundation, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Transparency International, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID and the World Bank. Michael has also provided political risks evaluations for private sector companies operating across Asia and is a regular contributor to briefs on political and economic developments in the region for Oxford Analytica, a business consultancy company.
About Talk at the Library
Talk at the Library is a members-only series where we invite an expert to our office library (or on Zoom), over lunch, for a conversation on specific niche topics on a variety of countries and regions of Asia. The programs consist of a moderated discussion and subsequent audience Q&A. Participants can interact with speakers, asking questions live or online.