IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The End of Political Islam? A Comparative Analysis of Religious Parties in the Muslim Democracy of Indonesia


  • Kikue Hamayotsu



Why do some religious parties survive after adopting a moderate ideological outlook while others do not? The rise and fall of religious parties since the onset of democratic transition in Indonesia has set off an intriguing debate over the role and future of political Islam in electoral politics. This article seeks to explain the diverging – and unexpected – trajectories of the two most prominent religious parties, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and Justice Prosperous Party (PKS) through a close examination of the case of PKB. It emphasizes organizational qualities to advance two claims. First, the decline of the moderate PKB is the result of the permeation of personality-based clientelistic and ascriptive relations as well as lack of party institutionalization. Political survival of the puritanical Islamist PKS, on the other hand, is explained by organizational cohesion achieved through party institutionalization. Second, a disciplined party structure has allowed PKS elites to achieve controversial ideological adjustments. In short, a moderate centralist religious ideology or outlook alone is not sufficient to achieve political survival in the competitive environment of electoral and religious politics.

Suggested Citation

  • Kikue Hamayotsu, 2011. "The End of Political Islam? A Comparative Analysis of Religious Parties in the Muslim Democracy of Indonesia," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 30(3), pages 133-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:133-159

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nordin Hussin, 2005. "Malay press and Malay politics: The Hertogh Riots in Singapore," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 561-575, December.
    2. R. Quinn Moore, 2000. "Multiracialism and Meritocracy: Singapore's Approach to Race and Inequality," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(3), pages 339-360.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Indonesia; religious parties; Islam; democratization; PKB;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:133-159. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marco Bünte) or (Howard Loewen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.