Why Muslims don't vote for Islamic Parties: exploring the decline of Islamic parties since 1999 and their responses

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 05 December 2013


APCD Boardroom, Level 2, Hedley Bull Building #130, cnr Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra


Ahmad Muhajir


Allison Ley
+61 2 612 53097

Islamic political parties have never won a majority in any of Indonesia's ten elections, despite the fact that almost 90% of the population is Muslim. Indeed, the popular support for Islamic parties is shrinking, and in the last election they recorded their lowest ever vote. While their defeat during the authoritarian period is understandable, their diminishing electoral fortunes during the 14 years of post-Soeharto democracy beg serious questions that the existing literature has not been adequately answered. Contemporary academic debate about Indonesia is either preoccupied with the issue of Islam's influence in electoral politics or the moderation of the Islamic parties. My research will examine the reasons for this falling electoral support and the reactions of the Islamic parties to their growing marginalisation. It will explore structural, leadership and ideological problems facing these parties and will also consider bigger questions such as whether political Islam is increasingly moving beyond Islamic parties and finding expression across a broad section of the political spectrum.  This research raises issues about the changing nature of religiosity and secularism in contemporary Indonesia.


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