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  • Author: Raffaello Pantucci, Abdul Basit, Kyler Ong, Nur Aziemah Azman, V. Arianti, Muh Taufiqurrohman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has redefined almost all spheres of modern life. While states around the world are redeploying their financial resources, energies and military capabilities to cope with the challenge of the coronavirus, terrorist groups across the ideological spectrum have positioned themselves to exploit the gaps created by these policy re-adjustments. Terrorist groups are milking people’s fears amid confusion and uncertainty to promote their extremist propagandas. The rearrangement of global imperatives will push counter-terrorism and extremism down the priority list of the international community. Anticipating these policy changes, existing counter-terrorism frameworks and alliances should be revisited to devise cost-effective and innovative strategies to ensure continuity of the fight against terrorist groups. With these considerations in mind, this special issue of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) features four articles that identify and assess important security risks around COVID-19, given its far-reaching social, economic and geopolitical impact. In the first article, Raffaello Pantucci reasons that COVID-19 will have a deep-seated and prolonged impact across government activity, both in terms of the categorisation of risks, as well as the resources available to tackle other issues. Perceptions of risk around terrorist threats may shift, with states grappling with stark economic, social and political challenges. At the same time, security threats continue to evolve, and may even worsen. According to the author, some of the tools developed to deal with the pandemic can potentially be useful in tracking terrorist threats. However, resource constraints will require states, on a global scale, to think far more dynamically about how to adequately buffer much-needed security blankets both within and beyond their borders. In the second article, Abdul Basit outlines the opportunities and potential implications that COVID-19 has created for terrorist groups across the ideological divide. According to the author, terrorist groups have exploited the virus outbreak to spread racial hatred, doomsday and end-of-times narratives. Among jihadist groups, IS has taken a more totalitarian view of the coronavirus pandemic, while Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Taliban have used it as a PR exercise to gain political legitimacy. Far-right groups in the West have spun it to promote native nationalism, border restoration and anti-immigration policies. Terrorist groups have increased their social media propaganda to radicalise and recruit vulnerable individuals. At the same time, these groups have urged their supporters to carry out lone-wolf attacks and use the coronavirus as a bioweapon. In the post-COVID-19 world, revisiting existing counter-terrorism frameworks to devise more adaptable and cost-effective strategies would be needed to continue the fight against terrorism. In the next article, V. Arianti and Muh Taufiqurrohman observe that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a varied impact on Indonesia’s security landscape. On the one hand, it has emboldened IS-affiliated Indonesian militant groups to step up calls for attacks, with the government seen as weakened amidst a worsening domestic health crisis. On the other, ongoing indoctrination and recruitment activities of militant groups have also faced disruptions. According to the authors, counter-terrorism strategies will need to be reoriented as circumstances evolve, particularly in dealing with the arrest of militants and the subsequent processes of their prosecution and incarceration. Finally, Kyler Ong and Nur Aziemah Azman examine the calls to action by far-right extremists and the Islamic State (IS), which reveals varying degrees of organisational coherence in the respective movements. According to the authors, such variations influence these two groups’ preferred techniques, tactics and procedures adopted in seeking to exploit the health crisis. For its part, IS has a more organised hierarchical structure, even if it has increasingly granted autonomy to its affiliates to plan and execute attacks. In comparison, the absence of a central authority, or command structure in the far-right, can lead to a fragmentation of interests. These factors invariably create uncertainties in how, when and where extremists of both ilk may seek to operationalise an attack.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Health, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Noeleen Heyzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: With Vietnam, the ASEAN Chair, and Indonesia in the UN Security Council, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda has advanced in ASEAN. However, new issues need to be addressed in its implementation given the changing peace, security and development landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Development, United Nations, Peace, UN Security Council, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Irman Lanti, Akim Ebih, Windy Dermawan
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: With 48 million people, West Java is Indonesia’s largest province in terms of population. Historically, it has served as the cradle of Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. Modernist Islamic parties and candidates that espouse a purist and orthodox form of Islam always won the free and fair elections in this province. It was also the centre of Indonesia’s Islamic rebellion, the Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia (DI/TII). The Islamic landscape of West Java, however, is not that much different from that of Central and East Java, which is based on Islamic traditionalism. The differences in the socio- political outlook between West Java and other major provinces in Java are due to historical reasons and set it apart from the pattern developed in the others. With the arrival of the new dakwah movements influenced by the Islamic transnational forces, Muslims in West Java are embroiled in an ambivalent position. On one hand, the new movements are considered as bringing a renewed sense of vigour for the Islamic dakwah in this region, but on the other hand, they are also seen as a threat to the common religious practices there. There are indications that conservative West Java is undergoing a further conservative turn, especially judging by the recent voting pattern in the province. However, there is also signs that the threat brought by the new dakwah movements might produce a turnaround away from the deepening of conservatism there.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Domestic politics, Conservatism, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, West Java
  • Author: Adhi Priamarizki, Dedi Dinarto
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS)’s strategy in the 2019 Indonesian general elections. Among the Islamic-based political parties, PKS gained the most significant increase in votes. We aspire to understand the breakthrough by looking at the party’s strategy. On the one hand, our findings confirm the existing studies that correctly noted the moving of Indonesian political parties towards a “catch-all” direction by which they aim to garner wider support beyond a specific type of voter base. On the other hand, our research notes that PKS has started to exploit the phenomenon of rising Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. Despite solely maintaining an inclusive electoral strategy, this research asserts that the party has adjusted its campaign strategy to fit in with the trend of rising Islamic conservatism while concurrently exploiting the anti-incumbent president (Joko Widodo) sentiment. This paper aims to enhance discussion on Indonesian politics as well as Indonesia’s political parties, particularly the PKS.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Elections, Domestic politics, Conservatism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Nur Aziemah Azman, V. Arianti, Amalina Abdul Nasir, Sylvia Windya Laksmi, Kenneth Yeo
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Islamic State’s (IS) territorial losses and military defeat in Iraq and Syria have not weakened the militant landscape in Southeast Asia. Rather, the regional threat landscape has become more resilient and competitive, with pro-IS militant groups exhibiting better operational capabilities, knowledge of explosive-making and networking linkages. Moreover, pro-IS groups in the region have found traction by exploiting local issues to spread the terror group’s extremist ideology. Several major challenges have emerged from the recent setback to IS in the Middle East. First is the issue of returning foreign fighters (FTFs) and how to deal with them. Such returnees pose a plethora of legal, political and security challenges to Southeast countries, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. A second challenge is IS’ efforts to declare new wilayat (provinces) in different parts of the world. While IS has officially declared the East Asia wilayat based in the Philippines, the declaration of new wilayat cannot be ruled out as witnessed in South Asia and Africa. Further, terrorist groups such as IS constantly require increasing financial resources to expand and sustain their operations. In Southeast Asia, IS-linked groups have set up Islamic charities to raise funds and conceal their activities. Against this backdrop, the September issue of the Counter Terrorists Trends and Analyses (CTTA) features four articles looking at different aspects and dimensions of Southeast Asia’s threat landscape in the post-territorial caliphate environment. The first article by V. Arianti and Nur Aziemah Azman argues that the IS fighters in Indonesia may continue to empower their affiliated groups in the country. According to the authors, this is evident by the apparent attempts by Indonesian IS fighters in Syria to create a wilayah (province) in Indonesia by strengthening two Indonesian militant groups, the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT, Mujahidin of Eastern Indonesia) and Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD, Congregation of Supporters of IS). IS acknowledged Indonesia as part of its East Asia Wilayah (encompassing primarily the Philippines and Indonesia) in July 2018. In the second article, Sylvia Windya Laksmi examines the nexus between charities and terrorism financing, through the case-study of the IS-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) in Indonesia. Given recent reports of convictions around the world of non-profit organisations that misuse their revenues to finance the activities of terrorists, the article details three themes that emerge from JAD’s activities in Indonesia: (i) sham charities set up by the group as a conduit to generate funds to ensure its sustainability; (ii) funds raised for charitable causes funneled into terrorist activities and (iii) social media used to not only recruit members but also raise funds. Given IS’ focus on global expansion in the post-caliphate era, the multi-pronged threat posed by its affiliate networks in Indonesia and surrounding region, of which terrorism financing is a component, will need to be addressed by policymakers and security agencies going forward. The next article by Amalina Abdul Nasir upholds that despite numerous setbacks in Syria, IS is quite determined to stay alive in Malaysia. The pro-IS Malaysian militant groups are exploiting local issues to advance the terror group’s extremist ideology. In this new phase, according to the author, Malaysian IS supporters have acquired better bomb-making capabilities and fostered deeper operational linkages with foreign militants. Moreover, Malaysia is also dealing with the issue of returning fighters. The Malaysian policymakers need to ensure an effective rehabilitation policy in dealing with returning militants and to continue to carefully manage the ethnic and religious climate in Malaysia so as to minimise exploitation of related local issues by pro-IS groups. Finally, Kenneth Yeo discusses the prospects for a consolidation of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) in the Southern Philippines following IS‘ territorial losses this year. According to the author, IS’ weakened presence in the Iraq-Syria theatre has positioned the Philippines as an attractive destination for FTFs in Southeast Asia given its status as an alternate conflict theatre within jihadist discourse. The article argues there could be a consolidation of rebel forces in hotspots such as Mindanao, with IS affiliated groups seeking to complement local fighters with FTFs and youth militants to launch attacks and gain territory. With the added impetus of a leadership transition within IS’ networks in the Philippines, comprehensive counter-terrorism measures are needed to address these developments, which also have regional implications.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Middle East, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff, Natasha Quek, Md. Didarul Islam, Naman Rawat
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Islamic State’s (IS) territorial defeat reflects a shift in the epicentre of violence from Iraq and Syria to the peripheries (countries with an active presence of IS cells or other insurgent and terrorist threats). In the study of terrorism and insurgency, age-old threats can persist while new threats are always emerging, either due to policy shifts that give rise to new opportunities for insurgents to exploit, or due to changes in the political climate of societies. As such, the May issue deals with three key thematic challenges in a post-IS threat landscape. First, it looks at returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), who after IS’ territorial defeat have either traveled to or attempted to return to their home countries. According to the United Nations (UN) more than 40,000 FTFs from 110 countries had traveled to Iraq and Syria to join IS. The return of segments of the FTFs indicates escalation of threats in their home countries as they come armed with operational skills and could possibly regroup, establish local cells and engage in violence. In this case, a high number of FTFs travelled to Iraq and Syria from Tunisia despite the country’s peaceful transition towards a participatory democracy, in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Second, in order to deal with the shifting threat landscape, it is necessary to develop new and strengthen existing de-radicalisation programmes. De-radicalisation is a smaller part of broader counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation efforts that focus on terrorists or returning FTFs in custody. Effective de-radicalisation programmes will provide detainees with opportunities to reintegrate back into the society by rejecting violence and promoting peaceful coexistence. This issue critically evaluates de-radicalisation as a concept and specific programmes in Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, while extoling the need for holistic approaches for effective outcomes. Lastly, beyond the Islamist extremist threat emanating from IS and other affiliated or local groups, other non-Islamist threats continue to persist. This includes far-right extremists gaining traction and engaging in violence in parts of United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, ethno-separatist groups (Baloch Liberation Army in Pakistan) and communist groups (The New People’s Army in Philippines and the Naxalites in India) also have a strong support structure and operational presence. According to the Global Terrorism Index, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) or Naxalites killed 205 people in 190 different incidents across 2018. This issue specifically delves into the Naxalite insurgency in India, which has evolved from a mass-mobilisation movement to a militant insurgency over the last few decades. The article advocates for institutional reforms to address various grievances to reduce the agency to violence. In the first article, Natasha Quek and Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff explore the causal factors behind Tunisia contributing one of the highest numbers of FTFs in theatres of conflict in the Middle East and beyond. The authors contend that the proliferation of Tunisian FTFs and surge in jihadist-linked violence domestically in recent years, poses a threat to long term stability, and could also fuel conflict in the wider region. Tunisia’s strong history of secularism provides an advantage, as the government can rely on a robust civil society rather than adopt a purely security-based approach. However, additional policy responses are needed to curtail jihadist activities and safeguard the country’s democratic achievements. Md. Didarul Islam then assesses various definitional aspects and theoretical models of de-radicalisation programmes. The author further provides observations on the gains, limitations and local context of de-radicalisation programmes, gleaned from four country case studies, which suggest that effective de-radicalisation of individuals necessitates a holistic approach focused on three key areas: (i) re-education or ideological interventions; (ii) vocational training or financial support; (iii) and a viable reintegration environment. Isolated approaches towards de-radicalisation that discount these variables are likely to only bring short-term success and a higher likelihood of recidivism. Lastly, Naman Rawat then examines different factors and underlying causes which have sustained the Naxalite insurgency in India for over fifty years. The author argues that since the 1960s, the lack of legitimate political institutions as well as corrupt practices of the government and bureaucracy have contributed to the Naxalites’ socio-political alienation in India. Additionally, the ineffective implementation of land reform laws, which prohibit acquisition of the tribal lands by non-Adivasis, has pushed the more extreme sections of tribal and peasant people to revolt against the government. Though the insurgency has been weakened in recent years, it is far from over.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict, Radical Right
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, South Asia, Indonesia, Middle East, India, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Tunisia
  • Author: Amalina Abdul Nasir, Mustapha Kulungu, Shafi Mostofa
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The landscape of Islamist terrorism is diverse, multifaceted and fractious, simultaneously characterised by inter and intra-group rivalries and various forms of cooperation at the operational, tactical and strategic levels. It cuts across geographical, gender and ideological lines/boundaries. More importantly, it evolves at a very rapid pace resulting in fluid security and conflict environments in different geographical locales. For instance, there are local groups like Nigerian Boko Haram that are trying to globalise their jihadist agenda through affiliations with the Islamic State (IS). However, this cooperation is not entirely collegial and is marked by friction and a trust deficit on both ends. In contrast, Al-Qaeda’s (AQ) South Asian affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), despite its regional character is localising its recruitment and operational strategies to avoid visibility from media and security agencies. AQIS is abstaining from violence while Boko Haram is engaging in violence to gain public attention. At the same time, the evolution of the terrorist landscape in Indonesia and Malaysia from Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and AQ-dominated to IS-led and inspired, has affected the recruitment and participation of women. The growing involvement of female militants in diverse roles gives rise to further security threats. In this issue, the first article by Mustapha Kulungu examines the genesis of Boko Haram in Nigeria as a local movement representing grievances of Muslims to its transformation as an operationally strong terrorist group. The author writes that the growing links over the last few years between IS and Boko Haram have added to the lethality and brutality of the latter, which has relied on narratives of Muslim victimhood in Nigeria to expand its footprint outside the country. The article analyses Boko Haram’s organisational structure, operational strategies, sources of funding and ideological ambitions. While it is argued that Boko Haram’s growing capabilities will undermine the US’ interests in Africa, enhancing US-Nigerian security cooperation may act as a counter Boko Haram’s threat. The second article by Shafi Mostofa discusses AQIS’ online and offline propaganda operations in Bangladesh and the various political and ideological narratives the group has used to grow further. Along with issuing several online videos and pamphlets, AQIS publishes two Bengali language magazines: Al-Balagh and Azan. In these publications, AQIS has frequently invoked four themes to justify its activities in Bangladesh. These four themes are: Indian hegemonic ambitions in South Asia, Muslim persecution, religious credentials of the head of a Muslim state and Islamic values. The author argues that AQIS is targeting affluent Bangladeshi youth for recruitment. AQIS’ continued online propaganda is likely to have negative security implications. As such, the author recommends adoption of long-term kinetic and non-kinetic counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies to neutralise AQIS. The last article by Amalina Abdul Nasir observes how women’s roles in terrorism have evolved in Indonesia and Malaysia from JI to an IS-dominated threat landscape. Overall, the roles of women have become more diverse due to IS’ physical inroads in the region, particularly in light of online recruitment through the open and close media platforms. The author discusses the evolution of women’s roles from wives and mothers to suicide bombers and combatants as recently witnessed in Indonesia and Malaysia. This development will need to be addressed by counter-terrorism agencies so as to mitigate its impact on the security threat landscape. It also requires an examination of the current perception of women in terrorist groups, and developing policies that factor in the gender-inclusive nature of the terrorist landscape in parts of Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Africa, South Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Middle East, North Africa, Nigeria, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Martin van Bruinessen
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In the two decades since the fall of the Suharto regime, one of the most conspicuous developments has been the rapidly increasing influence of religious interpretations and practices emanating from the Middle East and more specifically the Gulf states, leading observers to speak of the “Arabisation” of Indonesian Islam. In the preceding decades, the state had strongly endorsed liberal and development-oriented Muslim discourses widely perceived as “Westernised” and associated with secularism and Western education. Indonesia’s unique Muslim traditions have in fact been shaped by many centuries of global flows of people and ideas, connecting the region not just with the Arab heartlands of Islam and Europe but South Asia and China. What is relatively new, however, is the presence of transnational Islamist and fundamentalist movements, which weakened the established nation-wide Muslim organisations (Muhammadiyah, NU) that had been providing religious guidance for most of the 20th century. The perceived threat of transnational radical Islam has led to renewed reflection on, and efforts to rejuvenate, indigenous Muslim traditions.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, transnationalism, Secularism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Martin van Bruinessen
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In spite of their overwhelmingly Muslim populations, Indonesia and Turkey are formally secular states though of different kind. However, both allocate a surprisingly high proportion of the state budget to the administration of Islam, considerably higher than most countries where Islam is the state religion. In Turkey during the years 1950-2000 and in Indonesia during the New Order period (1966-1998), the state invested heavily in the education of “enlightened” religious personnel and the dissemination of religious views that were compatible with the drive for modernisation and development. Turkey’s Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) controls a huge bureaucracy through which the state interacts with the pious conservative part of the population. Schools for the training of prayer leaders addressed the needs of the same segment of the population and were intended to facilitate the integration of these conservatives into the project of secular modernisation. However, these institutions had the unforeseen effect of enabling the social mobility of once marginalised conservatives, allowing them to gradually gain control of part of the state apparatus. Mutatis mutandis, very similar developments can be observed in Indonesia, where the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) and the Council of Islamic Scholars (MUI) were expected to provide development-friendly religious guidance and prevent undesirable expressions of religiosity. After the fall of the Suharto regime, the MUI made itself independent of the government and instead became a vehicle through which various conservative religious groups strove to influence government policies, with various degrees of success.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Social Movement, Secularism, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Ryamizard Ryacudu, V. Arianti, Alberto Ballesteros
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The November issue features three articles highlighting the need for flexible and adaptive counter-terrorism frameworks. In the digital age, rigid and bureaucratic models of counter-terrorism slow the pace of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) interventions while giving an edge to violent extremist groups. As such, contemporary counter-terrorism policies should focus on gendered-specific roles, qualitative changes in terrorist-landscapes of different conflict theatres and evolving tactics by violent-extremist groups. In the lead article, Ryamizard Ryacudu underscores the need for intelligence sharing, coordination and joint counter-terrorism frameworks in Southeast Asia to overcome the ever-changing threat of terrorism. The author notes that Southeast Asian threat landscape has evolved in two waves: Al-Qaeda-centric and Islamic State-centric phases. The current landscape which comprises of the third generation of Islamist militants is decentralised and necessitates collaborative efforts by security agencies to prevent violence. As such, adopting the Our Eyes Initiative (OEI) in October 2018 will facilitate strategic information exchange among ASEAN Member States on terrorism, radicalism and violent-extremism as a template to create more regional platforms. As terrorists operate, train and grow with networks transcending geographical boundaries networked efforts by the nation-states at the regional level are critical to defeat terrorism. V. Arianti examines the participation of children and their parents, in a wave of terrorist attacks in Surabaya in May 2018. The author notes that due to the institutionalised indoctrination of children by groups affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), participation of children could become a trend in Indonesia’s militant landscape. As many as 101 children from Indonesia have been trained by IS as ‘cubs of caliphate’ in Iraq in 2017. The author has examined the schooling of children in five Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD) operated madrassas (also known as Pesantren) in South Java, South Sumatra and Central Sulawesi. These schools promote and inculcate a pro-IS ideology while providing employment to pro-IS individuals as teachers and administrators. The current anti-terror laws and other legal frameworks in Indonesia do not address the indoctrination of extremism towards children. Notwithstanding the significantly low number of pro-IS madrassas in Indonesia, the author highlights the need for joint government and civil society intervention to curb the pro-IS indoctrination. Lastly, Alberto Ballesteros explores structural and ideological differences between Euskadi Ta Askatasuna’s (ETA) nationalist-separatist terrorism and IS-inspired Islamist militancy in Spain. The author argues that the counter-terrorism strategy which defeated ETA is outdated in the present struggle against Islamist extremism. The author notes that Islamist militant groups’ focus on Spain is due to the country’s history of being ruled by Muslims (then known as Al-Andalus), Western/un-Islamic values and participation in international military campaigns against Al-Qaeda and IS. There is a need for holistic counter-terrorism approaches to deal with the challenges of Islamist extremism in Spain. Spanish authorities have relied extensively on intelligence gathering, sharing and coordination, border security and other law-enforcement related measures. However, more focus on social integration and trust-building between the mainstream and marginalised communities is necessary.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Middle East, Spain, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Rohan Gunaratna, Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, V. Arianti
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The evolving concept of Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), as part of ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-extremism efforts, has to address various social, economic, political religious and individual factors that attract or push youth from activism towards extremism. Social media platforms and religious institutions are crucial mediums of influence that can be used to minimise and eventually eliminate the exploitation of these two domains by violent-extremist groups for recruitment, propaganda and legitimation of their extremist agendas. Articles in this issue give an insight into the roles played by social media and madrassas as well as religious leaders and extremists in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Indonesia. The first article by Rohan Gunaratna analyses the recent riots between the Sinhalese and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka. It observes the historical development of relations between the two communities, specifically focusing on the role of Sinhala ultra-nationalists in advancing their communal and political agenda in the island state. In 2012 and 2013, the ultra-nationalists’ intolerant rhetoric against Muslims and Christians emboldened supporters to engage in mob violence targeting both minorities. Communal riots had erupted in 2014 and intermittent bomb attacks on Muslim establishments occurred in 2017. To restore communal harmony, the author prescribes a cohesive approach that combines laws criminalising intolerant rhetoric and propaganda in cyber and physical space, arrests of those involved in mob violence, and building structures at national and grassroots level to foster communal harmony. In the second article, Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri examines the madrassa (Islamic seminaries) education system in the context of growing radicalisation and religious extremism in Pakistan. The piece studies the madrassas’ relationship with various political groups, and their local and foreign funding sources. The study relies on published reports as well as quantitative data collected from over one hundred madrassas in Punjab. The study finds that several madrassas in Punjab have links with local and foreign militant organisations that render them vulnerable to external manipulations and interference. However, madrassas which purely dedicate their energies to learning and teaching are generally free of such manipulations. To meet the challenges and overcome the controversies facing the religious seminaries, the article recommends reforming the educational curriculum, providing quality education, reviewing funding sources of madrassas, banning political affiliations of madrassas and monitoring foreign influences on them. Lastly, V. Arianti probes the use of sharp weapons in terrorist attacks by Indonesia militant groups. She argues that IS’ emphasis on knife attacks in its online publications, frequent employment of vehicle-ramming and stabbing by lone-wolf attackers in Europe and local jihadist groups’ efforts to seek recognition from IS central contributed to the steady rise of knife attacks in Indonesia. The author believes that while knife attacks will continue to be an attack tactic in Indonesia militant landscape, bombings and shootings will be the preferred tactics because of their relative potential to cause mass casualties.
  • Topic: Education, Nationalism, Politics, Terrorism, International Security, History, Counter-terrorism, Homeland Security, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Parkash Chander
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: his paper studies the political economy of the Southeast Asian haze and discusses the obstacles that, unless overcome, could prevent a permanent and effective solution to this transboundary pollution problem, which originates in Indonesia. Following a cost-benefit analysis of the problem, the paper takes note of the weaknesses in Indonesia’s governance structure, which make it difficult to enforce national policies aimed at curbing the haze problem. It also puts forward a number of suggestions for strengthening the current policy regime for tackling the problem.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Graham Ong-Webb, Collin Koh, Bernard Miranda
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores the possibility of South China Sea claimants and regional countries playing an active role in developing measures to prevent untoward incidents involving government (including naval and maritime law enforcement) and non-government vessels while political negotiations take place with respect to the proposed Code of Conduct between ASEAN and China. It argues that such a comprehensive incident prevention and mitigation plan must be multidimensional and multilevel in its approach, cascading from the political, strategic, operational, to tactical levels. This study breaks down into three main sections. The first examines the framing of the existing Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and its expansion as well as any new prevention and mitigation initiatives. The center of gravity and theory of success for CUES must be at operational and tactical levels, this paper highlights, while also proposing that CUES should be expanded to include sub- surface and aerial- based actions as other potential triggers for unplanned encounters and unintended escalations at sea. The end-state calls for a comprehensive CUES in light of the multidimensional nature of the SCS maritime landscape. The second section of this paper assesses the prospects for an expanded CUES, focusing on maritime law enforcement and irregular forces. It examines the viability of expanding this mechanism through what this paper terms as “Phased” and “Blanket” Approaches, which is dependent on the regional political climate. The third, final section raises two proposals at the strategic level, and six proposals pegged at the operational and tactical levels of planning and activity to build on and enhance the existing slate of such mechanisms as CUES to promote navigational safety and risk reduction in regional waters.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Non State Actors, Maritime, Conflict, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, South China, Brunei
  • Author: Rohan Gunaratna, Muhammad Haniff Hassan, Mahfuh Bin Haji Halimi, Nur Azlin Mohamed Yasin
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group evolves into the next phase of its life cycle, it is operationalising its so-called wilayats (governorates) in different parts of the world. In June, with the loss of ground in Iraq and Syria, IS has made significant territorial gains in the Philippines along with carrying out a high profile terrorist attack in Indonesia. The operational strength and sophistication exhibited in these latest developments in Southeast Asia is concerning for three particular reasons. First, IS will stay alive and relevant through its wilayats notwithstanding its defeat in the Middle East. This could result in higher levels of violence and radicalisation in the regions where IS might turn its attention. The ability of the so-called Caliphate to operate in the online and offline spheres has already provided the group a virtual sanctuary to survive and stay relevant despite real world defeats. Second, with the seige of Marawi in the Philippines by IS, the city and surrounding areas may emerge as a new hub for IS supporters, sympathizers and lone-wolf fighters. In its latest issue of Rumiyah, the terror group has encouraged its supporters to relocate to Marawi if they cannot migrate to Iraq or Syria. This might galvanise a new wave of pro-IS fighters in Southeast Asia. IS has already prepared them for the setbacks in the Levant and provided them with sufficient religious grounds to press on with their ‘struggle’ through its propaganda machinery. The porous and heavily forested terrain and cluster of small islands with almost no control of the government in southern Philippines suits IS designs to fortify and consolidate its footprint in the region. It will require concerted efforts under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to counter IS gains in the region. Even though Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have done remarkably well to check the security challenge posed by IS, more needs to be done in places like the Philippines and Thailand with coordinated operational efforts and timely intelligence sharing. Third, IS online followers, supporters and sympathisers are now moving from open social media platforms to encrypted ones such as Telegram, Whatsapp and WeChat. This adds a new layer of complexity to keep track of vulnerable segments of youth susceptible to radicalism and disrupt any terrorist plots that may be planned and executed through communication in encrypted social medial platforms. Various Social Media Companies (SMCs), law enforcement agencies, academia and civil society organisations (SCOs) will have to team up and redouble their efforts to discuss how to deal with the challenge of cyber radicalism. Further procrastination in operationalising stronger social media strategies to counter violent radicalism will hamper efforts to curtail the spread of extremist propaganda and avert terrorist attacks. Equally important is the realm of counter-ideology and promotion of religious moderation. A strong rebuttal of Sunni extremist groups’ exploitation of Quranic verses and other religious texts to further their narrow agendas serves to de-legitimise their efforts. Once the ideological appeal of these groups is neutralised, it will be easier to counter them operationally. Terrorist groups can survive loss of sanctuary and decapitation of the top leaders, but ideological de-legitimization deprives them of the moral support they enjoy among the vulnerable social segments. These are some of the issues which the current issue of CTTA discusses at length highlighting: a) Marawi: A Game Changer in Terrorism in Asia by Rohan Gunaratna, b) The Evolution of Online Extremism in Malaysia by Nur Azlin Mohamed Yasin, c) A Rebuttal of Al-Qaeda and IS’ Theological Justification of Suicide Bombing by Muhammad Haniff Hassan and d) Abrogation and the Verse of the Sword: Addressing Sunni Extremists’ Misappropriation of Concept and Verse by Mahfuh Halimi
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Indonesia, Middle East, Philippines, Syria, Singapore, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Alexander R. Arifianto
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2001, Indonesia’s political decentralisation has opened fresh avenues for a new generation of local government executives to be elected. These new local leaders tend to promote novel styles of political leadership that are can transform how public policy and services are delivered at the local level. This report profiles a number of Indonesian local transformative leaders, most notably Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini and Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil. The report finds a number of characteristics that helped them to become transformative local leaders, including: an ability to develop popular legitimacy among their citizens, independence from political parties, ability to promote innovative policy to reform local public services, having strong political networks with senior politicians and other stakeholders, an ability to handle setbacks, and having political pragmatism. It is not yet known if these local “transformative leaders” can change the nature of national-level politics in Indonesia that is often characterised to be dominated by “oligarchic” party leaders. Nonetheless, they certainly have changed how politics and public policy are being done within their respective localities.
  • Topic: Public Policy, Local, Services, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Iis Gindarsah
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia has been increasingly susceptible to recent geopolitical developments. Along with the rapid pace of regional arms modernisation and unresolved territorial disputes, it begins to ponder the impact of emerging great power rivalry to the country’s strategic interests. However, rather than pursuing a robust military build-up, Indonesian policymakers asserts that diplomacy is the country’s first line of defence. This paper argues that Indonesia’s defence diplomacy serves two agenda of hedging strategy — strategic engagement and military modernisation. This way, Indonesian defence and security officials seek to moderate the impact of geopolitical changes whilst maintaining the country’s defensive ability against regional uncertainties.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption has become a perennial issue that has shackled political parties to a groundswell of unpopularity in Indonesia. In the run up towards the 2014 General Elections, it is envisaged that such an issue may jeopardise the electability of certain political parties. This report explores the influence of corruption cases on the elections by first highlighting the current status of competing political parties in the 2014 elections. The report then looks at the notable corruption cases that have an adverse effect on the political parties. The report concludes with four points. First, how utilising the "corruption-card" has become the new weapon of choice among political parties. Second, how the acute problem of corruption signifies that Indonesia's democratic consolidation process is far from over. Third, how shadowy affairs between political parties, their elites and the media can and should be constantly monitored. Lastly, the need to strengthen and continuous evaluation of the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) to prevent unnecessary interventions by political parties in the future.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Jonathan Chen, Adhi Priamarizki
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The itinerant rise of the professionalised class of political pollsters, consultancies and statistic-analytical institutes in the Indonesian electoral scene has, in recent months, been accompanied by an analogous rise of a proto opinion-mining, sentiment-tracking industry in cyber-space, facilitated by an increasingly mediated environment. While newer forms of online media platforms have yet to replace traditional mass-media, the felt effects of individual aggrandisement and vicarious political marketing derived from these platforms proved to be very effective. This paper explores aspects of new media and its nascent influence upon Indonesian politics in the race to 2014. It examines how a more participatory post-Reformasi climate had joined forces with various aspects of new media, providing the electorate with greater leverage over their choice of candidates following the precipitous rise of populist media doyens like Joko Widodo. This paper concludes that aspects of new media are steadily gaining currency as a legitimate mainstream indicator of candidature electability even as voters‟ allegiance gradually shifts away from party to personality in Indonesia.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Elections, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Jonathan Chen, Adi Syailendra
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: An outmoded conception of youth in post-Reformasi Indonesia had led to an essentialisation of the demography into a dichotomous characterisation between that of “demographic dividends” and “ticking time-bombs”. In contemporary Indonesia, futurists see youths as fiduciary members of the developmentalist state agenda while pessimists take opprobrium at their volatile and violent track-record. This paper rejects both premises as instances of “Old Society” intrusion into the perceptions of Indonesian youth. Instead it ventures into an in- depth, sober examination of their present state of affairs and predicament. Based heavily upon empirical data from a range of surveys, polls and census, it had been shown that state and institutional attempts at reclaiming/redefining youths as their own fell short of ground realities. Youth emanating particularly from the Y-Generation and beyond have more agency than conventionally felt and it is increasingly imperative that their opinions on democratisation and decentralisation, twin aspects of reform efforts in Indonesia, are urgently taken into account given their potential for growth and influence.
  • Topic: Youth Culture, Democracy, Youth, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Today, there is much talk about the „American pivot‟ back to Southeast Asia, and the role that America continues to play in terms of the geo-strategic relations between the countries in the region. That America has been a player in Southeast Asian affairs is well-known, as America‟s presence in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam has been well documented since the Cold War. However, there has been less scholarship devoted to America‟s role in Southeast Asia prior to the 20th century, lending the impression that the United States is a latecomer as far as Southeast Asian affairs is concerned. This paper looks at a particular incident – the First Sumatran expedition of 1832 – where America played a visible role in the policing of the waters off Sumatra. Though the event has been largely forgotten today, and is not even mentioned in Indonesian history books, it was important for it marked America‟s arrival – first as a trading nation, and later as a policing power – to the region. Drawing upon contemporary sources, the paper looks at how and why the expedition was launched, and the response of the American public in its wake. It tells us something about American public perception then, and how Americans were then divided over the role that America should play in Asian affairs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past few years Indonesia's political landscape has altered somewhat as a result of the rise of new nationalist NGOs and mass movements, that have called upon the Indonesian government to take a stronger stand when defending Indonesia's national identity and position in ASEAN. Observers of Indonesian politics have asked if this marks the rise of hyper-nationalism in the country, and how this may affect Indonesia's relationship with its ASEAN neighbours. This paper looks at how Indonesia's school textbooks present the other countries and societies of ASEAN to ordinary school children in Indonesia, and looks at how Indonesian identity is framed in relation to the other countries around it. It argues that Indonesian school textbooks do indeed give a rudimentary but objective and correct view of the other countries in ASEAN, and that the rise of nationalism among some groups in Indonesia today cannot be attributed to the education that millions of Indonesian students are given on an annual basis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Iisgindarsah
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the impact of domestic politics upon Indonesia's foreign policy-making. Serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2007 to 2008, Indonesia voted on two key resolutions concerning the Iranian nuclear issue. While approving international sanctions against Iran under UNSC Resolution No. 1747, the Indonesian government preferred to abstain from voting on Resolution No. 1803. This paper argues the country's changing response to the Iranian nuclear issue was a consequence of domestic opposition. The case study specifically identifies the interplay between majority Moslem population, religious mass organizations and political parties as key factors which weigh upon the “strategic calculus” behind Indonesia's foreign policy formulation. The paper will conclude while the executive still drives the country's foreign policy, the parliament and social-political groups have new powers to cajole and criticize the government into reversing or softening an established policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Islam, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Indonesia, United Nations
  • Author: Rizal Sukma
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of security sector governance (SSG) in Indonesia, focusing in particular on the effects of security sector reform (SSR) on the management of the secessionist conflicts in the country. It discusses the military's use of force as an instrument of conflict management in the years immediately following Indonesia's Independence, arguing that while it is possible to suppress conflicts through military force, such a strategy brings about several problems. The underlying causes of the conflicts may remain unaddressed, and military impunity could increase. These could lead to rising resentment, and eventually escalation of conflicts, as occurred in Indonesia in the late 1990s. This paper argues that to resolve such conflicts, SSR is vital, and it illustrates this through the case of Aceh as an instance of successful resolution of conflict achieved against a backdrop of reform of the military sector.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Post Colonialism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Alistair D.B. Cook
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia's position as a regional champion of democracy and human rights has become prominent in international forums since the resignation of President Suharto in 1998 and the subsequent period of internal democratic reform. Its proactive foreign policy culminated in the establishment of the Bali Democracy Forum in 2008 to promote and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Asia through a process of learning and sharing. While Indonesia's proactive foreign policy continues, significant internal challenges remain. This policy brief offers an insight into one of Indonesia's longest running internal challenges, Papua, and suggests the use of the human security lens as an alternative to the dominant traditional security lens used by many policymakers, in an effort to promote conflict resolution and match developments at home with its proactive strategies abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Leonard C. Sebastian, Iisgindarsah
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Indonesian military remains one of the most crucial institutions in a democratising Indonesia and continues to be a key factor in any discussion regarding the future of the country. Forced to withdraw from formal politics at the end of the New Order regime, the military leadership has been embarking on a series of reforms to "professionalise" the armed forces, while maintaining their standing within Indonesian society. This paper attempts to provide an assessment of the military reform process during the last 12 years in Indonesia. To this end, it will provide an overview regarding the role of the Indonesian military during the Suharto era; analyse to what extent the process of democratisation has shaped the role and mission of the military; explore the perceptions and motivations of the actors involved in the reform process; review what has been achieved; and highlight the outstanding issues that remain unaddressed. With regard to the final point, this paper discerns three major strategic gaps that undermine the processes of military reform in Indonesia, namely: the "regulation loophole", the "defence-economic gap" and the "shortcomings of democratic civilian control". Considering these problems, this paper concludes that while the military officers' interest in day-to-day politics will gradually diminish, the military professionalism will ebb and flow depending more on the behaviour of political elites and their attempts to address the major strategic gaps in the next stage of the country's military reform.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Evan A. Laksmana
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to identify and assess key climate insecurities in Indonesia and further explore how they could potentially influence the process of defence reform that has been ongoing in Indonesia since Suharto's downfall in 1998. Key climate insecurities in Indonesia are related to energy and food security, large-scale disasters, drought, changing climate patterns and rising sea levels. Furthermore, this paper argues that given these security implications, the Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) has yet to seriously assess and incorporate climate change into its force development plans. Finally, this paper outlines some of the key challenges and prospects for TNI's defence reform process, as it relates to climate change.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Climate Change, Food
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Indonesia
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As of 1 January 2011, Indonesia assumed the chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). With the growing importance of Southeast Asia in the global arena, hopes are high that Indonesia will seize the opportunity to push for concrete improvements toward the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, as well as to promote democratic values and respect for human rights in the region. At the start of its chairmanship, Indonesia has proposed three main agendas, namely: to ensure progress in the implementation of ASEAN Community Blueprints; to enhance ASEAN's roles in regional architecture; and to develop an ASEAN community vision in a global community of nations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera PKS is one of the younger parties in Indonesia today, yet it has established itself as a national party with branch offices all over the Indonesian archipelago and representation in government at all levels. When it first came onto the scene of Indonesian politics it was criticized by Indonesian liberal intellectuals as a 'Trojan horse' for further Islamisation of Indonesia. However some of Indonesia's more radical and militant Islamist groups have in turn criticized the PKS for 'selling out' by joining the democratic political process.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia