Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia  book cover
1st Edition

Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia

ISBN 9780415563925
Published January 29, 2010 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

Southeast Asia manifests some of the most interesting, non-violent as well as conflictual elements of Islamic social and political life in the world. This book examines the ways in which Muslim politics in Southeast Asia has greatly impacted democratic practice and contributed to its practical and discursive development. It addresses the majority and minority situations of Muslims within both democratic and authoritarian politics. It shows, for example, how in Muslim majority Indonesia and Malaysia, political Islam directly engages with procedural democracy; in Muslim minority Thailand and the Philippines, it has taken a violent route; and in Muslim minority Singapore, it has been successfully managed through civil and electoral politics. By exploring such nuances, variations, comparisons and linkages among Muslim majority and minority countries, this book deepens our understanding of the phenomenon of Muslim politics in the region as a whole.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Majority-Minority Muslim Politics and Democracy  2. Authority and Democracy in Malaysian and Indonesian Islamic Movements  3. Political Islam and Democracy in the Majority Muslim Country of Indonesia  4. The Authoritarian State and its Link to Political Islam in Muslim-Majority Malaysia  5. Encounters of Muslim Politics in Malaysia  6. Missing Lawyer in Thailand: The Fate of Engaged Muslims in Authoritarian Democracy  7. A Never-ending War and the Struggle for Peace in Southern Philippines  8. Authoritarian Democracy and the Minority Muslim Polity in Singapore  9. Ideology and Utopia in the Discourse on Civil Society in Indonesia and Malaysia

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Johan Saravanamuttu is currently Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He was formerly Professor of Political Science at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang and Visiting Chair in ASEAN and International Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is co-editor of New Politics in Malaysia; and co-author of March 8: Eclipsing May 13.


"All chapters of Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia are an engaging read for the target audience. For those readers familiar with 'Political Islam in South East Asia', Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia serves as a wonderful advancement in discourse on a coherent theme. It is a pleasure to be able to read works which rely on cutting-edge research." - Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Contemporary South Asia Vol. 32, No. 2 (2010)

"The book under review offers a rare discussion of theoretical and empirical thinking about Islamic engagements with, variously, state power, 'authoritarian democracy' and civil society challenges, set against highly pluralistic societies that make up Southeast Asia. Highly recommended as a teaching resource not only for Southeast Asianists but, more broadly, for students of comparative politics and religion." - Geoffrey C. Gunn, Faculty of Economics, Nagasaki University, Japan; Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 41 No. 2 (2011)

"Islam and politics in Southeast Asia is a well researched and documented study of Muslim politics in modern post-colonial Southeast Asia. The individual writer's astute observations and pointed conclusions offer insights how each Muslim community that is examined responds to and engages with the state which is viewed as fundamentally authoritarian. Thus, the book is of value to students and scholars of social sciences, Southeast Asian and Islamic studies because it provides a basis for an understanding of Muslim politics in individual countries of Southeast Asia, to make comparisons between Muslim communities, particularly between the situations of Muslim majority and Muslim minority, and finally to gain an overview of the region as a whole." - Zailan Moris, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang; Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2010