Political Parties and Religious Local Ordinances in Post-Suharto Indonesia (MSc Thesis, Ritsumeikan APU, Japan)

The study examines the rise of religious local ordinances in Post-Suharto era and its relationship with electoral and political party reforms in Indonesia. It will focus on the dynamics of political parties in influencing the implementation of religious localordinances and its impact on current political landscape and development. Furthermore, it will examine the reasons behind the support for religious local ordinances and what factors contribute to the rise of religious local ordinances.

Previous researches that showed bias between elite and public opinion as well as different opinions between central and local leadership of political parties in the issue of religious local ordinances will be used as the theoretical framework. The ultimate aim of this study is to find out why political parties, regardless of their different ideological profiles, support the implementation of religious local ordinances in Post-Suharto Indonesia.

Findings of the study show that changes in local politics, particularly the introduction of direct elections for local leaders, are the main reasons that trigger political parties to support the ordinances. Religious sentiments, capital accumulation and power formation are other important socio-political factors in the politics of religious local ordinances.

The implementation of religious local ordinances ensures the flow of capital and power for the benefit of political parties and local politicians through the use of religious sentiments and symbols in politics. Based on these narratives, it can be safely concluded that the support of political parties for the implementation of religious local ordinances is mainly driven by populist response to get more votes in the midst of fierce local political competition.

More details can be found in http://r-cube.ritsumei.ac.jp/bitstream/10367/3638/1/51110606.pdf

Previously this research was also presented at the 11th East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference on the Asia-Pacific Region at University of Hawaii at Manoa, February, 2012 https://www.eastwestcenter.org/sites/all/modules/filemanager/files/Education_Program/Student_Programs/IGSC/11th_IGSC_Program_Feb_9_2012_300pm.pdf

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