RSIS Seminar by Dr Irman Gurmilang Lanti, Visiting Senior Fellow, Indonesia Programme, IDSS, RSIS; and Senior Associate, Centre for International, Gender, and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia
Examining Growth of Islamic Conservatism in Indonesia: The Case of West Java
West Java is Indonesia’s most populous province. With 48 million inhabitants, 18 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million populations live in this province. The province has a 97 percent Muslim population. It is probably the most important province to observe with regard to any development in the Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. The province’s vast network of conservative Islamic schools and ulama was perceived as contributing the bulk of the ‘Aksi 212’ rallies in 2016/17, which brought down former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Even though West Javanese demonstrators could not vote in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, their influx to matters that would greatly affect the outcome of the election indicated the surge of conservatism in Indonesia, including in West Java.
This presentation aims to shed some light on the growth of Islamic conservatism in West Java. It will answer these research questions: Whether West Java has indeed undergone a process of further santrinisasi or is this seeming growth of Islamic conservatism only a mere fad? Has the widespread use of the social media and information technology, at least in the urban areas contributed to this process? What sort of ideological and political outlook do the new conservatives have? What consequences would this growth bring to the national politics as Indonesia conducts its general election on 17 April 2019?
About the Speaker
Irman Gurmilang Lanti is currently Visiting Senior Fellow in the Indonesia Programme, Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Senior Associate in the Centre for International, Gender, and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.
Dr Lanti has expertise in the area of democracy promotion, capacity building for civil society, and governance reform in Indonesia. He served as Executive Director of the TIFA Foundation from 2012 to 2014, overseeing grants to more than 100 Indonesian Civil Society Organisations. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of senior positions in the Deepening Democracy project of the Governance Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia Office, from 2006 to 2012. Earlier in his career, Dr Lanti worked as a researcher with a number of public policy think tanks, including the Centre for Information and Development Studies (CIDES), the Habibie Center, and the Indonesian Institute. He was a Visiting Research Associate with the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS) from May 2001 to August 2002 and a Visiting Research Fellow from January to February 2005.
Dr Lanti received his degrees from Padjajaran University (B.A. International Relations), George Washington University (M.A. International Affairs) and the University of British Columbia (Ph.D. Political Science).