Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East

HSS Occasional Seminar
Event Speaker: 
Vedi R. Hadiz
Event Time: 
02:57 PM to 04:27 PM
Event Venue: 
HSS Committee Room (MS 610)


In this talk, Vedi Hadiz discusses the main ideas of his recent book, Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2016). The book rejects clash of civilisations-based and other culturalist accounts of Islamic politics in favour of a theoretical framework that merges some of the traditional concerns of historical sociology and political economy. It addresses the issue of why Islamic politics can take different characteristics– especially in terms of its relationship to secular political institutions and those of the market. It examines three different trajectories of Islamic politics as identified in the cases of Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey – all major Muslim-majority societies -- in the way it has fared in contests over the state and over civil society. In the process, the book elaborates on the concept of Islamic populism, which is presented as a variant of populism in general. It is suggested that Islamic populism substitutes the notion of the ummah (community of believers) for that of “the people” (found in more conventional populisms), but with equally homogenising intentions and internally contradictory social effects.


Prof. Vedi R. Hadiz is Professor of Asian studies at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Indonesia. Prof. Hadiz received his PhD from Murdoch University, Perth, Australia and has taught at the National University of Singapore and Murdoch University. He was a Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council from 2010 to 2014. Prof. Hadiz has held visiting fellowships in France, Japan, the Netherlands, and several other countries. He is an Editorial Board Member of Several International Journals and has published widely on Islamic Populism, Politics of Oligarchy, Localization of Power, and Workers and State relationship in Southeast Asia. Two of his most recent publications are: Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective (Stanford University Press, 2010).