Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Schools and Centres

Arts & Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Robert Imre

Second Supervisor

Dr Carl Ungerer


As the world's largest Muslim country, the resurgence of Islamist religiosity in Indonesia over the past 10 years has been a source of great concern for security and terrorism analysts. In an effort to shift away from the sort of discourse the explains violent Islamist religiosity in Indonesia as an offshoot of Middle East politics and the policy demands of the Global War on Terror, my specific field of interest in this thesis surrounds processes of political socialization and what exactly drives the transformation process from those nominally influenced by various kinds of revisionist conservative theology to those that become willing to commit acts of violence Indonesia. Thus I will draw from the current situation in Indonesia to argue that the vast and complex trajectories involved in the radicalization processes of Islamist terrorists demands a level of discourse that transcends simple theoretical typologies. All too often analysis in this field of inquiry ascribes 'the drivers' of the radicalization process to rest in either societal grievances or a version of flawed theology. Certainly, in the wake of attacks on western targets in Bali as well as the Jakarta Mariott and Australian Embassy bombings there was some justification for the assessment that Indonesia had the potential to become another violent flashpoint in the global war on terror. In addition to the attacks themselves, many cited the growing traction of various Islamist groups in the post New Order strategic environment as prima facie evidence that Indonesia was Islamizing (and thus radicalizing) at an alarming rate. But five years on there is a clear need to reassess both the traction of neofundamentalist Islamism and patterns of radicalization in Indonesia. While the Indonesian authorities deserve praise for the professional manner in which they have taken down Jemmah Islamiyah cells, the reason that flashpoint Indonesia hasn't evolved as some terrorism analysts predicted is because they fundamentally misunderstood the threat from the outset. Thus I will demonstrate that while the political socialization of the Islamic terrorist in Indonesia is tied to some extra-regional phenomena, the most potent dynamics driving violent transformation in the socialization process are in fact intimately tied to a well-established pattern of structural violence 'hardwired' into the political discourse of the nation-state.

Included in

Religion Commons