Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Do Islamic parties become more moderate when included in politics?: The Prosperous Justice Party in Indonesia

Radical Islamic parties are said to become more moderate once included in electoral politics. The exact dynamics and conditions of this moderation process remain unclear, however. The talk is looking at the conditions for the moderation of Islamic parties by examining the political trajectory of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) since 1998.

In his presentation, Dr.Buehler argues that party formation and party structures determine whether a party becomes more moderate or not once included in electoral politics.

Michael Buehler received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he also received his M.Sc. in Comparative Politics. He is a political scientist who specializes in local politics under conditions of democratization and decentralization. He also has a special interest in local elections, sub-national authoritarianism, machine politics and political corruption.

Michael Buehler was a visiting research fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden, Holland. He has also been working as a political analyst for the Asia&Pacific Department of Transparency International and at the Asia Research Unit of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Germany.

Dr.Buehler also has worked on several government assignments, included the development of an anti-corruption monitoring and evaluation strategy for the World Bank Office in Jakarta,  the evaluation of administrative reform in Indonesian districts for UNDP and a project on “costing services” in Indonesian regencies for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

His most recent publication is “Decentralisation and Local Democracy in Indonesia: The Marginalisation of the Public Sphere” in Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions and Society, Edward Aspinall and Marcus Mietzner (Eds), 2010, Singapore: ISEAS, 276-285