Skip Navigation
Online Bookstore Book Supplements Newsletter Subscription For Academics For Bookshops For Authors About Us Journals Holt Prize


Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 10 No 2 (2008)

The Ties that Bind: Law, Islamisation and Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)

Najwa Shihab is an Indonesian journalist specialising in law, politics and social change. She has been working as an anchor and host of political talk shows on an Indonesian national television network. She is currently undertaking a Masters program in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne, she can be contacted at nshihab AT
Yanuar Nugroho is Research Associate with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the University of Manchester. His research interests include new media innovation and social change, focusing on civic politics and democracy. He is also active in the Indonesian NGO movement and is associated with Business Watch Indonesia (BWI), Uni Sosial Demokrat and ELSPPAT. He can be contacted at yanuar.nugroho AT

There are clear indications that Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera or PKS) has shifted from being a hardline (garis keras) Islamist party, to take a more moderate stance, with significant changes to its platform. Prominent among these are decisions to step back from earlier demands for the enforcement of Islamic law and the creation of an Islamic state in Indonesia, as well as major modifications to doctrinal positions relating to the legal status of women as leaders, and formal relations with non-Muslims. This article investigates the factors that have contributed to this shift, and argues that it is a result of political processes in Indonesia that compel PKS to moderate its platform to expand its constituency. It is also argued that an ideological transformation has taken place within PKS, that the transformation is genuine, albeit contested internally, and that it is probably necessary for electoral success.

(2008) 10(2) Asian Law 233

        BACK TO TOP