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Title: Electoral Reforms and the Moderation of Islamist Parties in Indonesia
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: TAN YEE LING (2018-04-02). Electoral Reforms and the Moderation of Islamist Parties in Indonesia. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis presents a study on how electoral reforms contributed to the moderation of Islamist parties (namely, the PBB, PKS and PPP) in Indonesia. Moderation entails the downplaying of one’s Islamist credentials and the pursuit of syar’iah, opening up the party to non-Muslim voters and candidates, forming coalitions with secular parties, and nominating presidential candidates opposed to Islamist platforms and policies. Since the 2004 elections, Islamist parties have been moderating themselves to differing degrees. Therefore, this thesis attempts to answer: What has contributed to why Islamist parties moderate their ideological platforms during elections? From there, how does my answer to this question contribute to the existing literature at large? My thesis offers two main contributions to the existing literature: It offers a largely ignored theoretical framework to study moderation amongst Islamist parties: Institutionalism. Where ideological moderation is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, one cannot discount the role of institutions in shaping parties’ decision to self-moderate. From here, I introduce an analytical framework to study the causal relationship between electoral reforms and the moderation of Islamist parties. Using my analytical framework, I study how electoral reforms (namely, the direct presidential elections and electoral thresholds) put constraints upon office-seeking Islamist parties. Islamist parties thus made strategic choices accordingly to get around or overcome these constraining influences, which culminates in their decision to self-moderate. My main argument is that electoral reforms (independent variable) shape the strategic choices of political parties (intervening variable) which in turn have contributed to the decision to moderate the party during elections (dependent variable).
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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