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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2012/2013 Research Topic: B-1-02
Islam and political dissent: Studies and Comparisons from Asia and the Middle East


In parts of Asia and the Middle East, Islam is the moral and ideological fount of political dissent that offers a powerful appeal and a growing reach. There, diverse dissident Islamic forces operate under complex conditions, including the so-called ‘War on Terror’ and its threats to national sovereignty, and neoliberal global capitalism and its constraints on autonomous economic development. To varying degrees, these forces re-shape balances of power between Islamic and secular institutions, social movements and authoritarian regimes, and populism and oligarchic rule. Such complexities make it necessary not to treat political dissent in the name of Islam as simply a ‘religious phenomenon’ or a manifestation of extremism, but to trace its origins and trajectories and evaluate its outcomes critically. This Project will conduct studies of evolving social bases, economic transformation and changing state institutions which influenced the course of Islamic political dissent in selected Asian and Middle-Eastern countries. Based on its thematic studies and case studies, the Project plans to develop a comparative understanding of Islam and dissent in different socio-political settings. In that way, the Project hopes to contribute to international academic debates on ‘Islamization’ and ‘political Islam’.


April 2011 - February 2013

Members of the Research Project

[ Coordinator ] KHOO Boo Teik
[ Co-researchers ] NAKANISHI Yoshihiro
[ Internal Member ] DARWISHEH Housam
[ External Member ] Vedi Hadiz (Murdoch University, Professor)
Richard Robison (Murdoch University, Professor)
Ian Wilson (Murdoch University, Research Associate)
Alejandro Colas (University of London, Senior Lecturer)
IKEUCHI Satoshi (Tokyo University, Associate Professor)
Nadia Marzouki (European University Institute, Jean Monet Fellow)
MATSUNAGA Yasuyuki (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Associate Professor)
Jenny Barbara White (Boston University, Associate Professor)