Home / Regular Issue / JSSH Vol. 31 (3) Sep. 2023 / JSSH-8622-2022


The Rise of Islamic Populism and Social Alliances of the Muslim Middle-Class in the West Sumatra

Yayuk Lestari

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.31.3.12

Keywords: Islamic populism, middle-class, social alliances, West Sumatra

Published on: 22 September 2023

This study explores the manifestation of religious populism through a case study in West Sumatra, highlighting its rise to power and the consequent shift towards religion as a central factor in public policy decisions. In West Sumatra, where the Minangkabau reside, Islamic populism received support from the economically established, middle-class traders. It occurred due to the change within Minangkabau society, where the clan’s traditional role in meeting the needs of its members has been disrupted by modernization. Replacing the clan’s roles, financially stable middle-class Muslims have come to support the needy and community activities, eventually leading to the rise of Islamic populism. This transformation, from clan-based to multi-clan alliances, has provided the consolidated middle class with the impetus to advocate for a conservative Islamic agenda. The research findings also underscore the necessity of considering contextual factors, including urban-rural dynamics and community-specific socio-cultural structures. Data for this research were collected by employing vis-à-vis interviews and active observation from August 2019 to December 2020 in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

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