Dr Chris Chaplin

Dr Chris Chaplin

LSE Fellow

Department of Methodology

0207 955 7642
Room No
COL 7.07
Office Hours
Mondays 16:00 - 18:00 in COL.2.03
Connect with me

About me

Chris Chaplin is an LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology. He received his PhD from the Department of Sociology, University in Cambridge in 2016. Prior to joining the LSE, Chris was a Researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV).

Research Interests

Chris Chaplin’s research explores Islamic activism, social movements, and citizenship, with particular geographical attention to Indonesia. He is especially interested in investigating the relationship between global Islamic doctrines and local understandings of piety and social activism, and the ways in which this comes to influences national and religious identities.

At present, Chris’ research examines the spread of the Salafi Islamic movement, exploring how and why it becomes prevalent within particular mosques and social classes in South Sulawesi, and how this affects the shape and form of Islamic activism and socio-political identity amongst followers.

Chris has carried out two ethnographic research projects amongst Salafi communities in Indonesia: one regarding Islamic study circles and propagation in Yogyakarta, Java; and one focused on the organisation, Wahdah Islamiyah, in South Sulawesi province. Methodologically, he is particularly interested in the ways in which reflexive approaches to ethnography can shed light onto how religious boundaries are constructed and challenged in everyday circumstances.



Islamic social movements; Southeast Asian politics; citizenship; Salafism; Indonesia

Book reviews

Chaplin, C, ‘Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance Without Liberalism’, by Menchik, Jeremy, in Southeast Asia Research (forthcoming).

Chaplin, C, ‘Islam, Politics and Change. The Indonesian Experience after the Fall of Suharto, edited by Kees van Dijk & Nico JG Kaptein’, in Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Vol. 172, Issue 2-3, pp 387-360, 2016.


Chaplin, C, (2018) ‘Salafi Islamic Piety as Civic Activism: Wahdah Islamiyah and Differentiated Citizenship in Indonesia’, Citizenship Studies, Vol 22, Is 2, pp 208 - 223

Chaplin, C, (2018) ‘Salafi Activism and the Promotion of a Modern Muslim Identity: Evolving Mediums of Da’wa amongst Yogyakartan University Students’, South East Asia Research, Vol 26, Is 1, pp 3 - 20

Chaplin, C, (2018) ‘Political Protests, Global Islam and National Activism: Deciphering the Motivation behind Indonesia’s ‘Conservative Turn’, Middle East Institute, 23 January

Chaplin, C, (2017) ‘Islam and Citizenship’, Inside Indonesia, 129.

Chaplin, C, (2016) ‘Islamic Cyber-Activism’, Inside Indonesia, 125.

Chaplin, C, (2015) ‘Islamic Social Movement in post-Suharto Indonesia: Life Politics, Religious Authority and the Salafiyya’, in: Petru T. (ed.), Graffiti, Converts and Vigilantes: Islam Outside the Mainstream in Maritime Southeast Asia. Vienna: Caesar Press, pp 31 - 52

Chaplin, C, (2014) ‘Imagining the Land of the Two Holy Mosques: The Social and Doctrinal Importance of Saudi Arabia in Indonesian Salafi Discourse’, the Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies 7-2, pp 217 - 235

Recent commentaries and opinion pieces

Chaplin, C, ‘The Alliance between Indonesia’s Islamic Conservatives and Politicians Cannot Last’, Australia National University Policy Forum, 16 May 2017.

Chaplin, C, ‘Mobilising Islam for Political Gain’, New Mandala, 15 February 2017.

Chaplin, C, ‘Stuck in the Immoderate Middle’, New Mandala, 8 November 2016

Chaplin, C, ‘Global Salafi Activism and Indonesian Islam’, New Mandala, 29 July 2016

Chaplin, C, ‘The Threats to Indonesia after the Jakarta Attack: Let us not overstate the Significance of ISIL in Indonesia,’ Al Jazeera English, 20 January 2016

Chaplin, C, ‘The Islamic State and Radicalisation: The Need for Informed Opinion and Proportion,’ Open Democracy, 22 October 2014

Chaplin, C, ‘Defending the Faith,’ New Mandala, 12 June 2014