Election_Pamphlet_of_Masyumi_1955_election altered


Muslim parliamentarians and the allure of socialism: the case of Indonesia's Masjumi, 1950 – 60

Hosted by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre


Lin Hongxuan

Lin Hongxuan

Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, NUS; LSE SEAC Visiting Fellow


Prof. John Sidel

Prof. John Sidel

Sir Patrick Gillam Chair in International and Comparative Politics, LSE SEAC Associate

SEAC hosted this talk by Lin Hongxuan (SEAC Visiting Fellow; Postdoctoral Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, NUS) on Muslim parliamentarians and socialism in Indonesia. The talk was chaired by Prof. John Sidel (SEAC Associate, LSE Department of Government).

A little-known facet of Indonesian history is the socialist inspirations of the Republic of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic party, Masjumi (Partai Majelis Syuro Muslimin Indonesia, 1943–1960) during the parliamentary democracy period (1950–59). Drawing on research conducted in the libraries of Jakarta, Leiden University, and Cornell University, this talk explores how two of Masjumi’s prominent intellectuals, Jusuf Wibisono and Zainal Abidin Ahmad, engaged with socialist ideas in their political visions for Indonesia. In contrast to conservative interpretations of how Islam should inform state policy that are dominant in Indonesia today, this talk will demonstrate how Muslim democrats in 1950s Indonesia emphasized socio-economic justice and compassion in their articulations of political Islam.

A video recording of this event is available to watch here

Speaker and Chair Biographies:

Lin Hongxuan is a visiting fellow at the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, LSE, for 2022. During this time he will work on the circulation of progressive Islamic ideas across the Indian Ocean. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Washington in 2020. His first monograph, Ummah Yet Proletariat: Islam, Marxism, and the Making of the Indonesian Republic is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. His research interests include confluences of Islam and Marxism in South Asia and Malaya/Malaysia.

Prof. John Sidel is the Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Professor Sidel received his BA and MA from Yale University and his PhD from Cornell University. He is the author of Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines (1999), Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century: Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Trajectories (2000), Riots, Pogroms, Jihad: Religious Violence in Indonesia (2006), The Islamist Threat in Southeast Asia: A Reassessment (2007), Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines (2020, with Jaime Faustino) and a forthcoming book Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia.



This event will be hosted online


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