Identity in the Age of Populism

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Call for Papers
November 10, 2017 to November 12, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


The 10th Al-Jami’ah Forum



Southeast Asian Perspectives

Yogyakarta, 10-12 November 2017


With liberal democracy become increasingly important norm in contemporary world, masses constitute significant element in directing state policies. On one hand, the rising significance of masses represented the recognition of public will promised by the liberal democracy. But, on the other hand, the rise of the mass is seen by many as something not necessarily leading to public good, as the former is more likely shaped by sentiments rather than reasons. For this negative connotation of the increasingly important role of the mass, a reference to the term populism is made.

In recent years, populism has become public concerns with the ascension of right-wing groups to power in the West. Central to the rise of these groups is identity issues where Muslim and democracy or colored and white are binary oppositions.

Much have been covered about what had happened in the West, but much less is known about similar populism trend and to what extent the rising populism has created effects in and for those originally coming from outside the West, in particular Southeast Asia. While, unlike Europe, this region can generally expect to experience the continuing economic growth, it faces the significantly increasing economic inequality issues. Liberal democracy, which has been pursued further by many of the countries in the region, has lead to either not-enough popular or too much conservative policies. For many of those at the fringe of societies, this recent development is perceived as threats to a sense of self and well being through which many local and national leaders alike gain popularity and power. This is particularly shown, among others, through the rise of religious discourse or ethnicity issues in the public sphere.

By focusing on identity as a cross-cutting issue in which populism takes form and takes effects, this conference aims to document the congruence as well as difference between the rise of populism at local, national, regional as well as global level. It is particularly interested in, but not limited to, the following issues:

  1. How identity is being (re)constructed for popular movement
  2. How the sacred texts or historical facts are involved the (re)construction of identity for popular movement
  3. The extent to which gender element is involved in the identity (re)construction
  4. The structure in which the new identity is being mobilized
  5. The extent to which social media is significant for identity (re)construction as well as mobilization
  6. The role of popular leaders in the identity formation
  7. How identity and populism develops as a furthering or countering movement at local, national or regional level

Anyone interested in participating the conference, please send abstracts between 150-300 words no later than 15 August 2017 to the email: The successful abstracts will be announced through email and Al-Jami’ah’s website at  at 1 September 2017. Selected presenters should send their full paper before 31 October 2017. Promising paper, after the process of peer reviews, will be published by Al-Jami’ah: Journal of Islamic Studies in the next year edition.

Muhrisun Affandi Ph.D
Achmad Uzair Fauzan Ph.D
Contact Info: 

Achmad Uzair Fauzan, Ph.D.