Political Economy of the Islamist Party in a Muslim Democracy The Experience of PKS of Indonesia

This paper focuses on the effort of PKS Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, Justice and Prosperous Party to win the heart of the people, and to build relatively solid partymass relations. Considering that the newly emerging democratic Indonesia is characterized by rampant money politics as well as corrupt, pragmatic, or opportunistic behaviors among elites and broader electorates alike, the promotion of piety and morality to secure the loyalty of electorates is not sufficient. Under such conditions, PKS devised a community-building strategy to provide welfare service aiming at building close linkages with their recipients. This social service provision directed mostly to the marginalized not only boosts the party image as “caring” and “religious” among the pious Muslim electorates, but also reinforces the commitment of the struggle of the PKS as a dakwah party that struggles to build an Islamic society with justice and equity. It is argued that the party’s well-disciplined organizational structures and community building strategy to provide social welfare services that fill both material and spiritual needs of pragmatic electorates are the key to explaining the party’s ability to build a relatively solid mass support base.
Anahtar Kelimeler:

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Political Economy of the Islamist Party in a Muslim Democracy The Experience of PKS of Indonesia

This paper focuses on the effort of PKS Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, Justice and Prosperous Party to win the heart of the people, and to build relatively solid partymass relations. Considering that the newly emerging democratic Indonesia is characterized by rampant money politics as well as corrupt, pragmatic, or opportunistic behaviors among elites and broader electorates alike, the promotion of piety and morality to secure the loyalty of electorates is not sufficient. Under such conditions, PKS devised a community-building strategy to provide welfare service aiming at building close linkages with their recipients. This social service provision directed mostly to the marginalized not only boosts the party image as “caring” and “religious” among the pious Muslim electorates, but also reinforces the commitment of the struggle of the PKS as a dakwah party that struggles to build an Islamic society with justice and equity. It is argued that the party’s well-disciplined organizational structures and community building strategy to provide social welfare services that fill both material and spiritual needs of pragmatic electorates are the key to explaining the party’s ability to build a relatively solid mass support base

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