The Arabisation of the Z Generation and its Possible Influence on the Democratisation Processes in Indonesia

Miss Monika Piosik1

1Adam Mickiewicz University , Poznań, Polska

For several years now, we have witnessed a religious revival in Indonesia, especially among students fascinated by Middle Eastern Islam. This paper will analyse the origins of the phenomenon of arabisation among young Indonesians, as well as the reasons why Middle East patterns are more attractive than native ones. Nowadays, young people create movements that appeal to ultra conservative Muslim values, including those that promote polygamy, as well as the creation of the Indonesian Caliphate. They manifest their faith strongly through restrictions in clothing and behaviour. Arranged marriages are becoming fashionable again due to the extensive social media campaign. Religion has started to play an increasingly visible role in the politics of the country. What is more, it is becoming a tool for manipulating social moods. Generation Z are young people born between 1994 and 2000, today’s students and voters. Their votes have a real impact on the election results in the country. Do their religious views determine their political choices? If so, the popularity of radical political groups may increase, which in the long-term perspective may affect the democratisation processes in the Republic of Indonesia. The paper is based on data collected during field research in Eastern Java.


Monika Piosik, MA, PhD student at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in the Institute of Eastern Studies. In the years 2014-2015, she was an awardee of the Darmasiswa Scholarship under the auspices of the Indonesian Minister of Education. Her research interests include links between religion and politics, especially in Southeast Asia, as well as the influence of fundamental movements on democratization processes. She conducts research in Indonesia and promotes the field of research on South-East Asia in Poland.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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