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Constructing the National Project: Toward Democratic Nationalism in Indonesia

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posted on 2023-09-07, 05:05 authored by Nadia Bulkin

A new kind of nationalism is taking root in Indonesia: democratic nationalism, which is constructed from the bottom up instead of imposed by the state. Democratic nationalism's objective is mass voluntary contribution to the national project with the intention of engendering loyalty to the state, though not necessarily the regime. This sets it apart from top-down nationalisms that previously defined the Indonesian nation: colonial administrative nationalism, anti-colonial nationalism, and regime-sustaining nationalism. The shift to democratic nationalism was brought about by state policies of democratization and decentralization, which have dramatically increased the number of actors both within and outside the state who believe they have a stake not only in their own daily lives but in the national project. The Indonesian people have yet to answer all questions about their national identity, but as of now, popular commitment to the idea of Indonesia as well as democracy appears to be strong.



American University


Degree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University


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American University. School of International Service

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  • Masters

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