18 October 2019
“Creative State-Making”: Surprising Trajectories in Islam, Gender & Politics in Southeast Asia

Workshop | Friday, October 18th

“Creative State-Making”: Surprising Trajectories in Islam, Gender & Politics in Southeast Asia

Islam in Southeast Asia has enjoyed a thriving trajectory in recent years. This is in large part attributable to various state-led Islamization movements that have succeeded in weaving the values and tenets of Islam into the very fabric of Muslims’ everyday life, thereby fortifying the power of the state that claims to embody the divine authority and immutability of Islam. But while the state imagines itself to be the legitimate (and only) “guardian” of Islam, its attempts to monopolize Islamic interpretations and institutions also – perhaps unintentionally – open up a more complex, discursive space that allows non-state actors to submit to, challenge, or appropriate and refashion various forms of symbolic state power, often in unpredictable ways.

Inspired by an emerging anthropological focus on the bureaucratization of Islam in Southeast Asia, this workshop aims to explore how states adopt policies that engender surprising consequences on the ground, and the dynamic ways in which non-state actors too engage in processes of “creative state-making” (Müller 2018). The contributors to this workshop will offer theoretical and ethnographic insights from Southeast Asia to illuminate the unpredictability – and limits – of state-making, how these are tied to an intensified state investment on the bureaucratization of Islam, and the ways in which this directly impacts the intimacies of everyday life for Muslims in Southeast Asia.



Chair: Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux (Université de Rennes & CASE-EHESS)

10:00 - 10:15 Introduction

PANEL I: “CreativeState-Making” in Southeast Asia

10:15 - 10:45
| Dominik Müller (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
The Enabling Powers of Authoritarian Coercion: Transformative Appropriations of State-Islam in Brunei Darussalam

10:45 - 11:15
| Nurul Huda Mohd Razif (Harvard Law School & Cambridge University)
Intimate Escapes from the Law: State Abetments in Malay Cross-Border Marriages at the Malaysian-Thai Border


11:30 - 12:00
| David Kloos (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian & Caribbean Studies)
Women, Professional Expertise, and the Islamic State in Malaysia

12:00 - 13:00 Q & A


PANEL II: Southeast Asian Geopolitics in Uncertain Times

2:00 - 2:30
| Tomáš Petrů (Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences)
“Can We Afford This?” China as a Factor in Malaysia Baharu’s Politics

2:30 - 3:00
| David Delfolie (Sciences Po Lille,IDHES-Paris 1& Institut Pondok Perancis)
When Malaysian Islam meets environmental concerns: A new domestic trend to reinforce the strategic positioning of the country within the Ummah and beyond?

3:00 - 3:30 Q & A, comments, closing remarks



Friday, October 18th
10:00am - 4:00pm

FMSH | 54, bd Raspail, Paris 6
Room BS1-28

Free entrance

Presentation in English

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Workshop organised by Nurul Mohd Razif, International Institute for Asian studies Postdoctoral fellow.


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