Modernization, Democracy, and Islam

By Shireen T. Hunter; Huma Malik | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Hindrances to Democracy and
Modernization in Indonesia

Fred R. von der Mehden

Indonesia is not only the most populous Muslim country, but also one of the biggest and newest democracies striving to modernize its economy. However, it has attained this position only after experiencing decades of political and economic difficulties. To understand why Indonesia faced such a rocky road, it is necessary to analyze the country's development in the light of its colonial and postcolonial history and the fundamentals of the republic's economic and political infrastructure. It is the contention of this chapter that democracy and modernization can best be achieved with an educated population, a well-trained bureaucracy, a sense of national identity rather than ethnic and religious fragmentation, and elite and mass support for democratic values. Hindrances to these desirable foundations are analyzed, followed by an assessment of the impact of Islam on contemporary efforts to attain modernization and democracy.


Three centuries of Dutch colonial rule provided Indonesia with experience with a money economy, developed the archipelago's natural resources, and established a rudimentary representative political system. However, twentieth-century colonial policies resulted in a number of conditions that had negative implications for independent Indonesia's efforts to achieve democracy and modernization. This was particularly true with regard to education, bureaucratic, economic, and political experience, and the development of a sense of national identity.


The Dutch did not develop a well-educated population at the mass or elite level. The 1930 census, the last complete accurate count during the colonial pe


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Modernization, Democracy, and Islam
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 362

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?