Islamist Terrorism and Militancy in Indonesia

The Power of the Manichean Mindset

  • Kumar Ramakrishna

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. The Human Nature Triad Unpacked – The Manichean Mindset, Embattled Religiosity and Violent Fundamentalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Kumar Ramakrishna
      Pages 15-51
    3. Kumar Ramakrishna
      Pages 87-132
  3. The Human Nature Triad Applied – Violent Islamist Terrorism and Militancy in Indonesia: Origins, Evolution and the Counter-Ideological Response

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 265-269

About this book


Drawing upon insights from the natural and social sciences, this book puts forth the provocative new argument that the violent Islamist threat in Indonesia today derives its stubborn resilience from being in essence a complex, adaptive and self-organizing system – or what some specialists might even call a super-organism. The book challenges the popular assumption that ideology causes Indonesian Islamists to radicalize into violent extremism. In addition it addresses why, despite years of intense security-force pressure, seemingly disparate militant cells keep ‘popping up’ like the heads of the proverbial Hydra, and why in the apparent absence of a centralized coordinating body, they nevertheless appear to display an organic interconnectivity with one another. Going beyond standard ideological mantras, the book argues that fresh inter-disciplinary thinking is needed to deal with the constantly mutating violent Islamist challenge in Indonesia, and puts forward a comprehensive strategy for doing so. It will be of interest to academics and students of terrorism, religion and violence in the Southeast Asian region.


Complex, adaptive, self-organizing system in Indonesia Counter-ideological response in Indonesia Darul Islam Counterculture Islamist Terrorism in Indonesia Islamist fundamentalism in Indonesia Manichean Mindset Militancy in Indonesia Religious Fundamentalism Terrorism in Indonesia Violent Fundamentalism

Authors and affiliations

  • Kumar Ramakrishna
    • 1
  1. 1.S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Bibliographic information

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