NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Gabriel Koehler-Derrick

Department of Government
Harvard University
1737 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02138
USA

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2018The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia
with Samuel Bazzi, Benjamin Marx: w25151
This paper explores the foundations of religious influence in politics and society. We show that an important Islamic institution fostered the entrenchment of Islamism at a critical juncture in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. In the early 1960s, rural elites transferred large amounts of land into waqf —inalienable charitable trusts in Islamic law—to avoid expropriation by the state. Regions facing a greater threat of expropriation exhibit more prevalent waqf land and Islamic institutions endowed as such, including mosques and religious schools. These endowments provided conservative forces with the capital needed to promote Islamist ideology and mobilize against the secular state. We identify lasting effects on the size of the religious sector, electoral support for Islamist...
 
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