Category Archives: Pranoto Iskandar

Religious constitutionalism: An Indonesian-esque interpretive venture

by Pranoto Iskandar*

(2019) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.iuscomp.org | How to cite

Is secularism dead? Many have argued that, as a path, secularism provides nothing but a dead end. Whether one likes it not, however, it is hard to rationally deny the desirability of having secularity as the ideal condition for national political contestation. From that vantage point, this paper argues that the alternative religious-friendly model that is based on pan-religious values has also failed miserably. In contravention of scholarly orthodoxy, the paper posits secularism is, in fact, the early Javanese nationalist’s endgame. Secularity is implicit in Javanese “political theory,” and, thus, it is natural to assume that for the early nationalists, secularity was important for the national effort of “getting to Denmark.” Unfortunately, Indonesia’s temporary accommodation of religion as a solution to the Islamists insistence has somewhat become fossilised in the political system. Furthermore, the Indonesian experiment with the moderate wall of separation has, disturbingly, encouraged more religious parochialism to be smuggled through indigeneity-based claims. More importantly, it has also set political reform back.

Continue reading

Indigenizing Constitutionalism: A Critical Reading of “Asian Constitutionalism”

by Pranoto Iskandar *

(2017) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.iuscomp.org | How to cite this article

The intense rise of the “Rest” has not only significantly wrought the real-world dimensions of the political and economic global landscape, which marked the power shift from the traditional West, but serenely introduced a different kind of intellectualism that challenges the Enlightenment based orthodoxies that have typically supported the liberal tradition. As a distinct scholarly strain, this vantage point of the “other” primarily rests on the binary self-proclaimed indigeneity, i.e. the native values of a society, that eventually challenges the legitimacy of the once well-established notions such as the rule of law, separation of power, secularism and constitutionalism that are the indisputable buttresses of democracy. In that light, this article situates the emerging ni debate on a distinct model of constitutionalism in Indonesia and the surrounding countries as the most current rebellious streak against the liberal constitutionalism. In so doing, more specifically, this article critically examines the application of the indigeneity-based arguments in the context of the discourse on constitutionalism. Rather than speaking for the population that they are purportedly representing, this article finds that the indigeneity-based arguments are no less alien than the liberal model that they despise as both culturally and sociologically estranged.
Continue reading