Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2012

The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) in the landscape of Indonesian Islamist Politics: Cadre-Training as Mode of Preventive Radicalisation?

Farish A. Noor

November 2011

S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies


The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera PKS is one of the younger parties in Indonesia today, yet it has established itself as a national party with branch offices all over the Indonesian archipelago and representation in government at all levels. When it first came onto the scene of Indonesian politics it was criticized by Indonesian liberal intellectuals as a ‘Trojan horse’ for further Islamisation of Indonesia. However some of Indonesia’s more radical and militant Islamist groups have in turn criticized the PKS for ‘selling out’ by joining the democratic political process. This paper looks at the cadre-training system of the PKS, which may be the most disciplined and rationalized in the country today, and addresses the question of whether the PKS’s cadre-training system is the factor that has kept it on its political course, and within the bounds of constitutional-legal democratic politics.