Prof. Mirjam Künkler, PhD
Areas of interest
- Iranian and Indonesian Politics
- Religion-State Relations, Law and Constitutionalism
- Social Movements
- Female Religious Authority
Research project: The educational underpinnings of reformist Islamic thought in post-independence Indonesia
My project will focus on an organisational history of the fascinating institution of the IAIN (Institut Agama Islam Negeri), the Islamic State Institutes and Universities, which since the 1960s have been the institution of tertiary education for graduates of “madrasa” and “pesantren” (Islamic high schools). The project is woven around what is argued are six unique features of an institution without compare in the Muslim world, and without which it would be difficult to conceive of Indonesia’s democratisation:
1. The curriculum of theology and religious studies from the 1960s onward, integrated a range of what were, at the time, non-mainstream approaches from critical hermeneutics to Western philosophy, transnational non-Islamic history, as well as Mutazelite thought, and Shiite law.
2. Close institutional connections with integrated exchange programmes for faculty and students were established with Western universities, notably McGill University and the University of Chicago, which formed a number of later Indonesian religious leaders and intellectuals.
3. Admission to domains of religious learning, reserved for men in other Muslim societies, such as law and jurisprudence, was open to women, often from the beginning.
4. A predominant number of Islamic leaders in the country's largest Islamic organisation were educated at IAIN, while Muslim leaders in other countries would often have found it damaging to their reputation to attend a state institution of Islamic and religious studies.
5. A significant number of Muslim political reformers contributing to the recent democratic project are graduates of the IAIN.
6. The transformation of the IAIN into universities after Indonesian reformasi, with levels of bureaucratic autonomy from the state, set the institution apart from comparable state universities of Islamic learning in other Muslim countries where the leading personnel are presidential appointees (cp. Al-Azhar in Egypt).
The aim of this organisational history is to elucidate the evolution of this multi-faceted institution of higher Islamic learning and the far-reaching effects it has had on Indonesian society beyond the realm of intra-Muslim politics, organisational renewal and elite recruitment. The working hypothesis is that, without the IAIN, the generation of pluralistically oriented religious leaders who made democratisation in 1998 possible would not have emerged.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Forgotten Histories of and New State Initiatives for Female Religious Authority in Islam." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (forthcoming).
- Künkler, Mirjam and Tine Stein, eds. Law, Religion and Democracy. Selected Writings by Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Constitutionalism, Islamic Law, and Religious Freedom in post-independence Indonesia," in Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy. Edited by Asli Bali and Hanna Lerner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
- Künkler, Mirjam, John Madeley, and Shylashri Shankar, eds. A Secular Age Beyond the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Yüksel Sezgin. "The Unification of Law and the Postcolonial State. The Limits of State Monism in India and Indonesia." American Behavioral Scientist, 60/8 (2016): 987–1012.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Hanna Lerner. "A Private Matter? Religious Education and Democracy in Indonesia and Israel." British Journal of Religious Education, 38/3 (2016): 297–307.
- Sezgin, Yüksel and Mirjam Künkler. "Regulation of Religion and the Religious: The Politics of Judicialization and Bureaucratization in India and Indonesia." Comparative Studies of Society and History, 56/2 (2014): 448–78.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Alfred Stepan, eds. Indonesia, Islam and Democracy, New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Pluralist Democracy as a Consensual Discourse: Islamic-Secular Coalitions in Reformasi Indonesia," in Democracy and Islam in Indonesia. Edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan, 53–72. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Alfred Stepan. "Indonesian Democracy in Theoretical Perspective," in Democracy and Islam in Indonesia. Edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan, 3–23. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
- Brocker, Manfred and Mirjam Künkler. "Religious parties: Revisiting the inclusion-moderation hypothesis – Introduction." Party Politics, 19/2 (2013): 171–86.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Muftiyah," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Edited by Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Nosrat Amin," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Edited by Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Künkler, Mirjam. " Zohreh Sefati," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Edited by Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Künkler, Mirjam, "Religion-State Relations and Democracy in Egypt and Tunisia: Models from the Democratizing Muslim World – and their Limits." Swiss Political Science Review, 18/1 (2012): 114–9.
- Künkler, Mirjam, "Electoral Victory, Political Defeat: The Elimination of Zones of Autonomy in Khatami's Iran," in Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies. Edited by Douglas Chalmers and Scott Mainwaring, 166–202. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2012.
- Künkler, Mirjam, "The Special Court of the Clergy (Dadgah-e Vizheh-ye Ruhaniyat) and the Repression of Dissident Clergy in Iran," in The Rule of Law, Islam, and Constitutional Politics in Egypt and Iran. Edited by Said Arjomand and Nathan Brown, 57-100. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Roja Fazaeli. "The life of two mujtahidahs: Female Religious Authority in 20th century Iran," in Women, Leadership and Mosques: Contemporary Islamic Authority. Edited by Masooda Bano and Hilary Kalmbach, 127–60. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Julia Leininger. "Religion and Politics," in The Encyclopedia of Political Science. Edited by George Thomas Jurian, 1450–53. Washington, D.C.: CQ Publishers, 2010.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Julia Leininger. "The Multi-faceted Role of Religious Actors in Democratization Processes: Empirical Evidence from Five Young Democracies." Democratization, 16 /6 (2009): 1058–92.
- Künkler, Mirjam and Julia Leininger. "Säkularisierung," in Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft, Theorien, Methoden, Begriffe. Edited by Dieter Nohlen and Rainer-Olaf Schultze, SEITEN. Munich: Beck, 2009.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "Zum Verhältnis Staat-Religion und der Rolle islamischer Intellektueller in der indonesischen Reformasi," in Religion in Diktatur und Demokratie -- Zur Bedeutung von religiösen Werten, Praktiken und Institutionen in politischen Transformationsprozessen. Edited by Stephanie Garling and Simon W. Fuchs, 84–102. Wuppertal: Villigster Profile, 2008.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "After The Revolution is Before The Revolution. Review of Farhad Nomani and Sohrab Behdad: Class and Labor in Iran: Did the Revolution Matter?” Journal of International Affairs, 60/2 (2007): 213–17.
- Stepan, Alfred and Mirjam Künkler. "An Interview With Amien Rais." Journal of International Affairs, 61/1 (2007): 205–16.
- Künkler, Mirjam. "In the language of the Islamic sacred texts: the tripartite struggle for advocating women's rights in Iran." Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 24/2 (2004): 375–92.