Islam, Ethnicity, and Global Engagement

44 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 9 Aug 2011

See all articles by Thomas B. Pepinsky

Thomas B. Pepinsky

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: 2011


Religious revivalism and ethnicity have unclear consequences for Muslims' engagement with different global communities. For instance, while religious revivalism may increase the salience of relations with the Muslim world, this need not come at the expense of the salience of relations with other global communities. This is because political identities are both multidimensional and non-exclusive, two features that existing empirical research on political identity has not adequately captured. Analyzing original survey data from Indonesia using statistical techniques that preserve both the multidimensionality and non-exclusivity of political identity, this paper shows that religion has a cosmopolitan rather than particularistic influence on public opinion about global engagement among Indonesian Muslims. Javanese ethnicity has a countervailing relationship on engagement with the Muslim world, but not with other global communities. These findings contribute to important debates on religion and global public opinion in the Muslim world, as well as to recent debates in Indonesian studies about the relative salience of religion versus region. Methodologically, they introduce new empirical tools for scholars of political identity (and other multidimensional, non-exclusive ordered choice problems) that match the conceptual bases of contemporary research.

Keywords: Islam, Indonesia, public opinion, globalization, identity, ordered choices

Suggested Citation

Pepinsky, Thomas B., Islam, Ethnicity, and Global Engagement (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Thomas B. Pepinsky (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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