An article about efforts to deradicalise Indonesian terrorists, by Adjunct Senior Lecturer Dr Ian Chalmers of the University of Western Australia, has been awarded the 2017 Wang Gungwu Prize for the best article in Asian Studies Review in 2017. The annual prize was established by the ASAA in 2013 to recognise and encourage scholarly excellence in Asian Studies. Chalmers’ article presents rare insight into the life-stories and thinking of persons convicted of terrorism offenses in Indonesia, drawing on interviews with more than 70 such individuals, around half of whom were interviewed while still detained in Indonesian prisons. It examines the results of official efforts to disengage these people from terrorist networks and ideologies, distinguishing between different degrees of disengagement and deradicalisation. In the process, it traces the journeys of at least some of these former jihadists away from a terrorist mindset. The article has both scholarly and policy relevance, contributing to a range of literatures on terrorism, jihadism and Indonesian studies, and presenting insights to practitioners on how to push trends of disengagement toward deeper processes of deradicalisation.
The article, entitled “Countering Violent Extremism in Indonesia: Bringing Back the Jihadists”, appeared in Volume 41 Issue 3 of Asian Studies Review and can now be viewed free-of-charge on the Asian Studies Review website, along with the articles by past winners of the Prize. The Wang Gungwu Prize is named in honour of Professor Wang Gungwu, the distinguished historian who has contributed enormously to scholarship on Asia not only in Australia but also in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Read more about Dr Chalmers’ work here on Asian Currents.