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Bringing Social Movements into the Inclusion-Moderation Thesis

Eunsook Jung
Published: 20 August 2021

Abstract: Many scholars argue that democracy tames religious fundamentalism. This inclusion-moderation theory holds that when radical religious movements are incorporated in the democratic system, they have incentives to adhere to institutional frameworks to influence politics and access power. But despite these claims, we have witnessed a growing influence of religious fundamentalism in Asian democratic politics, with immoderation becoming prominent. Why have religious fundamentalist movements become influential in various democracies in Asia? How have they shaped policies? Using a most-different-systems approach, I investigate religious fundamentalism in two dissimilar democracies: Islamic fundamentalism in Indonesia and Christian fundamentalism in South Korea. In both cases, I argue that religious fundamentalist movements facilitate immoderate politics through strong mobilization capacity, agenda-setting power, and framing. The study contributes to the inclusion-moderation literature through its discussion of religious fundamentalism and its cross-religious comparison.
Keywords: inclusion-moderation thesis / religious fundamentalism / democracy / Indonesia / South Korea

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