Drawing upon the natural and social sciences, this book puts forth a provocative new argument that the militant threat in Indonesia today emanates from a violent Islamist complex, adaptive and self-organizing system - what some might term a 'super-organism.' It goes beyond the standard ideological mantras and calls for fresh inter-disciplinary thinking to effectively cope with the ever-mutating challenge of the issue. The book questions the widely assumed belief that ideology is the root cause that explains why Indonesian Islamists radicalize into violent extremism. In addition, it asks why despite years of intense security force pressure, seemingly disparate militant cells keep 'popping up' like the proverbial hydra - and in the apparent absence of a centralized coordinating body, nevertheless appear to display an organic interconnectivity with one ather. This book will be of interest to academics and students of terrorism, religion and violence in the Southeast Asian region.
Kumar Ramakrishna is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has been a frequent speaker on counter-terrorism before local and international audiences, a regular media commentator on the issue and published in numerous internationally refereed journals. He has co-edited two well-received books on counter-terrorism, The New Terrorism: Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies (2002) as well as After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (2004). His first major book, Emergency Propaganda: The Winning of Malayan Hearts and Minds, 1948-1958, (2002) was described by The International History Review as required reading for historians of Malaya, and for those whose task is to counter insurgents, guerrillas, and-terrorists . In May 2012, his most recent book, Radical Pathways: Understanding Muslim Radicalization in Indonesia (2009), was identified by Perspectives on Terrorism as one of the top 150 books on terrorism and counter-terrorism as well as an important and insightful case study on the pathways to extremism and violent jihad in Indonesia .