Faculty & Staff Directory

Michael BuehlerMichael Buehler

Comparative Politics, Elections, Governance, Islam, Local Politics, Political Corruption, Political Sociology, Southeast Asia, State-Society Relations

Zulauf Hall 418
(815) 753-1011


Overview of Scholarly Activity

Michael Buehler (Ph.D., The London School of Economics and Political Science) is an Associate Professor of Political Science. Specializing in Comparative Politics, his teaching and research interests evolve around state-society relations under conditions of democratization and decentralization.  He is particularly interested in state-civil society relations, the relationship between party systems and social movements as well as state-religion relations.   In 2008, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Holland.  Between 2008 and 2010 he was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Southeast Asian Studies at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.  In 2011, he became an Associate Research Fellow at the Asia Society in New York City.  Michael Buehler has consulted on aid effectiveness, corruption eradication, party financing, procurement reform and other governance and political reform issues at the national and local level for, amongst others, the Asia Foundation, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Transparency International, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID and the World Bank.  He has also contributed to political risks evaluations for private sector companies operating across South East Asia and is a regular contributor to news briefs on political and economic developments in the region for Oxford Analytica, a business consultancy company.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Buehler, Michael. 2013. Subnational Islamization through Secular Parties: Comparing Shari’a Politics in Two Indonesian Provinces, Comparative Politics, 46, 1.

Buehler, Michael. 2012. Revisiting the Inclusion-Moderation Thesis in the Context of Decentralized Institutions: The Behaviour of Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party, Party Politics, 19, 2, 210-29.

Buehler, Michael. 2011. Indonesia's Law on Public Services No. 25/2009: Changing State-Society Relations or Continuing Politics as Usual? Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1, 65-86.

Buehler, Michael. 2008. Shari’a By-Laws in Indonesian Districts: An Indication for Changing Patterns of Power Accumulation and Political Corruption. Southeast Asia Research, Vol. 16, No. 2, 165-95.

Buehler, Michael and Paige Johnson Tan. 2007. Party-Candidate Relationships in Indonesian Local Politics: A Case Study of the 2005 Regional Elections in Gowa, South Sulawesi Province. Indonesia, Vol. 84, October 2007, 41-69.

Buehler, Michael. 2007. Local Elite Reconfiguration in Post-New Order Indonesia: An Analysis of the 2005 Elections of District Government Heads. Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, Vol. 41, No. 1, 119-47.

Buehler, Michael. 2002. Evaluation des New Public Management in der Stadt Winterthur. Studien zur Politikwissenschaft, No. 318, 25-56.

Book Chapters

Buehler, Michael. 2012. Countries at the Crossroads: Indonesia. Washington, D.C. Freedom House, online.

Buehler, Michael. 2010. Decentralisation and Local Democracy in Indonesia: The Marginalisation of the Public Sphere. In: Edward Aspinall and Marcus Mietzner. Eds. Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions and Society. Singapore: ISEAS, pp. 267-85.

Buehler, Michael. 2010. Countries at the Crossroads: Indonesia. Washington D.C.: Freedom House, pp. 273-296.

Buehler, Michael. 2009. The Rising Importance of Personal Networks in Indonesian Local Politics: An Analysis of the District Government Head Elections in South Sulawesi in 2005, In: Erb, Maribeth (Ed.) Deepening Democracy in Indonesia. Singapore: ISEAS, pp. 101-24.

Buehler, Michael. 2002. Weniger Mitsprache bei Bildung und Forschung, In: Wagschal Uwe, Daniele Ganser und Hans Rentsch. Der Alleingang. Zurich: Orell Fussli, pp. 24-44.

Newspaper Articles

Buehler, Michael. 2013. Married with Children: The second round of direct elections for governors and district heads shows that democratisation is allowing powerful families to entrench themselves in local politics. Inside Indonesia, Vol. 113, Jul-Sep 13.

Buehler, Michael. 2013. MIST of Confusion: The Hype About Indonesia’s Economic Growth. Asia Society Blog, February 4. Reprinted in Tempo English, February 24, 42-3.

Buehler, Michael. 2012. Government Fiddles While Indonesia’s Workforce Burns. Asia Society Blog, November 21.

Buehler, Michael. 2012. “Resource Nationalism” Clouds Indonesia’s Economic Prospects. The Diplomat, September 7.

Buehler, Michael. 2012. Angels and Demons: While a famous ‘reformer’ tries to undermine Indonesia’s local democratic institutions, the predators come to the rescue. Inside Indonesia, Vol. 108, Apr-Jun 12. Reprinted in Tempo English, May 13, 20-1.

Buehler, Michael. 2011. Whodunit? Politicians affiliated with secular parties implement most sharia regulations. Tempo: Special Edition 10 Years of Sharia, September 6, 58-9.

Buehler, Michael. 2009. Islam and Democracy in Indonesia. Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No. 4, 51-63.

Buehler, Michael. 2009. Suicide and Progress in Modern Nusantara: The Absence of Political Murders in Indonesian Elections. Inside Indonesia, Vol 96, July-Sept 09.

Buehler, Michael. 2008. No positive News: People living with HIV in Indonesia face corruption and incompetence in the health system. Inside Indonesia, Vol. 94, Oct-Dec 08.

Buehler, Michael. 2007. Rise of the Clans: Direct Elections in South Sulawesi show that a new breed of political godfathers is coming to power in Indonesia's regions. Inside Indonesia, Vol. 90, Nov-Dec 07.

Book Reviews

Vedi Hadiz. 2010. Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective. Social Forces, (2012),   1-3.

Nankyung Choi. 2011. Local Politics in Indonesia: Pathways to Power. Publius-The Journal of Federalism, 42, 2,(2012),    1-3.

Paul J. Carnegie. 2010. The Road from Authoritarianism to Democratization in Indonesia: Coen Holtzappel and Martin Ramstedt (eds), 2009, Decentralization and Regional Autonomy in Indonesia: Adam Tyson, 2010, Decentralization and Adat Revivalism in Indonesia. Pacific Affairs, 85.1 (2012), 161-68.

Masdar Hilmy. 2010. Islamism and Democracy in Indonesia: Piety and Pragmatism. Indonesia, 91 (2011), 211-4.

Harold Crouch. 2010. Political Reform in Indonesia after Soeharto. Indonesia, 90 (2010), 189-92.

Thomas B. Pepinsky. 2009. Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective. Comparative Political Studies, 44,2,(2010), 245-9.

Gerry van Klinken and Joshua Barker (eds). 2009. State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia. South East Asia Research, 18, 2,(2010), 349-53.

Heinrich Boell Foundation. 2005. Towards Good Society: Civil Society Actors, The State, and the Business Class in South East Asia: Facilitators of or Impediments to a Strong, Democratic, and Fair Society?, Asien, No. 106, (2007), 128-9.

Jones, W. Krepon M. and Z. Haider. 2004. Escalation Control and the Nuclear Option in South Asia. Asian Studies Review, 2005, 29,3, (2005), 434-5.