This page lists some of my publications. You can also visit my Google Citation Page for a more or less similar list. Please do feel free to contact me if you are interested in receiving a copy of any of the publications.


Ali-Fauzi, Ihsan, Samsu Rizal Panggabean, Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo, Anick Tohari, Husni Mubarak, Testriono, and Siti Nurhayati. 2012. Disputed Churches in Jakarta (Research Report). Melbourne: University of Melbourne’s Asian Law Center
(Download PDF)


** signifies lead authorship
* signifies equal co-authorship

  1. Klocek, Jason, Hyun Jeong Ha, and Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo*. Forthcoming. “Regime Change and Religious Discrimination after the Arab Uprisings.” Journal of Peace Research.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (JPR Website)
    This article investigates how and when regime transitions intensify minority discrimination through an analysis of two types of religious persecution following the Arab uprisings. We argue that weakened institutions and the prevalence of religious outbidding during political transitions make societal-based religious discrimination (SRD) more likely to increase than government-based religious discrimination (GRD). This is because social divisions are often exacerbated and social unrest difficult to contain, while at the same time, policy change can be difficult to enact and enforce. We test these claims through a mixed-methods research design. Employing a synthetic control method, the cross-national, quantitative analysis from 1990 to 2014 confirms that GRD has not changed since the Arab uprisings, while SRD has substantially increased in those countries (i.e. Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia) that also experienced regime change. A case study of Egypt provides more direct evidence of the institutional and outbidding mechanisms. The qualitative analysis draws on ethnographic research conducted in Cairo during 2014, which includes in-depth interviews with Coptic Orthodox Christians. Our findings underscore the twin challenge of protecting and accommodating minority religions during periods of political transition.
  2. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G.**, Christian Breunig, and Wolfgang Gaissmaier. Forthcoming. “Social Sampling Shapes Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
    We offer experimental evidence for the effect of social sampling on redistributive preferences through a survey experiment using a probabilistic national sample in Germany. We primed respondents to think about different types of social contacts, in particular low- and high-income contacts. We find evidence for an indirect effect in which the priming task shapes preferences for redistribution through its effect on the respondents’ estimates of their contacts’ incomes. Respondents in the low-income (high-income) priming recalled social contacts with lower (higher) incomes, which in turn predict more (less) support for redistributive policies. The indirect effect of the low-income (high-income) priming is stronger among high-income (low-income) respondents, suggesting that our priming task elicited the social contacts whom the respondents, given their own incomes, are less likely to recall. We discuss the implications of these findings to our understanding of how social sampling shapes redistributive preferences as well as relates to social networks and ideology.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (JESP Website)
  3. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G.** and Burhanuddin Muhtadi. Forthcoming. “Can Religion Save Corrupt Politicians? Evidence from Indonesia”. International Journal of Public Opinion Research.
    Does endorsing an Islamist agenda protect a candidate involved in corruption from negative voter evaluations? The corruption literature suggests that voter reactions to corruption are not unbiased and as such Islamist agendas could potentially mitigate the negative effects of a corruption scandal, especially in religious societies. The political Islam literature suggests that endorsing an Islamist agenda would not shield corrupt politicians from negative reactions of the voters. We directly answer this question through 2 nationally representative survey experiments in the world’s most populous Muslim democracy Indonesia. Our findings are 2-fold. First, Islamist agendas, in general, have only little effects on voter support for a candidate. Second, voters punish corrupt candidates equally, regardless whether or not they endorse an Islamist agenda.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (IJPOR Website)
  4. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael. G. 2021. “Faith and Friendship: Religious Bonding and Interfaith Relations in Muslim Countries.” Politics and Religion 14(4): 634-662.
    Studies have documented more negative attitudes and a higher level of social hostilities toward religious minorities in Muslim than in non-Muslim countries. I seek to explain what contributes to these poor interfaith relations. Diverging from the mainstream approaches that focus on cultural, institutional, or psychological explanations, I argue that the poorer interfaith relations in Muslim countries are driven by high levels of religious bonding or religiously homogeneous friendships among Muslims in these countries. Analyzing a global survey of more than 17,000 Muslims and a report documenting how religious groups in a country restrict or discriminate against each other, I show that religious bonding is related to more negative attitudes toward religious minorities, that a country’s level of religious bonding is positively related to its level of social hostilities, and that religious bonding is indeed higher among Muslims in Muslim countries than among Catholics in Catholic-majority Latin American countries.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (Politics and Religion Website)
  5. Layman, Geoffrey, David E. Campbell, John C. Green, and Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo. 2021. “Secularism and American Political Behavior.” Public Opinion Quarterly 85(1): 79-100.
    The recent growth of the secular population in the United States has implications for American politics. However, our understanding of these implications has been hindered by oversimplified concepts and measures that equate secularism with non-religion. We separate the two concepts, distinguishing “non-religiosity,” or the absence of religion, from “secularism,” or a positive embrace of secular beliefs and identities. Using original national-sample cross-sectional and panel surveys, we introduce new measures of secularism, evaluate their properties, and assess their connection to political attitudes and behavior. We find a clear distinction between secularism and non-religiosity in the American public and show that secularism is more closely related than non-religiosity to political attitudes, identifications, and engagement. In fact, while secularism is related to changes over time in political orientations, non-religiosity is not.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (Public Opinion Quarterly Website)
  6. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G. 2021. “Religious and Ethnic Sentiments in Indonesian Politics: The Case of the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election.” Journal of East Asian Studies 21(1): 141-164.
    Studies have documented how ethnic and religious sentiments shape the voting behavior of Indonesian Muslims. However, to date no studies have carefully measured the relative influence of these sentiments. I fill this gap in the literature by taking advantage of the candidacy of a Christian, ethnic Chinese candidate in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election in Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). Employing an original survey of Jakartan Muslims, I show through experimental and correlational analyses that Muslim voters are more opposed to Ahok than non-Muslim voters are and that this opposition is driven more by Ahok’s ethnicity, as opposed to his religion. I also show that Muslim voters’ feelings toward ethnic Chinese shape their support for Ahok more than their feelings toward Christians. I discuss how these findings inform our understanding of the limits and extent of religious influence on Muslim voting behavior.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (JEAS Website)
  7. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G. 2021. “Friends from Across the Aisle: The Effects of Partisan Bonding, Partisan Bridging, and Network Disagreement on Outparty Attitudes and Political Engagement.” Political Behavior 43: 223245.
    Research on the influence of social networks on political behavior has led to findings showing an apparent trade-off between positive attitudes toward the outparty and political engagement. The prevalent sentiments have been that partisan bonding or ties with fellow partisans hurts evaluations of the outparty but helps political engagement. Partisan bridging or ties with opposite partisans, on the other hand, improves evaluations of the outparty but hurts engagement. I argue that this trade-off is essentially an illusion driven by a mistaken assumption that bonding and bridging are two opposite ends of the same continuum. Analyzing two original national surveys of the American public, I show that bonding and bridging are independent constructs with different consequences. Consistent with previous studies, I find that bonding hurts and bridging helps outparty attitudes. Both bonding and bridging, however, are positively related to political engagement. I also show that network disagreement partially mediates the effects of partisan bonding, but not the effects of partisan bridging. This suggests that the efforts to encourage voters to build relationships with politically different others can be done without having to worry that they will lead to decreased engagement.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (Political Behavior Website)
  8. Kilavuz, M. Tahir and Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo. 2020. “Hopes and Disappointments: Regime Change and Support for Democracy after the Arab Uprisings.” Democratization 27(5): 854-873.
    What happened to citizens’ support for democracy after the Arab Uprisings? Did the support increase, stay the same, or actually decrease after all the protests, regime changes, and reforms? Which theories of citizens’ political attitudes best explain these dynamics? Analysing two waves of the Arab Barometer surveys and employing an item-response method that offers methodological improvements compared to previous studies, this article finds that support for democracy actually decreased in countries that successfully overthrew their dictators during the Uprisings. Following the arguments that emphasize the rational evaluations of citizens, it argues that in countries that had an experience with a freer political system, such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, challenges of democratization and the poor political and economic performances of the governments left citizens disappointed. Despite the hopes that people had at the onset of the Uprisings, the disappointments generated by the unmet expectations eventually led to a decline in support for democracy.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (Democratization Website).
  9. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G. 2020. “A Price for Democracy? Religious Legislation and Religious Discrimination in Post-Soeharto Indonesia.” Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 56(1): 23-42.
    Various studies have expressed concerns about the decline of religious freedom in Indonesia. These studies suffer from three limitations. First, they inadequately differentiate between various aspects of state–religion relations. Second, they are largely inward looking, overlooking how Indonesia compares with other countries in the world, especially other Muslim countries. Third, they do not explicitly test whether this decline in religious freedom was triggered by the downfall of Soeharto and the more open political and social space that ensued. Applying a synthetic control method to a global data set, the present study shows that Indonesia’s level of state discrimination against religious minorities has not changed much since 1998. The country’s levels of social discrimination and religious legislation, on the other hand, have increased significantly. This suggests that efforts to improve religious freedom in Indonesia should focus on tackling the proliferation of religious bylaws and discrimination by social groups.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (BIES Website)
  10. Campbell, David E., Geoffrey Layman, John C. Green, and Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo. 2018. “Putting Politics First: The Impact of Politics on American Religious and Secular Orientations.” American Journal of Political Science 62(3): 551-565.
    Nearly all research on the political impact of Americans’ religious and secular orientations assumes that such orientations are exogenous to politics. Using multiwave panel and experimental data, we find that religious and secular orientations are endogenous to political orientations. In other words, religion and secularism are a consequence as well as a cause of politics. In showing this, we make three major contributions. First, we conceptualize and measure secular orientations in a new way—not just as the absence of religion, but also as an affirmative secular identity and positive commitment to secular principles. Second, our panel and experimental data allow for the most definitive test to date of whether political orientations exert a causal effect on religious and secular orientations. Third, we isolate the conditions under which politics affects religious–secular perspectives, thus identifying the mechanism that underlies political orientations.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (AJPS Website)
  11. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G.**, David Nickerson, and Michael J. Keane. 2016. “Discussion Group Composition and Deliberation Experience.” Journal of Experimental Political Science 3(02): 164-173.
    In order to encouragee broad participation in deliberative forums, it is important to understand how people from politically less powerful groups perceive the deliberative experience and how discussion group composition affects their experiences. Using data from 27 deliberative polls from 2004, we examine how four individual characteristics (sex, age, race, and education) and randomly assigned small group composition predict participants’ attitudes about the deliberative experience. We find evidence that women, young people, non-whites, and those without college degree generally evaluate the experience positively, but find no evidence for the argument that including more people from these groups would lead to more positive deliberation experience for participants from the groups. That is, there is no interaction between minority status and group composition in predicting participants’ evaluation of the deliberation process.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (JEPS Website)
  12. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G.**, Victor Ottati, and Vinaya. 2016. “The Paradoxical Religiosity Effect: Religion and Politics in Indonesia and the United States.” Politics and Religion 9(3): 481-507.
    We argue that personal religiosity and political religiosity are distinct attributes of a political candidate. Personal religiosity reflects a candidate’s level of personal religious commitment and political religiosity reflects the candidate’s policy regarding separating versus blending religion and politics. The paradoxical religiosity hypothesis predicts that, within a democracy, personal religiosity will increase voters’ endorsement of a candidate whereas political religiosity will decrease voters’ endorsement. We test this hypothesis comparatively in two experiments, one performed within a long-standing democracy containing predominantly Christian voters (the United States), and the other within a more recent democracy containing predominantly Muslim voters (Indonesia). We demonstrate the robustness of the paradoxical religiosity effect and its persistence across the two countries, suggesting that Muslim Indonesians are no less capable than Christian Americans in separating the sacred and the secular.
    (Download PDF) (Data and Code) (Politics and Religion Website)
  13. Ottati, Victor, Erika Price, Chase Wilson, and Nathanael Sumaktoyo. 2015. “When Self-Perceptions of Expertise Increase Closed-Minded Cognition: The Earned Dogmatism Effect.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 61:131-138.
    Although cultural values generally prescribe open-mindedness, open-minded cognition systematically varies across individuals and situations. According to the Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis, social norms dictate that experts are entitled to adopt a relatively dogmatic, closed-minded orientation. As a consequence, situations that engender self-perceptions of high expertise elicit a more closed-minded cognitive style. These predictions are confirmed in six experiments.
    (Download PDF) (JESP Website) (On the Media)
  14. Muluk, Hamdi, Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo**, Dyah Madya Ruth. 2013. Jihad as justification: National-survey evidence of belief in violent jihad as a mediating factor for sacred violence among Muslims in Indonesia. Asian Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1111/ajsp.12002.
    Many factors have been used to explain sacred violence. Regardless of the abundance of theories, two issues have emerged: lack of national-level evidence and lack of attention to the justification factor for the violence. We argue that belief in violent jihad serves as justification for sacred violence, and conducted two studies to address the issues. The first study provides narratives on violence justification. The second quantitatively tests the mediating role of belief in violent jihad on sacred violence. It was found that only violent jihad, but not religiosity, fundamentalism, support for Islamic law, or perceptions of unfairness predicted sacred violence.
    (Download PDF) (AJSP Website)
  15. Muluk, Hamdi and Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo**. 2010. Intratextual fundamentalism and the desire for simple cognitive structure: The moderating effect of the ability to achieve cognitive structure. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 32, 217-238.
    Religious fundamentalism has been suspected as a product of simple cognitive structuring. On the other hand, recent publications have shown that cognitive structure formation is not as simple as was previously thought. The concept of the Ability to Achieve Cognitive Structure (AACS) revealed that not everyone was able to form simple cognitive structure. This study employed a total of 187 Indonesian university students as participants. By the mean of Structural Equation Modeling, this study treated the desire for simple cognitive structure as a “new” latent variable and examined its relation with intratextual fundamentalism using AACS as moderator. The desire for simple structure was reflected by the Need for Cognitive Structure (NCS), the Dogmatism, and the RWA. The fundamentalism was reflected by the Intratextual Fundamentalism Scale (IFS). The result showed that fundamentalism, among other things, was a product of desire for simple cognitive structure. This study also showed that AACS moderated the relation in which high AACS would lead to higher fundamentalism while low AACS would not. Implications of the findings for social psychology and cross-cultural understanding of religious fundamentalism were discussed.
    (Download PDF) (Archive for the Psychology of Religion Website)


  1. Ottati, Victor, Chase Wilson, Erika Price, and Nathanael Sumaktoyo. 2018. “Political Expertise and Open-Minded Cognition.” In The Feeling, Thinking Citizen: Essays in Honor of Milton Lodge, eds. Howard Lavine and Charles S. Taber. New York: Routledge, 81-97.
    (Download PDF)
  2. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G. 2017. “Penelitian Empiris Mengenai Toleransi di Indonesia: Menuju Praktik Terbaik (Empirical Research on Tolerance in Indonesia: Toward Best Practices).” In Kebebasan, Toleransi, dan Terorisme: Riset dan Kebijakan Agama di Indonesia (Freedom, Tolerance, and Terrorism: Research and Policies on Religion in Indonesia), eds. Ihsan Ali Fauzi, Zainal Abidin Bagir, and Irsyad Rafsadi. Jakarta: Center for the Study of Religion and Democracy, Paramadina Foundation, 159-192.
    (Download PDF)
  3. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G. 2015. “Pertemanan dan Keterbukaan Beragama: Pengalaman Amerika Serikat (Friendship and Religious Openness: The United States’ Experience)”. In Agama, Keterbukaan, dan Demokrasi: Harapan dan Tantangan (Religion, Openness, and Democracy: Hopes and Challenges), eds. Ayu Melissa and Husni Mubarok. Jakarta: Center for the Study of Religion and Democracy, Paramadina University, 21-32.
    (Download PDF)
  4. Sumaktoyo, Nathanael G., and Yuyun Rindiastuti. 2011. Religious Fundamentalisms and Student Life: A View from Indonesia.” In Key Learnings from Feminists on the Frontline, eds. S. Gokal, R. Barbero, and C. Balchin. Toronto: Association of Women’s Rights in Development, 79-81.