Dr. Taufik Abdullah is a leading historian and is an internationally acclaimed Indonesian intellectual. Presently, he is a Research Professor at the Center for Social and Cultural Studies, in the Indonesian Institute for Sciences.
Dr. Abdullah was born in Bukittingi in West Saumatra. After graduating from Gadja Mada University in Yogyakarta, Java, he moved to the United States where he acquired his Ph.D. from Cornell University, a leading center for Indonesian studies on the political movement in West Sumatra taking Islam influence into consideration. This study was highly valued for its flexible thinking and creativity. Since returning to his native country, he has published numerous scientific books and papers.
His works on Indonesian local history, Indonesian intellectuals, Islamic theories, problems with development, and the effects of history on the island country of Indonesia hacve gained international respect and made him a leader in Indonesian studies. His promotion of a methodology for the study of local history which focuses on an initiative power for local communities, and which introduced a new dimension in the study of Islam, is considered a great contribution to the development of historical studies in Southeast Asia. His methodology is based on a research system which examines Indonesia from three angles: sovereignty as a state, the insight of its local history, and its adoption of Islam. His methodology, because of its original nature, has drawn attention to Southeast Asian studies which are still in an evolutionary stage.
Appointed at a young age as the director of the National Institute for Social and Economic Research (LEKNAS), he has contributed significantly to the establishment of the Social Science Foundation (YIIS) and a largest academic organization for social science in Indonesia. In addition to his activities in Southeast Asia, he has actively facilitated scientific exchanges with research institutes in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and many other countries, and promoted various collaborative research efforts. His outstanding scientific research and his intellectual sincerity have won him recognition throughout the world, and have greatly contributed to the understanding of Southeast Asia throughout the world.
Dr. Taufik Abdullah's scientific achievements have been acclaimed as a remarkable contribution to the understanding of Asia, thus making him worthy of the international category of the Academic Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes.