Compromising Democracy: Agents of Democratic Regression in Southeast Asia


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 6
Thu 14:00-15:30 Room 3.06

Part 2

Session 7
Thu 16:00-17:30 Room 3.06



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There is a mounting concern about the global state of democracy (Diamond 2020, Levitsky and Ziblatt 2019; Waldner and Lust 2018). In Southeast Asia, regimes there too seem to have been pulled into this global wave of democratic backsliding. Across the region, there has been widespread gross violations of political and civil rights (Kuhonta and Truong 2020), the sidelining of minorities by illiberal forces (Hamayotsu forthcoming, Soedirgo 2018), and the intimidation of journalists and the political opposition (Aguilar Jr, Mendoza et al. 2014, Toha and Harish 2019). Although regimes in Southeast Asia may be affected by the worldwide illiberal turn, democracy in the region is not newly on the retreat. Southeast Asian nations have had their own prior struggles with democratization. Further,recentregressions or failures to consolidate democracy are also deeply rooted in distinct domestic struggles and histories. This proposed panel will explore the actors and forces that have worked to compromise and/or diminish democracy in Southeast Asia. Through a comparative examination of various drivers— and various patterns—of democratic backsliding in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand, the papers in this panel will make unique contributions to the study of regimes in Southeast Asia