Illiberal Democracy/Electoral Authoriarianism in Southeast Asia and ASEAN’s’ Collective Norms

The Region
23 OCT 2018

Illiberal Democracy/Electoral Authoriarianism in Southeast Asia and ASEAN’s’ Collective Norms

In the ASEAN Charter, which came into force in December 2008, the “strengthening of democracy” is listed 7th amongst 15 purposes and adherence to the principles of democracy is again listed 7th amongst 14 principles.  This low priority would seem to reflect, not only the collective choice of the 10 ASEAN members, but also the reality in individual ASEAN member states.  In the 2017 edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, four of the ten ASEAN members were characterized as Flawed Democracies, one (Thailand) was classified as having a hybrid regime and five (if Brunei is added) as being authoritarian. Can this only be explained by domestic dynamics in individual member states? Or is there something in the collective project, developed and articulated by the Association itself that comforts this regime norm? This historically grounded research project seeks to reinterpret the ASEAN narrative – both prior to an since the Association’s foundation - and to explore to what extent the ASEAN praxis of consensus around the lowest common denominator has made the illiberal democracy / electoral authoritarianism the de facto regime norm in Southeast Asia.

Speaker(s)
Camroux, David

Dr David Camroux is Honorary Senior Research Fellow within the Centre de Recherches Internationales (CERI). At Sciences Po he is ... [read more]