Southeast Asia’s Troubling Elections : IS THERE A SILVER LINING?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Journal / PublicationJournal of Democracy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


In elections held in early 2019, Southeast Asia's already bleak democratic prospects appeared to grow even more dismal. In Thailand, polls merely put a civilian face on military-monarchical rule. In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo's reelection came after concessions to hard-line Islamists. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte's candidates dominated the midterms, advancing his punitive agenda. But as is often the case with elections in illiberal contexts, there were democratic silver linings with the emergence of a broad-based opposition coalition in Thailand, a pluralist backlash against extremism in Indonesia, and, in the Philippines, growing criticism of Duterte's handling of territorial disputes with China as he struggles with a swollen, fractious ruling coalition.

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