Southeast Asia, an economically dynamic and strategically vital region, seemed until recently to be transiting to more democratic politics. This progress has suddenly stalled or even gone into reverse, requiring that analysts seriously rethink their expectations and theorizing. The Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization provides the first book-length account of the reasons for democracy’s declining fortunes in the region today. Combining theory and case studies, it is structured in four major sections:
- Stunted Trajectories and Unhelpful Milieus
- Wavering Social Forces
- Uncertain Institutions
- Country cases and democratic guises
This interdisciplinary reference work addresses topics including the impact of belief systems, historical records, regional and global contexts, civil society, ethnicity, women, Islam, and social media. The performance of political institutions is also assessed, and the volume offers a series of in-depth case studies, evaluating the country records of particular democratic, hybrid, and authoritarian regimes from a democratization perspective. Bringing together nearly 30 key international experts in the field, this cutting-edge Handbook offers a comprehensive and fresh investigation into democracy in the region
This timely survey will be essential reading for scholars and students of Democratization and Asian Politics, as well as policymakers concerned with democracy’s setbacks in Southeast Asia and the implications for the region’s citizens.