Democratic Change in South and Southeast Asia: The Impact of Illiberal Populism, Sectarianism, and COVID-19

Democratic Change in South and Southeast Asia: The Impact of Illiberal Populism, Sectarianism, and COVID-19

Project Expert

Joshua Kurlantzick
Joshua Kurlantzick

Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia

About the Project

Southeast Asia and South Asia were once model of democratic transitions. But in recent years the regions have regressed away from democracy. The consequences of this democratic decline—for growth, security, and social and cultural rights—extend well beyond the region. This project explores the reasons for democratic decline in South and Southeast Asia, including the rise of illiberal populism, the persistence of military involvement in politics, the rise in sectarianism, and the impact of COVID-19, among other factors. The project seeks to generate detailed recommendations that policymakers and civil society leaders could enact that would rejuvenate democratic governance and address the challenges of the rise of sectarianism and illiberal populism in South and Southeast Asia. 

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.