Democratic Change in Southeast Asia

Project Expert

Joshua Kurlantzick

Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia

About the Project

Southeast Asia was once a model of democratic transition. But in recent years the region has regressed away from democracy. The consequences of Southeast Asia’s democratic decline—for growth, security, and social and cultural rights—extend well beyond the region. Democratic progress in Southeast Asia could offer a model for other regions of the world struggling with democratic transitions, such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.  This project explores the reasons for democratic decline in Southeast Asia and assesses what it suggests about the health of democracy in other regions of the world. The project seeks to generate detailed recommendations that policymakers in Asia and the United States could enact that would rejuvenate democratic governance and address the challenges of the rise of populism in Southeast Asia.

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