Region: Southeast Asia

October 2018, Volume 29, Issue 4

The Downfall of Malaysia’s Ruling Party

In Malaysia’s May 2018 general election, a grand bargain between ex–prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and reform leader Anwar Ibrahim produced a political earthquake that ended 61 years of rule by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

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January 2018, Volume 29, Issue 1

Burma: Suu Kyi’s Missteps

Despite high hopes for progress toward democracy, the military’s power remains stubbornly entrenched, while Aung San Suu Kyi seems to lack the skills to run the government effectively.

April 2017, Volume 28, Issue 2

Southeast Asia: Voting Against Disorder

Rodrigo Duterte’s rise to the presidency of the Philippines reflects a broader trend in Southeast Asia of voters favoring politicians who elevate order above law. What does the history of “voting against disorder” in Indonesia and Thailand imply for the future of democracy in the Philippines?

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April 2016, Volume 27, Issue 2

Burma Votes for Change: The Challenges Ahead

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept Burma’s November 2015 elections. Will the new NLD-led government be able to live up to high expectations that it will deliver better governance, national reconciliation, and some form of federalism?

October 2013, Volume 24, Issue 4

Malaysia’s Elections: A Step Backward

Despite losing the popular vote, Malaysia’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional triumphed again in the country’s 2013 elections, disappointing an emboldened opposition that had high hopes after a strong performance in 2008.

April 2013, Volume 24, Issue 2

Southeast Asia: Sources of Regime Support

Data from the latest wave of the Asian Barometer Survey show commonalities and variations in the sources of regime support in Southeast Asian countries. Most regimes—democracies and nondemocracies alike—draw political legitimacy from perceptions of effective and upright governance.

January 2013, Volume 24, Issue 1

Southeast Asia: In The Shadow of China

Given Southeast Asia’s relatively high level of socioeconomic development, we might expect it to be a showcase of democracy. Yet it is not. To grasp why, one must look to deeper factors of history and geography.