Springtime in Asia? Challenges Ahead for Asia’s Authoritarian States
Uprisings for democracy may not be limited to the Middle East. In the wake of the Arab Spring, expectations for a regional wave of democratic transitions in Asia are high. Many analysts predict change in a number of countries including Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and above all, China.
Yet mass movements rallying for freedom, equality, and dignity have long been active across the region. Indonesia’s transition since 1998 from authoritarianism to a competitive political system is one such example. Fifteen years after the dramatic regime change in Jakarta, what kind of polity has Indonesia become, and what implications might be teased out from Indonesia’s experience for other “nations in waiting” in the region? Wilson Center Senior Scholar Nobuo Fukuda, who was formerly Jakarta bureau chief for Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, will explore these issues, which will be detailed in his forthcoming book provisionally titled Asia Spring.