Populism in Asian Democracies

Features, Structures, and Impacts


Populism is a contested concept when applied to Asia. In Populism in Asian Democracies: Features, Structures and Impacts, members of the Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) discuss the diverse subtypes of populism in 11 countries across Asia, their structural elements and societal impacts.

Populism takes on different forms in Asia according to its target, rhetoric and strategy. Redistributive populism stems from income inequality and rural poverty while ethno-religious populism represents a continued struggle between majority and minority groups. Progressive populism emphasizes democratic governance over corruption and factional politics, and authoritarian populism rises from government incompetence. As ADRN shows, the 11 Asian democracies have adopted various subtypes—and hybrids—of such populism models, adding importance to regional cooperation in safeguarding democracy.

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Contributors are: Sook Jong Lee, Chin-en Wu, Yun-han Chu, Francisco A. Magno, Aasiya Riaz, Kaustuv Chakrabarti, Kaustuv Kanti Bandyopadhyay, Thawilwadee Bureekul, Ratchawadee Sangmahamad, Nuchaprapa Moksat, Gerelt-Od Erdenebileg, Ariunbold Tsetsenkhuu, Ganbat Damba, Faiz Abdul Halim, Aira Azhari, Sri Nuryanti, Pasan Jayasinghe, and Myat Thu.
All interested in learning about the rise of populism in Asian democracies, and anyone concerned with populism’s effects on democratic development within Asia.
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