Southeast Asia has always been struggling with the idea of democracy. Even more, with the increasing influence of globalization in Southeast Asia, various countries within the region are facing more challenges in practicing democracy. On one hand, the influence of globalization might be regarded as positive. For example, the popularity of social media is undeniably amplified citizens’ participation in various sectors, from politics to economy. On the other hand, the prevalence of socio-political problems triggered by globalization cannot be ignored. This includes the cases of refugee crisis, transnational crimes, the South China Sea crisis, as well as the spread of fake-news on social media and online hate-speech. At the same time, we are still facing ‘primordial’ problems like discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities and even structural issues like the digital divide and the widening gaps between the rich and the poor.
These issues also challenge us to question: how does globalization reinforce or contest the practice of democracy in contemporary Southeast Asia? As Southeast Asian scholars at the intersection of political studies, anthropology, sociology, history, media and communication studies, these problems should be considered as an opportunity to better understand and provide advice for the governments, policy makers, and communities.
This 1st International Conference on Democratization in Southeast Asia (ICDeSA 2019) in Banten, Indonesia invites contributions on the topics related to the democratization processes in Southeast Asian countries along with the challenges and opportunities. By focusing on these issues, it is expected that the discussions could further amplify public’s awareness as well as academic interest in conducting more empirical and theoretical research on matters related to democracy in Southeast Asian context.
This international conference is also the initial step for the establishment of Southeast Asian Center at Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa University with the support from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University.
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