Harper Lecture with Dan Slater

7:00–9:30 pm
University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong


Democracy through Strength in Asia

According to conventional wisdom, democracies can only form once an authoritarian regime collapses in a destabilizing crisis. Yet East and Southeast Asia have shown that leaders can democratize nations during times of strength without sacrificing political stability. In fact, conceding democratic reforms at stabler times allows ruling parties to leverage their strength in order to win free and fair elections and stay in power. In this lecture, Dan Slater will describe the rise of democracy under such conditions in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia in contrast to its struggles to emerge in Thailand and Myanmar.

Dan Slater is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and associate member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and coeditor of Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis (Stanford University Press, 2008)