Book Workshops: Comparing Uneven Pathways in Asia and Africa – 15-25 June 2021

How can we better understand diverse and non-linear processes of democratic development in understudied Asian and African states?

About the event

On 15-25 June 2021 the School of Government co-hosted a series of 6 workshops for the authors of a forthcoming Oxford University Press collection edited by Deputy Director Tom Daly, Dr Dinesha Samararatne (University of Colombo) and Dr Asanga Welikala (University of Edinburgh), titled Democratic Consolidation and Constitutional Endurance: Comparing Uneven Pathways of Constitutional Development in Asia and Africa. Authors discussed draft chapters on key themes (e.g. political parties, civil-military relations, systemic corruption) and 7 case-studies: Ethiopia, The Gambia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The book aims to develop fresh theory and frameworks for grappling with the challenges of consolidating and developing constitutional democracy, given that much analysis focuses on Western states or a select few states in the Global South (e.g. India, South Africa). While each of the states studied in the workshops faces unique challenges in strengthening democracy, several themes did emerge, including ethnic nationalism, personalisation of politics, the challenge of inter-generational disagreement, and the role of the military and private interests in shaping public processes. The workshops were live-tweeted using the hashtag #DemAsiaAfrica.