Blog authors: Imaduddin Abdullah and Azral Izwan Bin Mazlan
The panel focused on the fact that a decade ago there was a considerable optimism about the possibilities for deepening democracy, at least in part embedded in the rapid decline of poverty and accompanying expansion of ‘middle classes’ in a large number of middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Yet, the current period is much more discouraging (and even before covid). There is the rise of authoritarian states and populist-nationalist parties.
The chair, Linette Lim, University College Dublin, noted the interest for the panel is how or what politics can promote development. The panel blended discussion from theoretical and empirical perspectives.
Catherine Boone, LSE, began with the ‘paradox’ of democratisation in the world. Amid the rise of authoritarianism in many parts of the world, some African countries actually progressed in terms of some indexes of democracy.
Louise Tillin, King’s India Institute, reflected on the consolidation of social democracy and the expansion of social welfare policies that were contingent on that democracy.
Néstor Castañeda, UCL, argued that Latin America makes for an excellent case to explore the interlink between increases in women's participation and representation, the expansion of the middle-income class and a higher level of civil society rights.
Peter Kingstone, Montclair State University summarised the session as discussant by proposing that democratisation could be best explored by understanding the experience of emerging economies.
Panel: Protest and Resistance to a Politics of Crisis