The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong: From Economic Concerns to the Rejection of Materialism

In late September 2014, thousands of people started to occupy major streets in Hong Kong which lasted for more than two months. The protesters followed the call of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement, which had threatened civil disobedience if real democracy was denied. This had happened on August 31st when the Chinese National People’s Congress Standing Committee released its [...]

Contesting for EMB Reform in Three Southeast Asian Authoritarian Regimes

Electoral authoritarian regimes are authoritarian regimes that hold periodic but nominally democratic elections. In recent years, political scientists have examined the various ways in which electoral authoritarian regimes utilize elections to legitimize themselves, display dominance, distribute patronage, gain information about their supporters and opposition, or split the opposition by [...]

Planting the Culture of Democracy: Kaliurang, Yogyakarta and Padang, West Sumatra Post-2010 Merapi Volcano Eruption and 2009 Sumatran Earthquake

Yogyakarta and West Sumatra are amongst the provinces in Indonesia that are prone to natural disasters. Generally, both are seen to be very different in terms of social culture. Yogyakarta is identical with Javanese culture, and known to have the mixed characteristics of both an urban and rural society. Fast growth of the city and the impacts of increased urbanization can be seen in the center as [...]

Provincializing Thai Politics

         Corruption and Democracy in ThailandPasuk Phongpaichit and Sungsidh PiriyarangsanChiang Mai / Silkworm Books / 1994  Money and Power in Provincial ThailandEdited by Ruth McVeyHonolulu / University of Hawaii Press / 2000 Thailand has undergone two great changes in the last several decades: democratization and capitalist growth. Whether Thailand has democratized in substance is [...]

On the Horns of a Dilemma

Thai public intellectuals don’t seem to love and care for the people much these days. They facilely compare the Thais to chicken (I’m still puzzled why Thai people are compared to “chicken in the basket” instead of “chicken in the coop,” unless they have already had their throats cut and been plucked and boiled. But never mind. Basket is all right. Cock-a-doodle-do!) and sometimes to [...]