Malaysia has long had an authoritarian (UMNO/BN) regime strong enough to allow it to concede democratic reforms without conceding electoral defeat. Unlike its authoritarian counterparts in Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and now Burma/Myanmar, however, Malaysia’s regime has thus far eschewed this surprisingly common Asian strategy of “democracy through strength.” Professor Slater will discuss how and why Malaysia’s rulers have responded to their regime’s gradual decline with the rhetoric but not the substance of democratic reform.
Dan Slater is an associate member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, in addition to his professorship in Political Science. He is the author of "Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia" (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, 2010) and co-editor of "Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis" (Stanford, 2008). He has also published articles in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, the American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Politics, Critical Asian Studies, International Organization, the Journal of Democracy, Perspectives on Politics, and World Politics.
** This event is co-sponsored with the South East Asia Program **