The Network of Social Democracy in Asia, also known as Socdem Asia, is a group of political parties, pre-party formations, and progressive politicians, scholars and activists in the region who share social democratic values and perspectives. It aims to build social democratic alternative by deepening and broadening Asian discourse, offering and developing future-oriented policies, and showcasing best practices of Social Democratic parties, politicians and movements.
The Network’s Steering Committee is the body that provides agenda direction to the Network including activities and public communication. Members of the Network and participants in its activities consist of political parties and pre-party formations with social democratic values and programs as well as those with social democratic wings/tendencies. Institutes, think tanks and policy makers working with social democratic actors are invited also invited to Network activities.
The Network publishes its own quarterly, Socdem Asia Quarterly, which aims to reflect the discourse of the Network and leading intellectuals across the region and beyond about most pertinent developments of concern to social democrats and their policies and perspectives, lessons learned in social democratic political practice in the region as well as reflections and experiences from Asian and Social Democrats worldwide to a broad audience in Asia. In addition, the website offers Op-Eds, interviews, and editorial opinions on latest developments across Asia-Pacific.
Having been formed in 2009, the Network has conducted a number of conferences, focusing on a range of issues such as global financial crisis, sustainable economic development, pension reforms, universal health care, and energy security, beginning with the first conference “Responding to a Systemic Crisis – Asian Social Democrats in Search of Policy and Practical Solutions,” which took place in Manila, Philippines in May 2009. The conference communiqué called on governments to focus their stimulus packages towards job-creation, improvement of social protection, addressing gender inequality and the embrace of the Decent Work Agenda. More recently, since 2012, the Network has focused on the development of, among other things, a sustainable energy paradigm for the Asia-Pacific region, anchored by three major conferences in Mongolia, South Korea, and Japan, which brought together top experts, policy-makers, and political leaders to discuss the nuts and bolts of a green economy for Asia.
Regional Network Coverage: The network is composed of parties, think tanks/institutes, labour, academics, and young activists from 13 countries - Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Timor Leste.
The Network's Steering Committee is the body that provides agenda direction to the Network including key areas of work, activities and public communication. Members of the Network and participants in its consist of organizations who promote social democratic values and programs as well as those with social democratic wings/tendencies. Institutes, think tanks and policy makers working with social democratic actors are invited also invited to Network activities.
Asia as a region has consistently been faced with challenges to sustainable development and democracy.
Democracy continues to be an evolving struggle. In Asia, as well as across the world, the state has been used as a machinery of the elite to perpetuate its power and its interests, often at the expense of ordinary workers, rural farmers and fisherfolk, indigenous communities, women, youth and other vulnerable sectors of society. The elite thrive in various forms, such as authoritarian states, politicized military, resisting, or even out-right prohibiting transparency mechanisms that will expose corruption deeply imbedded in institutions of governance, and the stifling of opposition. Even in societies where modern political parties have developed, and civil society has emerged, social tensions remain unresolved, and poverty persists.
Economic development took place in Asia at an unequal rate due to the dictates of neo-liberal, free-market economics. The simultaneous expansion in international trade and growing emphasis on economic liberalization was coupled with cycles of economic instability, social dislocation, and political disenfranchisement across the region. Globalisation was marked by influential international financial institutions (IFIs), in tandem with global powers, more aggressively pursuing a narrow concept of development centered on GDP growth, investment inflows, trade expansion, and fiscal monetary stability, often at the expense of peoples.