logo
Promoting Social Democratic Thinking, Alternatives and Practices

Quarterly

The Network publishes its own quarterly, Socdem Asia Quarterly, which aims to reflect the discourse of the Network and the leading intellectuals across the region and beyond about most pertinent developments of concern to social democrats. The Quarterly expounds on policies, perspectives and lessons learned from social democratic political practice in the region as well as reflections and experiences from Social Democrats worldwide. Along with Quarterly, the Socdem Asia website offers Op-Eds, interviews, and editorial opinions on latest developments across Asia-Pacific to a broader audience.

Electoral Contestation and Political Transformation: Prospects for Progressive Change in Asia

The aftermath of the 2008 Great Recession, which brought many center-economies to the brink of another depression, witnessed an intense showdown between increasingly fragile elected-governments prioritizing the integrity of the financial system, on one hand, and scores of civic groups protesting austerity programs, on the other. But the dramatic explosion of protests against government policies, however, wasn't confined to the streets of New York, Athens, Rome, Paris, and Barcelona. After a decade of robust economic growth and rising inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Global South, the Great Recession proved to be truly global in its breadth and scale, as it shattered equity markets among developing countries, deepened the volatility of basic commodities' prices to the detriment of poorer countries, and steeply raised market uncertainty – reversing decades of hard-fought developmental gains. And for this reason, the world came to question the wisdom of unfettered market economics, anchored by finance-driven capitalism and light regulatory touch.

After a decade of robust economic growth and rising inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Global South, the Great Recession proved to be truly global in its breadth and scale, as it shattered equity markets among developing countries, deepened the volatility of basic commodities' prices to the detriment of poorer countries, and steeply raised market uncertainty – reversing decades of hard-fought developmental gains. And for this reason, the world came to question the wisdom of unfettered market economics, anchored by finance-driven capitalism and light regulatory touch.

In some parts of the world, the response was radical. Three years into the crisis, the Arab world, long seen as the strongest fortress of autocratic regimes, succumbed to a wave of popular uprisings, which came on the heels of a decade of crony capitalism and autocratic consolidation, aggravated by the destabilizing impact of the global financial crisis. The continuous erosion in social welfare, driven by market liberalization schemes, amid deepening crackdown on the opposition simply reached a critical threshold of no return.

View PDF - Electoral Contestation and Political Transformation: Prospects for Progressive Change in Asia