Asia’s Democratic Landscape: The Shifting Sands of Progressive Politics
Without a question, Asia is a diverse lot. In fact, right until the modern times, people in the region, who constitute much of the world's population, didn't identify themselves as part of the same spatial community or episteme. Beginning with the Greeks, who divided the world between the 'civilized' Hellenistic world and the 'Barbarian' rest, including the towering Persian Empire, there emerged in the Western imagination an Orient, embodied by a distinct Asiatic world.
After centuries of humiliation under the yoke of Western colonial powers, Asia has gradually reconstituted itself, emerging as the world's most dynamic and promising region. Yet, despite decades of almost uninterrupted economic expansion and political consolidation, the region is still struggling to establish mature, inclusive democracies.