1st Edition

Authoritarianism and Civil Society in Asia

Edited By Anthony Spires, Akihiro Ogawa Copyright 2022
    270 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book represents a pioneering interdisciplinary effort to analyze Asian civil society under authoritarianism, a regime type that is re-appearing or deepening after several decades of increased political liberalization.

    By organizing its approach into four main themes, this volume succinctly reveals the challenges facing civil society in authoritarian regimes, including: actions under political repression, transitions to democracy, uncivil society, political capture and legal control. It features in-depth analyses of a variety of Asian nations, from ‘hard’ authoritarian regimes, like China, to ‘electoral’ authoritarian regimes, like Cambodia, whilst also addressing countries experiencing democratic regression, such as the Philippines. By highlighting concrete responses and initiatives taken by civil society under authoritarianism, it advances the intellectual mandate of redefining Asia as a dynamic and interconnected formation and, moreover, as a space for the production of new theoretical insight.

    Contributing to our understanding of the tensions, dynamics, and potentialities that animate state-society relations in authoritarian regimes, this will be essential reading for students and scholars of civil society, authoritarianism, and Asian politics more generally.

    Introduction. Civil Society in Asia: Challenging and Navigating the Boundaries of Authoritarianism
    Anthony J. Spires and Akihiro Ogawa
    Part 1: Actions under Political Repression
    1. A ‘Leader-full’ Movement Under Authoritarianism: Mobilization Networks in Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement
    Yan-ho Lai
    2. The Gravitational Pull between Liberalism and Authoritarianism in Thailand’s Color-Coded Politics: Civil Society in a Binary-Star-System
    Rawin Leelapatana
    3. Philippine Civil Society and Democratic Regression under Duterte: Connivance, Resistance, and Legacies of Elite Co-optation in the Context of a Weak State
    Jasmin Lorch
    4. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Resistance of the Anti-Nuclear Movement in Turkey
    Pinar Demircan
    5. Before and After Hell’s Interval: Sri Lankan Civil Society Under Near-Authoritarian Regimes
    Udan Fernando
    Part 2: Transitions to Democracy
    6. Relevance in a State of flux: Civil Society and Environmental Protection in Kazakhstan
    Fengshi Wu
    7. A New Challenge for Myanmar’s Civil Society: Depoliticization and Yangon’s Urban Development under the NLD Government
    Tamas Wells
    8. Backsliding to Authoritarianism in Japan? State and Civil Responses to Experiences of Japanese Women Repatriated from Manchuria
    Mayuko Itoh
    Part 3: Uncivil Society
    9. North Korean Civil (and Uncivil) Society in South Korea
    Jay Song
    10. Uncivil Society: Religious Organizations, Mobocracy and Authoritarianism in Asia
    Jeff Kingston
    Part 4: Political Capture and Legal Control
    11. Governing the Limits of Civil Society in Cambodia and Myanmar
    Melissa Curley and Stephen McCarthy
    12. Built on Shifting Sands: INGOs and Their Survival in China
    Anthony J. Spires
    13. Can Mass Organizations Help Strengthen Authoritarian Power in Rural Vietnam?
    Dang Thi Viet Phuong


    Anthony J. Spires is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at The University of Melbourne, Australia.

    Akihiro Ogawa is Professor of Japanese Studies at The University of Melbourne, Australia.