Pursuit, July 2017: Protest and Democracy in Asia

Protest and Democracy in Asia
author Ben Rodin (University of Melbourne)

Featuring the work of Akihiro Ogawa on the role of civil society within the promotion of democracy and peace in Asia.


The notion of protest may be very familiar to a Western audience, but it is an under-researched topic in an Asian context, says Professor Akihiro Ogawa from the University of Melbourne. His Asia Institute project, Civil Society in Asia is exploring the role of Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) in contributing to Asian peace and democracy.

“There is obviously a huge difference between Western and Eastern civil society,” he says. “It is one of the most dynamic and expanding sectors in contemporary Asia.”

He defines civil society as “non-state institutions that are crucial to sustaining modern democratic participation.”

Professor Ogawa, who is trained as a social anthropologist, says ‘civil society’ is traditionally a very Western, ethnocentric concept.

“Observing each Asian nation trying to make its own version of a civil society is something we focus on,” he says.

Read full article at: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/protest-and-democracy-in-asia

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