David Arnold, President of the Asia Foundation

10/14/2014 - 12/30/2014

DAVID ARNOLD, President of the Asia Foundation. 

"The Challenges and Promise of Democratic Governance in Asia"

NOVEMBER 13, 2014


2014 has been a remarkable year in terms of democratic developments in Asia.  Landmark elections in India and Indonesia brought dramatic leadership changes to the region's two largest democracies.  Afghan citizens defied Taliban threats to exercise their franchise in elections leading to the country's first democratic transition from one elected president to another, and student-led protests on the streets of Hong Kong demanded a greater voice in choosing their elected leaders.  At the same time, a military coup in Thailand displaced a popularly-elected government, one-party rule consolidated its hold on Bangladeshi political life, opposition protests immobilized Islamabad following parliamentary elections in Pakistan, and China's new leadership signaled a diminished tolerance for political dissent and civil society activism.  While the Asia Pacific region continues to show overall progress in respect for human rights and adherence to rule of law, there are also signs of democratic retreat.  Drawing on The Asia Foundation's six decades of experience in promoting democratic governance in Asia, the president of the Foundation will examine both the opportunities and obstacles facing different Asian countries on their paths toward more transparent, accountable and responsive systems of government. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Dick Thornburgh Forum, the University Honors College, the Center for International Legal Education of the School of Law, the Institute of Politics, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, the University Center for International Studies, the Asian Studies Center, and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.