Kai-Ping Huang examines the concept of democratic surplus and its changes in six Southeast Asian democracies.

This study examines the concept of democratic surplus and its changes in six Southeast Asian democracies. Democratic surplus is defined as the point where people’s diffuse support for democracy surpasses their specific support, meaning that their support for democracy is not affected by how democracy is practiced in their country. The study measures democratic surplus using survey questions related to the rejection of authoritarian rule and belief in democracy as the best form of government. The findings show that people are less likely to reject strongman rule as time progresses, indicating a trend of autocratisation in the region. The study also explores the relationship between value sets and democratic surplus, finding that a value system prioritizing social harmony contributes to democratic surpluses, while pluralist values may lead to lower support for democracy. The study emphasizes the need to celebrate shared values and objectives to prevent decreasing commitment to democracy and to resist autocratisation.

Kai-Ping Huang is Associate Professor of Political Science at National Taiwan University. Her research interests include party systems, formal institutions, and democratization focusing on East and Southeast Asia. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Comparative Politics, Journal of East Asian Studies, Social Indicators Research, and several edited volumes.

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Tue, 5 Sep 2023, 12:30 - 2pm

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