Southeast Asia: Voting Against Disorder

Issue Date April 2017
Volume 28
Issue 2
Page Numbers 120-131
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In the past fifteen years, Southeast Asian electoral democracies have seen illiberal politicians contest—and in some cases win—democratic elections. The presidency of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, whose government has overseen extrajudicial killings while celebrating its promise to provide order and stability to Philippine politics, is but one recent example. Voting against disorder is a threat to democracy throughout Southeast Asia, even in countries such as Indonesia where illiberal politicians have been defeated in competitive elections. When politicians emphasize order over the law, even when they seek electoral legitimation, they undermine democracy itself.

About the Author

Thomas B. Pepinsky is the Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government and Public Policy and director of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University.

View all work by Thomas B. Pepinsky