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Local Women Politicians in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Pathways to Power

June 4, 2014 - 14:00-16:00

The Forum for Asian Studies cordially invites you to an open lecture by Dr. Nankyung Choi, Hongkong City University

This talk examines recent developments in women’s political empowerment in local politics and governance of four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. It does so by looking at both the quantity and the quality of women’s political representation at the provincial level of governance. The talk focuses on the impact of broad changes, such as democratic reforms – which often include decentralization measures, economic transformation, and social turmoil, on women’s political representation in the day-to-day politics and governance.
The talk compares women’s political status in four different socio-political settings: an Islamic society that has experienced sweeping political and social transformations, on the one hand, and the Islamization of society, on the other; a Buddhist society that has come through a long winding path of democratic movements, military coups and popular uprisings for the past three decades; a Catholic-dominant society in which local big men are conventionally considered dominating politics and government institutions; and a hybrid society in which despite the rapid economic development, political office is still a crucial path of social mobility.
Against such backdrops, the talk scrutinizes local women politicians’ pathways to political power, which are intersected with national and local political and social change. In the four distinctive socio-political settings, the paper investigates the reasons women seek power, whether women power-seekers fare better in a particular setting than in others, and how women’s political rise has been intertwined with broad socio-political change. Ultimately, the talk will show whether an increasing number of female leaders in Southeast Asia’s local governments have been accompanied by women’s greater control over local political processes and outcomes.

Moderator:  Prof. Drude Dahlerup
Venue: Högbomsalen (Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Geovetenskapens hus U, lvl 3)
Please rsvp to eva.hansson@statsvet.su.se no later than June 3, 2014


Local Women Politicians in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Pathways to Power


June 4, 2014