Repressive-Responsive Parameters of Autocracies in Asia

Online Lecture

The Justice in Southeastasia Lab (JSEA Lab) located at the University of Wisconsin- Madison invites to this online lecture with Dr. Nhu Truong, Denison University, “Repressive-Responsive Parameters of Autocracies in Asia”. 

This talk explores variations in the repressive and responsive elements of authoritarianism in the context of China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. In so doing, the talk seeks to undo blunt dichotomies between “good democracy” and “bad authoritarianism” that have dominated contemporary policy debates in Asia. The talk specifically demonstrates how such dichotomies do not fit squarely in how and why China, Vietnam, and Cambodia differ in their ways of addressing societal demands for protections against arbitrary land expropriation, on the one hand, and their ways of suppressing civil and political rights, on the other. Of the three countries, Vietnam has institutionalized responsiveness to societal calls for strengthened programmatic mechanisms against arbitrary land seizures, while it has reactively repressed calls for freedom of assembly and association. In contrast to Vietnam, China has opted for a reactive responsiveness to land expropriation through ad-hoc reforms, while it has also institutionalized stringent repression of freedom of assembly and association. Despite its nominal democratic status, Cambodia presents the case of a strongly negative and reactive responsiveness, even compared to China. Disclosed through analytical differentiation of the repressive-responsive parameters of authoritarianism in Asia, these differences raise challenging and troubling questions about the recalcitrance of authoritarianism and the meaning of democracy.

Bio: Nhu Truong is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Affairs at Denison University and a Mansfield-Luce Asia Scholars Network Fellow. Her research is concerned with the repressive-responsiveness of autocracies and democracies, social contention, state formation, and political legitimation in Northeast and Southeast Asia, particularly China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. She is the author of Opposition Repertoires Under Authoritarian Rule and other publications in Problems of Post-Communism, edited books, and policy studies. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Council on Southeast Asian Studies at Yale University, a Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow on Contemporary Asia at Stanford University, a Young Southeast Asia Fellow selected by the Southeast Asia Research Group, and a New Faces in China Studies Conference Fellow held at Duke University.

Find more info here.

Please note, the event takes place at 3am CET.

University of Wisconsin- Madison
Centre for Southeast Asian Studies