The fragility of democracy in Southeast Asia is a subject of increasing concern. While there has been significant movement in the direction of democratisation, the authoritarian tendencies of popularly elected leaders and the challenges posed by emerging security threats have given rise to a shared concern about the return of military rule in the region. This book examines the nature of political transitions in Southeast Asia and why political transitions towards political liberalisation and democracy have often failed to take off. It considers political systems in Southeast Asia that have gone through significant periods of transition but continue to face serious challenges toward democratic consolidation. Some key questions that the book focuses on are - Are emerging democracies in the region threatened by weak, failed or authoritarian leadership? Are political institutions that are supposed to support political changes toward democratisation weak or strong? How can democratic systems be made more resilient? and What are the prospects of democracy becoming the defining political landscape in Southeast Asia?
Mely Caballero-Anthony is an Associate Professor of Government and Politics in Southeast Asia at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Some of her publications include Regional Security in Southeast Asia: Beyond the ASEAN Way (2005); UN Peace Operations and Asian Security (co-editor, London: Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2005); Non-Traditional Security in Asia: Dilemmas in Securitisation (co-editor, 2005).