Strong UNE showing in upcoming ‘Routledge Handbook of Populism in the Asia Pacific’

Posted by | August 12, 2021 | Uncategorized | No Comments

UNE’s Professor Alan Scott, Emeritus Professor Howard Brasted, Dr Karin von Strokirch and Dr DB Subedi are co-editing an academic volume that demonstrates the fantastic work UNE academics are doing around conceptualising and analysing populist movements, and leadership styles in the Asia Pacific.

This volume is entitled the Routledge Handbook of Populism in the Asia Pacific and includes some 32 chapters that explore populism in various Asia Pacific contexts, with many of these chapters being contributed by UNE academics. This project, for the first time, brings senior and early career academics from Australia, Asia and beyond together to study the rise of populism in the Asia Pacific region. The volume is planned for release by mid-2022.

For a better understanding of the edited collection’s subject matter, this excerpt from the volume’s conceptual abstract provides an insight into the intriguing and emerging field of populism in the Asia Pacific:

“Populism is a growing phenomenon that is challenging the dynamics of all forms of governments around the world. In the West, the election of Donald Trump as the President of the US and the Brexit phenomenon in the UK are all commonly associated with what is widely known as populism. According to the Economist, democracies are at risk. Once vulnerable to coups or revolutions, democracies are now being ‘strangled slowly in the name of the people’ by this ‘new enemy within’ (13 August – 6 September, 2019, 9).

Countries in the Asia Pacific are not immune from this challenge as populist politics of different forms and styles have emerged rapidly in the region over the last few years. Unlike in traditional politics in which political elites would accumulate political capital and mobilise people based on hierarchal patron-client relationships, populist politicians in the Asia Pacific today seek to claim political power and legitimacy through mobilisation of people by weakening the traditional patron-client mode of political mobilisation. Some populist leaders in Asia seem to undermine democratic practices while others arguably claim they are more democratic. However, much of the existing literature on populist politics is western-centric with anomalies of populism in the Asian context notably under-represented.”

As mentioned, this volume has contributions from many sources, but UNE has a particularly strong presence. Not only are the co-editors all UNE academics, but various staff members and PhD alumni are also making contributions to the book. For a list of all the UNE researchers who are part of this project take a look below:

UNE/HASS staff and adjunct contributors:

  • Dr Johanna Garnett (Sociology): Populism in Myanmar
  • Dr Xiang Gao (International Relations): Populism in Chinese politics
  • Dr Jane Ahlstrand (Indonesian Studies): Populism and gender politics in Indonesia
  • Guy Charlton (Law): Populism in Taiwan
  • Dr Habib Zafarullah (Sociology – adjunct Associate Professor): Populism, corruption and governance in South Asia
  • Emeritus Professor Amarjit Kaur (Economic History): Mahathir and populist politics in Malaysia

UNE PhD alumni contributors

  • Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed (Deakin University): Populist leadership in Pakistan
  • Dr Imran Ahmed (National University of Singapore): Populism and nationalism in Asia
  • Dr Mosmi Bhim (Fiji National University): Islamic nationalism and populism in the Maldives

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