Democracy and Political Development in Asia


Asia Beyond the Headlines

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - APRIL 19: A woman dips her finger in ink after voting at a neighbourhood polling station on April 19, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Police at Indonesia's capital have said they are prepared for unrest as residents vote during the final round of Jakarta Governor election, one of the most bitterly fought elections, which has been marked by mass demonstrations against the incumbent governor Basuki Purnama Tjahaja, also known as Ahok, who became embroiled in a blasphemy scandal after being ac

Reception from 8:00PM

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Japan’s Meiji Restoration, an important period in Japanese history  credited for ushering in an era of major political and social change. The subsequent transformation during the Meiji period resulted in Japan’s modernization and democratic transition.  This program will discuss political transitions in Indonesia, Myanmar, and East Timor, each of which face crucial challenges in shaping the future of their democratic practices. Through examining democratic transitions, the panel of experts will address issues related to interaction between democracies and authoritarian regimes that continue to influence the future of the region.



Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar

Dewi Fortuna Anwar is a leading analyst on Indonesia’s foreign policy and democratization, as well as on ASEAN and regional political and security issues. She currently serves as deputy for government policy support in the Secretariat of the Vice President and research professor at the Centre for Politics, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P-LIPI). She has held numerous senior positions, including assistant minister/state secretary for foreign affairs and deputy secretary for political affairs during President BJ Habibie’s administration.

Takako Hikotani

Takako Hikotani is Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy. She previously taught at the National Defense Academy of Japan, where she was Associate Professor, and lectured at the Ground Self Defense Force and Air Self Defense Force Staff Colleges, and the National Institute for Defense Studies. Her research focus on civil-military relations and Japanese domestic politics, Japanese foreign policy, and comparative civil-military relations. Professor Hikotani received her BA from Keio University, MAs from Keio University and Stanford University, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, where she was a President’s Fellow.

Ambassador Derek Mitchell

Derek Mitchell is senior advisor to the Asia Program at the U.S. Institute of Peace and at Allbright Stonebridge Group. In 2012, he was appointed as the first U.S. ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) in 22 years.  Previous positions include, serving as the State Department’s first special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar in 2011, working as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense concerning Northeast, Southeast and Central Asia, from 2009 to 2011. He was also senior fellow and director of the Asia Division of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Outside his extensive diplomatic career, Ambassador Mitchel has authored numerous books, articles and policy reports on Asian security affairs. He received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia.

Jose Ramos-Horta

Dr. José Ramos-Horta, a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, served as Prime Minister (2006-2007), Foreign Minister (2001-2006) and President (2007) of East Timor. He presided over his country’s dramatic recovery from conflict in 2006 to peace and growth. A Senior Associate Member of the University of Oxford’s St. Antony’s College, he studied Public International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law in 1993, earned a Master of Arts degree in Peace Studies in Antioch College, trained in Human Rights Law at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (1983), and completed Post-Graduate courses in American Foreign Policy at Columbia University in 1983. He also writes occasionally on international conflicts. His insightful opinion articles on East Timor, Burma, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, can be found in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Daily Beast and Huffington Post

Daniel Russel is diplomat in residence and senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he served until recently as the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Prior to his appointment as assistant secretary, he served at the White House as special assistant to the president and National Security Council’s senior director for Asian affairs. During his tenure there, he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.

Event Details

Wed 24 Jan 2018
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Asia Society 725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021

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Members $20; Students/Seniors $30; Nonmembers $40
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