Democracy and Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia: Implications for New Zealand

Event Details

Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak, The Rees Hotel Queenstown conference room, Monday July 27, 5:30 – 7pm, $5 at the door, please register at

A burgeoning region of 620 million and a US$2.5 trillion GDP, Southeast Asia is known for its diverse regime types from absolute monarchy and authoritarianism to electoral democracy and communist one-party rule. As the fastest-growing region in the world, with growth trajectories in the 5 percent range, Southeast Asia is beset with contentious domestic politics. With a recent coup in Thailand, an upcoming election in Myanmar, and a consolidating democratization in Indonesia, the region straddles democracy and authoritarianism in ways that impinge on growth, development and relations with the outside world. This lecture will analyse the comparative politics of Southeast Asia, with emphasis on Thailand and Myanmar in view of New Zealand’s interests in the region.

Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak

Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak is director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s leading Chulalongkorn University. He completed his PhD at the London School of Economics and his MA at Johns Hopkins University.  Currently in New Zealand on a Fellowship at Victoria University, he has spent 25 years as a political observer and commentator on Thailand and ASEAN.