Asia Centre’s Interviews 2024

‘It can feel like there’s no way out’ — Political Scientists Face Pushback on Their Work

On 19 June 2024, Dr. James Gomez, Asia Centre’s regional director, was featured in a news article titled “‘It can feel like there’s no way out’ — political scientists face pushback on their work” in Nature, a weekly international journal. Dr. Gomez discussed how political pressure has altered the nature of research, leading to “self-censorship” among election scientists in Asia.

“Year of Elections – Asia Focus”

The latest episode of the International Bar Association: Global Insight Podcasts, “Year of Elections—Asia Focus,” aired on 27 May 2024, addresses the democratic situation in India, Pakistan, and Asia more broadly. In the episode, Dr James Gomez provided his insights on the trends in Asian democracy and emphasised the need for regional civil society to champion democracy in the region.

“Feature: Asia’s Undemocratic Trend”

On 21 March 2024, the International Bar Association published a report analysing the 2024 election trends in the region to highlight the increasing democracy backsliding happening across Asia. In the report, Asia Centre’s Regional Director, Dr James Gomez, argued that the backsliding of democracy in countries like India and Pakistan has raised the need for international non-governmental organisations(INGOs) to form and strengthen partnerships with local actors to pushback on government crackdowns on CSOs.

“Was the democracy summit in Seoul useful? Participants say open countries are ‘on the offensive’ Youth empower  and the path to global citizen”

On 29 March 2024, the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English-language news portal, reported the key discussions at the Democracy Summit in Seoul, which took place from 18 – 20 March 2024. The protection of democracy in the face of threats such as cyberattacks and disinformation was among the key focal points highlighted. Asia Centre’s Regional Director, Dr James Gomez, who attended the summit, commented that the term “information integrity” emerged as a key concept as a tool to counter restrictive laws by governments who cite ‘disinformation’ on civic expressions and urged for greater freedom for content producers to disseminate accurate information online.

“How are Regulations Stifling Online Discourse”

In the latest episode of Pressing Matters on BFM Radio titled “How are Regulations Stifling Online Discourse”, Asia Centre’s Dr James Gomez conversed with Philip See about Asia Centre’s newest report, “Online Content Regulations in Asia-Pacific”. They discussed the challenges and setbacks faced by individuals and content creators in the digital space when they use their voices online to highlight policy blindspots and call out unethical behaviours of policymakers and the incumbent elites. Dr Gomez emphasised the need to push for more people-centric laws to protect online users and encouraged organically created content to combat the threats of AI generated disinformation in the coming future.

“Permintaan Penghapusan Konten di Media Sosial Menguat”

Asia Centre’s latest report, “Online Content Regulation in The Asia-Pacific: Limiting Civil Society’s Capacity to Hold Governments Accountable,” and its recent report launch on 18 January 2024, was featured in a news article by Mediana in , the Indonesian national news portal on 19 January 2024. The article titled “Permintaan Penghapusan Konten di Media Sosial Menguat (Requests for Content Removal on Social Media Strengthen) quoted the report by highlighting the increasing trend in South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia in content removal requests by the governments on social media platforms such as Meta and Google. This, in turn, negatively impacted civil society’s power to demand for accountability from their governments.