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8th International Conference – Democracy and Elections in Asia

23 August 2023 @ 5:00 PM - 25 August 2023 @ 5:00 PM BMT


Amidst the growing climate of authoritarianism throughout the world, Asia continues to grapple with various challenges related to democratisation and political change. As countries in the region get into a post-pandemic election cycle, political party laws, election advertising laws, fake news laws and laws governing political donations continue to have a problematic impact on the goal of holding free and fair elections.

2022 marks a series of elections across Asia as countries begin to open up. Elections were held or set to be held at the national (India, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Timor Leste and Turkmenistan), state or provincial (India, Malaysia) or communal/municipal levels (Cambodia/Thailand). In national elections held thus far (South Korea, Japan and the Philippines), with some exceptions, one sees the return or advent of authoritarian tendencies and elites with highly problematic records of governance that adversely affect the emergence or transitions to substantive democracy.

A major contributing factor to this outcome was the role of hybrid regimes maintaining dynastic control over media, election process and the country’s overall politics. Anti-democratic populist movements, using disinformation campaigns over social media also drowned out the much-needed civic participation in politics. Additionally, women candidates faced harassment over the online space and physical threats during campaigns; while opposition party members faced threats and legal repercussions on accusations of foreign interference. Fear of a military coup d’etat, regime change uprising or election annulment by partial election commissions all worked to suppress elections.

Recognizing the wide variety of questions and issues to be explored, this conference examines the relations between democracy and elections in Asian countries. Despite the plethora of elections at multiple levels, why do they often lead to illiberal outcomes? Does the new social media environment enable/facilitate such outcomes? The conference will probe whether electoral systems in the region are a force for democracy or a force for authoritarian consolidation.


  • Impact of COVID-19 on Elections, Campaigning and Voting
  • Rise of Electoral Authoritarianism/Illiberal Democracy
  • Role of Asian Political Dynasties
  • Populism and Patronage in Elections
  • Annulling Election Results: Legal Cases, Political Party Dissolution and Coups
  • Media versus Social Media in Election Campaigning
  • Harassments and Violence Against Women Candidates
  • Youth Participation: Voters, Candidates, Political Parties
  • Foreign Interference and Manipulation of Elections
  • Independence and Professionalism of Election Management Bodies
  • Role of Ethnic Groups and Minority Groups
  • Or any other related themes


The conference aims to achieve the following objectives

  • Convene researchers and advocates for free and fair elections
  • Analyse laws and disinformation campaigns that influence elections outcomes
  • Evaluate how elections impact the rise of authoritarianism in Asia
  • Assess the future of democracy in the region

Conference Structure

The conference will consist of short remarks, keynote speeches, plenary discussions and breakout sessions made of thematic panels, region and country-specific panels.

Conference Participants

Registration is open to all presenters and participants from academic institutions, media outlets and journalist associations, businesses, national and regional civil society organisations, international NGOs, political parties, parliaments, government agencies and intergovernmental organisations to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking.

Conference Publications

Following the international conference, Asia Centre will undertake the following publishing efforts:

  • Conference Proceedings

Guidelines for the Conference Proceedings can be found here. (Please refer to the Style Sheet Guidelines)

Programme Outline

DAY 1: 23 August 2023
18:30-20:00 | Welcome Reception and Evening Panel 

DAY 2: 24 August 2023
9:30-17:00 | Morning & Afternoon Panels

DAY 3: 25 August 2023
9:30-17:00 | Morning & Afternoon Panels

Submission Guidelines

  • Paper Presentations and Speeches

Researchers and practitioners wishing to present papers or share their experiences are invited to submit a title and abstract of 300-340 words in English, together with a biographical paragraph of 100 words, here. For those submitting papers, full papers should be 5,000 words (Please refer to the Style Sheet Guidelines).

Conference Fee

This is a self-funded conference, hence a flat, base fee of USD300 will be charged to all presenters, participants and drop-in visitors. This will go towards covering the cost of the venue, equipment and logistics, coffee breaks on all days, certificates for participants, conference communications and staff. Conference fee (USD300) does NOT cover a flight ticket, accommodation, and any other expenses related to travel advisory.

Conference Partnerships

Asia Centre welcomes organisations and individuals to be conference partners and sponsors by co-convening the event, panels, keynote speakers and participants. This will provide partners an opportunity to network and forge linkages with academia, businesses, civil society, governments and international organisations in the region and beyond; and can promote their organisation and activities.

Partner Benefits

  • Logo on all publicity materials online and at the conference venue.
  • Social media and mailing list promotion through Asia Centre’s networks.
  • Display and distribute promotional materials from partner organisations to the participants.
  • Develop expertise on the issues covered by the conference themes.

Additional Options

  • Sponsor participants by buying conference tickets.
  • Sponsor a keynote speaker by providing a financial grant to the conference.
  • Provide corporate sponsorship (in-kind and/or financial grants) and be featured on promotional materials.

Panel Partner Requirements

  • Purchase minimum 4 tickets (USD300 x 4 = USD1,200).
  • Market the conference within their networks.
  • Partners can also buy additional conference tickets.

Enquiries and Registration

Please contact us at contact@asiacentre.org 

Register here

 **Please be aware that all fees are not refundable.**


23 August 2023 @ 5:00 PM BMT
25 August 2023 @ 5:00 PM BMT
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