Mass protests against authoritarian regimes typically take even country experts by surprise. With hindsight, a gradual politicisation of civil society can be discerned, but the mechanisms underlying it remain unclear. Dan’s research project will examine the interaction of top-down and bottom-up processes at the micro-level of civic participation to explain how civil society becomes politicising, in one of the countries in Southeast Asia that has seen decades of stable single party rule, foreign aid, and a rapidly growing economy; yet surprisingly massive bursts of protest and online activism have taken place in recent years and are met with varying degrees of state repression.


Dr. Trevor Stack & Prof. Pamela Abbott


  • Democracy and democratisation
  • Civil society
  • Social movements
  • Foreign aid
  • Authoritarianism
  • Peace processes