Center for Democracy Promotion

Purpose and Background

In the wake of the democratization of Eastern Europe after the end of the Cold War and the international demands for reconstruction of “failed states” after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the need for developed countries to provide democratization support to developing countries is increasing. The main purpose of establishing the center will be to undertake commissioned research from FREEDOM HOUSE, a non-governmental organization that promotes such democratization support, to create a report about democratization assistance from the Japanese government. The center will also encompass related research conducted by APU graduate students. After gaining a foothold, the research group members will aim to acquire additional external contract research and research funding, to present papers at conferences, and to publish the papers.

Research Projects

FREEDOM HOUSE Commissioned Research, "Democratization Support by the Japanese Government," Research and Report

We will reveal the quantitative and qualitative nature of the Japanese government’s democratization support for developing countries in an internationally comparable form.

The DPC's FREEDOM HOUSE Commissioned Research,"Democratization Support by the Japanese Government"
Research and Report is here.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/democracysupport/japan

"Democratization Support by the Japanese Government" (Continued and Expanded)

In addition to descriptive reports, we will attempt a deeper scholarly analysis that will lead to a paper. In the academic paper, we will reveal the priority and correlation of "democratization" factors in the Japanese government’s policy-making for official development assistance (ODA), in comparison with other independent variables.

“Civil society and social movement in Hong Kong and Taiwan”

China's rise has been bringing profound impact to its peripheries and the rest of the world. Much attention has been paid to the security and economic aspects of such transformation, yet its political impact on neighboring countries remains understudied. This project seeks to examine the way in which China uses economic instruments to shape political life in Hong Kong (as a Special Administrative Region) and Taiwan (the next target to implement the policy of "One Country, Two Systems") and the role played by Hong Kong's and Taiwan's civil society in resisting the perceived erosion of their civil liberty and political rights.

"Democratization of Myanmar and Nepal"

We will clarify the causes of Myanmar and Nepal’s transition to civil administration and the internal and external challenges facing the democratization process.

"Democracy Transition and Stagnation in Thailand"

We analyze the causes of Thailand’s democratic transition, stagnation, and its reversal through internal socio-political dynamics and external relations.

"‘Democratization’ in United States Diplomacy"

We will reveal how the theme of "democracy assistance" that was taken up by the Bush administration in American foreign policy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks later changed during the Obama administration and whether it will be applied under the Trump Administration.

"‘Participation’ in Democracy"

With the exception of direct democracy in some small countries, many democratic governments employ indirect democracy (representative government). However there are usually a variety of institutionalized mechanisms through which citizens can directly participate in politics in a form other than election voting. Such "participation" requires careful consideration from the viewpoint of "quality". We will study theoretically the quality of participation, which is a prerequisite to questioning what democracy support permitting high-quality participation should be.

Main Activities in AY2018

  • SATO Yoichiro
    Made 15 presentations at international conferences and workshops including the AP Conference. Produced three publications in Japan Times and two in Nikkei Asian Review. Delivered a lecture at the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies, a book launch talk at the Foreign Correspondents Club Japan, and speech at the Washington Asia Forum.
  • YOSHIMATSU Hidetaka
    Publications include a book chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Foreign Policy edited by Mary M. McCarthy and 2 journal articles. Other achievements include 2 international conference presentations including the AP Conference.
  • CHEN Ching Chang
    Made 2 presentations at international conferences in Ecuador and USA, and gave 2 lectures in Taiwan and China. Other achievements include an article publication in the Journal of Chinese Political Science.
  • KIDA Dani
    Joined RCAPS in July 2017 as Visiting Research Fellow. Published a book entitled “Japanese Local Political Participation: A Case Study of Oita” by Routledge, and presented at the AP Conference.
  • SHARMA Santosh
    Made a presentation on “Nepal-India Open Border: Implications for Nepal” at the Asia Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs.
  • TRAN Thi Bich
    Published an article in the Afrasian Research Centre Working Paper Series. Gave a presentation at the RCAPS Seminar, the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science in Australia, and the 2nd PHISO International Conference in the Philippines.
  • LAK Chansok
    Presented at the AP Conference, two international forums and the Japan Foundation in Tokyo. Other achievements include a book chapter published by Routledge, and four interviews with news agencies on a variety of topics in Japan and Cambodia.
  • SEK Sophal
    Made Media Commentaries to the Bangkok Post on six occasions as well as attending the Regional Workshop on Roles of Youth and Social Media in Democratization in Malaysia as well as the Regional Conference on Combating Disinformation in Thailand.

Researchers

Yoichiro Sato Professor Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Hidetaka Yoshimatsu Professor Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Shunichi Takekawa Professor Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Chen Ching Chang Associate Professor Ryukoku University
Hnin Yi Lecturer
PhD Student
East Yangon University
Yangon University
Michael Porter APS PhD Student Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Dani Kida RCAPS Visiting Research Fellow Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Santosh Poudel Sharma Lecturer Tribhuvan University
Tran Thi Bich RCAPS Visiting Research Fellow
PhD Student
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
University of Antwerp
Chansok Lak Lecturer
Master Student
University of Cambodia
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Sek Sophal Communication and Advocacy Officer Cambodian Center for Independent Media
Kaituu Funaki Director The Dignified Pacific Initiative

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