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.

"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 AY2017

  • SATO Yoichiro
    Publications include books co-edited/co-authored with APU faculty, other researchers and an RCAPS VRF, while three book chapters were completed and four oral presentations were conducted. Routledge and Peter Lang are the publishers for two of above books and two other book chapters.
  • LAK Chansok
    Conference Presentations
    Presented at the AP Conference. Research travels included fieldwork in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Other Achievements include a Book Chapter which contributed to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and published by Routledge and several other interviews with news agencies. Also a Research Grant recipient from RCAPS to conduct a research fieldwork in Cambodia.
  • KIDA Dani
    Joined RCAPS in July 2017 as Visiting Research Fellow and continued political participation research and began new research on Lowering of the Voting Age in Japan and Voter Education Curriculum. Received a contract from Routledge in September to publish a book and presented at the AP Conference.
  • CHEN Ching Chang
    Publications include two Book Chapters, both of which are edited by other scholars/fellow APU faculty and published by Routledge. Other achievements include a book review, a media commentary and eight oral presentations encompassing a broad array of topics.
  • YOSHIMATSU Hidetaka
    Publications include joint work with fellow APU faculty and amongst the publishers are Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge. Also presented at an international workshop, ‘Contested Multilateralism 2.0 and Asia-Pacific Security’ at the College of Art of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
  • SEK Sophal
    Made Media Commentaries to the Bangkok Post on two occasions as well as attending the 7th International Conference on "Youth and their Social Impact" in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and participating in a week-long training on roles of youth in democracy advocacy under the theme of "Connecting Communities and Networks" in Indonesia.
  • TAKEKAWA Shunichi
    Made a Verbal Presentations at the 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., USA. and attended the 23th South Korea-Japan International Symposium held by Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies and Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication) in Seoul, South Korea.
  • TRAN Thi Bich
    Engaging in research as a RCAPS VRF from July 2017 to July 2018, producing two publications, one of which is co-author with Dean SATO. Presented at the AP Conference and the 2nd PHISO International Conference in Davao, Philippine.


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

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