27 December 2013
Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) Inaugural Meeting and Workshop successfully held in Seoul, Korea
The Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) Inaugural Meeting and Workshop was held on November 25-26, in Seoul, Korea. A research pillar within the wider activities of Asia Democracy Network (ADN), ADRN was founded to play a meaningful role in Asian democratic transition and consolidation after the launching of the ADN on October 21-22, 2013. East Asia Institute (EAI) took a convener role in organizing this network and managing overall ADRN project.
Eleven democracy-related research institutions from nine countries participated in the workshop. ADRN workshop participants are as follows:
Kaustuv Bandyopadhyay, Society for Participatory Research in Asia (India)
Tobias Basuki, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Indonesia)
Yasushi Kudo, The Genron NPO (Japan)
Damba Ganbat, Academy of Political Education (Mongolia)
Sook-Jong Lee, EAI (South Korea)
HeeYeon Cho, Sungkonghoe University (South Korea)
Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Centre for Policy Alternatives (Sri Lanka)
Chin-en Wu, Asian Barometer (Taiwan)
Chilik Yu, Shih Hsin University (Taiwan)
Thawilwadee Bureekul, King Prajadhipok’s Institute (Thailand)
Christopher Walker, National Endowment for Democracy (U.S.)
ADRN workshop participants discussed the main challenges that each participating country, or sub-region, faces in terms of democratic transition and/or consolidation and the role of think tanks in responding to such challenges. Based on this discussion, each ADRN participating institution submitted its research plan and voted on the topic that best complements the goal of ADN. Two research topics were selected as a result.
Two projects titled, “Self Governance is an Instrument of Rural Democracy” by Academy of Political Education (Mongolia) and “The Function of Democracy in a Divided Society” by Asian Barometer (Taiwan) were selected for the 2014 ADRN research. Two representative research institutions will further develop their research ideas with collaboration of other participating organizations and submit final reports by October 31, 2014.
ADRN agreed to appoint Sook-Jong Lee, President of EAI (South Korea) and Kaustuv Bandyopadhyay, Director of Society for Participatory Research in Asia (India) as ADRN representatives to the ADN Steering Committee. ADRN participation is also to be extended to include research institutions from Central Asian countries, such as Kyrgyzstan. ADRN will continue to work toward extending its membership to other countries.
Taking into consideration the fact that Asian democracy-related research institutions are functioning under poor conditions both in terms of quality and quantity, ADRN has prepared a ground for the participating organizations to contribute to democracy and democratic governance in Asia by utilizing international cooperation and solidarity. In accordance with the overarching principles of independence and non-partisanship, ADRN will provide practical and action-driven research outcomes with a focus on promotion of human rights and democracy and contribute to the activities and goals of ADN.
Due to budget constraints, ADRN is able to fund only two projects next year. Based on next year’s pilot project, ADRN will continue to complement ADN’s research interests on the promotion of Asian democracy and democratic governance.
On behalf of ADN and ADRN