Collective Protests in China and India: Unexpected Similarity?

January 29, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 1

Collective protests against corruption and land grabs are widespread in both China and India. The official Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reported that the government spent $110 billion on containing these and related popular protests in 2011, more than the defense budget. Many argue that disruptive protests erupt because there are no effective institutional channels, such as the judiciary, for expressing grievances in China. However, in neighboring India, the world’s biggest democracy where such channels do exist, people similarly express their discontent through disruptive protests. Though not yet systematically counted, disruptions, both violent and non-violent, are an essential characteristic of Indian democracy. […]


China: Two Faces of Social Protest

October 23, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #183 – There was a dramatic rise of social protests in China in the 1990s. Since, popular contention has become a main form of interest articulation for social groups that suffered as a result of reform era government policies. While the accommodation of social protests has contributed to authoritarian resilience in China, it has also exposed fundamental weaknesses in the Chinese political system. […]

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Explosive Fuel Politics in Indonesia

April 5, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #146 – Indonesian cities have recently witnessed a wave of protests as citizens voiced complaints against a planned fuel price hike. On March 30, 2012, students in Jakarta stormed the legislature and clashed with police. Legislators have carefully adjusted their positions to distance themselves from the hated fuel price hike. […]

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Thailand’s Red-Shirts: One Year Later

March 1, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #60 – March 12, 2011 will mark the first anniversary of Thailand’s red-shirt protesters’ massive street campaign in Bangkok that ended in some of the worst political violence in modern Thai history. 91 people were killed and over 1,800 were injured in a military crackdown that resembled more of a civil war than a restoration of order. This was mainly due to the appearance of mysterious black-clad men on the side of the protesters who engaged the Thai army with automatic rifles and grenade launchers. […]

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Analyzing Falun Gong’s Effect on China since 1999

September 30, 2010 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #25 – More than a decade has elapsed since some 21,000 adherents of the spiritual movement known as Falun Gong gathered in peaceful protest outside Beijing’s Zhongnanhai complex. The demonstration, which came amid a rising tide of controversy over the group’s meaning and message, was China’s largest since the Tiananmen uprising of 1989. Like that incident, the Falun Gong demonstration was violently suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). […]