On 27 June 27 2018, the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Social and Political Change (PSPC) and the UP Department of Political Science hosted a lecture by Professor Dan Slater, Director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies of the University of Michigan.
Professor Slater’s lecture, “Voting Against Democracy: Theory and Variation in the Philippines and Beyond,” gave students and faculty some insights on a research project he is currently working on with Professors Alexandra Filindra and Petia Kostadinova of the University of Illinois at Chicago. This project looks into the question and variation of popular support in democracies for leaders who lack democratic credentials or engage in undemocratic practices.
Taking off from his earlier work “Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia” (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Professor Slater argues that the role of public support is vital to the durability of authoritarian regimes and in this project, he and his colleagues will investigate what leads people to support nondemocratic behavior and practices. With the challenges that democracies face today, using the dynamic between threats and gains as motivations for supporting nondemocratic regimes may give us an insight on the world’s current situation.
The research project will look into six country cases and Professor Slater’s focus will be on the Philippines and India. These countries were selected for their substantial democratic history paired with a substantial support for nondemocratic leaders and parties.