2020 Workshop

“Contentious Politics and its Repercussions in Asia”
Virtual Program (January 11-22, 2021) + In-person Program (TBD)
Updated: 12/23/20

Eighteen fellows from countries across Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the United States were selected to take part in this year’s workshop, which is co-hosted by Korea University and City University of Hong Kong. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, APSA was forced to postpone the in-person workshop and instead have developed a two-part program. The workshop will begin with co-leaders Teri L. Caraway (University of Minnesota), Edmund W. Cheng (City University of Hong Kong), Jai Kwan Jung (Korea University), and Teresa Wright (California State University-Long Beach) leading a 2-week virtual program from January 11-22. The online winter program will interrogate key themes related to the study of contentious politics in Asia and provide preliminary feedback on fellows’ research papers (see program schedule and reading list). The connections and discussions that began during the virtual program will be carried through to the in-person workshop at a later date. We believe that this revised structure offers the best opportunity for scholarly engagement in light of current health concerns and travel restrictions.

Workshop Theme
Focusing on East and Southeast Asia, this workshop will examine the conditions under which popular contention erupts and evolves, shapes political institutions, produces political changes, or solidifies the status quo. The workshop adopts a broad interpretation of contentious politics, including revolutions, social movements, protests, and insurgencies. Participants will explore key theories and puzzles in the study of contentious politics, as well as their connections to and implications for wider inquiries concerning interest articulation, collective action, democratization, governance, regime legitimacy, civic engagement, and conflict resolution. Participants will utilize a range of methodological tools to analyze public behavior and opinion, mobilizing structures, state responses, and political outcomes before, during, and after the occurrence of popular protests. Thematic emphases include:

Origins and Dynamics of Popular Contention

  • Political process, resource mobilization, and cultural communication approaches
  • Explaining the ebb and flow of protest events
  • Channels and repertoires of mobilization, coordination, diffusion facilitated by digital communication technologies and antecedent movement networks
  • The role of elite coalitions, civil society capacity, and international linkages in shaping the motivations, tactics, frames, and identities of political contention

Democratic Recession, Authoritarian Resilience, and State Protest Responses

  • Liberal democracies, hybrid regimes, and one-party authoritarianism during political upheavals
  • Repression, concession, toleration, attrition, counter-mobilization, propaganda, and fake news
  • The policing of protests and its impact on the function/legitimacy of court systems and other institutions
  • The institutionalization or deinstitutionalization of movement organizations, political parties, and leaderless movements in the aftermath of mass mobilization

Political Institutions, Movement Networks, and Conflict Resolution

  • Institutional innovations to enhance accountability, transparency, and/or openness, and to resolve conflicts and rebuild public trust
  • Initiatives to increase institutions’ capacity to co-opt, absorb, or represent a range of societal interests
  • The formation of post-movement alliances and their engagement/contention with regime authorities

Advanced Field Methods and Research Potentials 

  • The challenges of survey protests: sampling frames, survey methods, representativeness, and validity
  • Toolkits for executing ethnography, onsite surveys, experiment design and big data analysis
  • Comparison of research findings obtained from different approaches, methods, and case studies

To provide a framework for reflection and investigation, attendees will critically assess various conceptual frameworks, case studies, research designs, and methodological tools. The workshop will include toolkit sessions on conducting fieldwork, framing research puzzles, publication ethics, manuscript preparation and publication, serving as a good reviewer, and other professional development topics. Academic sessions will include guest lectures, roundtable discussions, and panel discussions of participants’ research. Following the workshop, alumni will receive 2 years’ membership to APSA and will be eligible to apply for small research grants.

For more information, contact asiaworkshops@apsanet.org. Please do not contact the workshop leaders directly.