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Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 10, 2022

Islam and inter/intra-religious relations in Asia

INTRODUCTION: Trajectories of Civil Society in Asia

Democratic backsliding is a major concern worldwide and Asia is no exception.

  • Professor Akihiro Ogawa

Contemporary politics in the Philippines shows how emotions can inform human rights advocacy

Duterte has used emotion to his advantage, so how can human rights be articulated to resonate more?

Radical within limits: Women’s movements, civil society, and the political field in Bangladesh

Women's groups are sometimes blamed for a lack of gender equality rather than those with power such as the state.

Erosion of democracy? The case of Niseko, Japan

Top-down and centralised regional policy has undermined participation and responsibility at the grassroots level.

INTERVIEW: How food delivery drivers and other platform workers are faring in contemporary China

A huge percentage of workers in China are in the platform economy without labour protections and very limited ability to strike.

Book Review

Evolutionary Governance in China: State–Society Relations under Authoritarianism. Edited by Szu-chien Hsu, Kellee S. Tsai, and Chun-chih Chang

Social scientists studying China are developing new theories about how the ruling elites maintain power.

Edition 12, November 2022

Trajectories of civil society in Asia

Indonesia demonstrates that civil society as a backbone of democracy is a myth

Civil society has failed to defend democratic institutions from being hijacked by reactionary populist politics.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’: Chinese NGOs during COVID-19

China's government is maintaining a state-dominant strategy over NGOs as it implements 'zero-COVID'.

Veganism in Japan: How ‘soft’ activism is changing minds in a meat-eating nation

Veganism in Japan is not widely accepted, but 'loose veganism' is growing.

Protecting the environment from the US Military: Okinawan civil society actors and the barriers to change

Opposition to US military bases in Japan is growing due to PFAS contamination and other environmental concerns.

The state regulation of faith-based civil society organisations in India

The ruling Hindu nationalist political party in India and its treatment of minority faith-based civil society organisations.

From the streets to ballot boxes: The decline of activist-based social movements in Turkey

Everything from hyper-inflation to civil servants' promotions have been postponed until the elections in 2023.

Challenging Japan’s ‘War Laws’: contemporary civil society action in the courts

Street protests against Abe's Peace and Security Legislation give way to court action challenging their constitutionality.

What an Australian-based civil society group is learning with Fukushima children amid nuclear growth in Asia

For the children of Fukushima, the consequences of the nuclear accident are part of everyday life with no end in sight.

INTERVIEW: ‘We need help’ – Myanmar civil society two years after the military coup

A young democracy activist who's been forced to flee Myanmar reflects on the current state of civil society.