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State of Democracy in South Asia by Centre for the study of Developing Societies

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Title: State of Democracy in South Asia by Centre for the study of Developing Societies


1
State of Democracy in South Asiaby Centre for
the study of Developing Societies
  • Project supported by Ford Foundation,
    International IDEA, and EU-India Cross Cultural
    Program of the EU

2
Research Partners
  • International IDEA
  • Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda, Sri Lanka.
  • Professor Mohammed Waseem, Pakistan.
  • Dr. Krishna Hachhetu, Nepal.
  • Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, Bangladesh.

3
Objectives of the study
  • To investigate what democracy has done to South
    Asia and what South Asia has done to democracy.
  • Discontent with existing discourses as being
    inattentive, hegemonic and ethnocentric.

4
Limitations of current thinking on governance
  • Deficit based thinking of information,
    administration, resources and political will.
  • System centric thinking inputs, processes,
    outputs.
  • Politics is missing of agents, interests,
    elites, ideologies, and institutions.
  • No sense of the dialectics between institutions
    and processes.

5
Our Research Grid
  • Promise
  • -what moral burden does democracy carry in
    South Asia
  • -what futures does it advance
  • Design
  • -Institutional structure political, social,
    economic
  • -Parties/ Civil Society Organizations
  • Working
  • -Sociology, Economy and Anthropology of
    institutions
  • -practices of political leaders, parties,
    organizations etc
  • Outcomes
  • -democratization of state and
    society, elite rule.
  • Futures
  • -likely trajectories.

6
Four Research Pathways of Democracy Assessment
  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Qualitative Assessment
  • Dialogues
  • Case Studies

7
Component 1 Survey Some Questions
  • How do ordinary South Asians view democracy
  • How do perceptions vary according to country,
    class, gender and social divisions
  • What/ Who do they identify as the main threats to
    their security
  • What is their level of trust in the capacity of
    institutions to meet their needs
  • How does the perception of the elite relate to
    that of the cross section of the population

8
Component 1 Different aspects of inquiry
  • Questions that have been asked Globally, across
    South Asia, and specific to each country.
  • Qs on Battery on legitimacy, efficacy, trust,
    participation
  • Qs on Identity, dignity, notion of self-hood.
  • Qs on Security and freedom from fear.
  • Qs on Material outcomes and freedom from want
  • Qs on Satisfaction with democracy.
  • -

9
Methodology Total elector, no of parliamentary
constituencies, and proposed sample units.
10
Component 1 Methodology Preparation for Survey
  • Draw upon questionnaires of CSDS and various
    barometers
  • Dialogues with activists
  • Country coordinators to discuss draft
    questionnaire
  • Common questions and country specific questions
  • Translation into local languages
  • Pilot survey
  • Canvassing by field teams in each country
  • Data processed and computerized
  • Analysis plan collectively prepared

11
Component 2 Qualitative Assessment
  • Agreement over main thrust of IDEA framework
  • Assessment of old as well as new democracies
  • People of the country to undertake assessment
  • Assessment to be broad-based and objective
  • Assessment to be the anchor for democracy
    discourse
  • Two-fold anchorage theoretical and
    historical-sociological

12
Component 2 Expert led Assessment - Some
questions
  • What are the main components of the promise.?
  • What is the nature of the of the economic
    institutions and how does it relate to the
    political structure?
  • Is there a gap between the design and actual
    working?
  • Is the working characterized by limitation or
    closure in terms of participatory spaces, agendas
    and/or participants?
  • Has democracy been an instrument of social
    transformation?
  • What is the relationship between the procedural
    and substantive aspects of democracy?

13
Component 2 Methodology
  • Country coordinator constitute a team of experts
    to prepare the background papers for the
    respective nodes.
  • These papers and the relevant findings from the
    case studies and survey would be presented to the
    activists and experts from that country.
  • On the basis of their comments the coordinator
    would prepare the final report of QA for the
    country.

14
Component 3 Dialogues
  • Series of dialogues to be conducted at regional,
    national and local levels
  • Dialogues to involve activists, journalists,
    academics, politicians, etc.
  • Ownership of study broad based
  • Conversation between different knowledge universes

15
Component 3 Types of dialogues
  • General State of Democracy in South Asia
  • Thematic (i) Democracy Majorities and
    Minorities, (ii) Democracy and Human Security
  • Both types to be held in all 5 South Asian
    countries in different locations to ensure
    diversity of perspectives

16
Component 3 Methodology
  • Duration over two days for building trust among
    participants
  • Invitees from a cross section of interests,
    ideologies, social strata, and groups.
  • Special effort to have minority viewpoints
    attend.
  • Selection of Chair important.
  • Dialogue loosely structured.
  • Entire dialogue recorded, digitized and finally
    uploaded on website.
  • Separate report of dialogue prepared where the
    views of speakers are presented sequentially.

17
Component 4 Case Studies
  • Based on the recognition that the survey,
    qualitative assessment and dialogues would still
    miss important aspects of democracy in practice.
  • Deliberate selection of aspects of practice that
    can be constructed as puzzles of democracy.
  • Goal to problematize the discourse on democracy
    by presenting inconvenient facts.
  • These inconvenient facts although located in
    South Asia have more general implications.
  • Evaluation of the case not straightforward e.g.,
    families in politics, extension of womens rights
    under dictatorship, life of file.

18
Component 4 Methodology
  • Selection of cases after listening to dialogues
  • Use different methodologies to illustrate the
    issue e.g ethnographic approach to study working
    of a law court
  • Case study not illustration of a feature of
    democratic practice but elaboration of an
    inconvenient fact.
  • Commission of studies to be completed over 8
    months.

19
Output
  • Dissemination of first ever South Asia wide
    survey on citizens attitudes through media
  • Publication of a Citizens report on Democracy in
    South Asia
  • Report available in more than one South Asian
    Language
  • Data archive open for public access

20
Outcomes
  • Promote public discourse with political parties,
    peoples movements, and civil society
    organizations
  • South Asian Survey to join the ranks of other
    Barometers
  • Contribute to the development of a Human Security
    Index
  • Transform the global discourse on democracy and
    governance.

21
  • Our website WWW.LOKNITI.ORG
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