Meredith Weiss, a professor of political science at SUNY Albany, will discuss her book, The Roots of Resilience, and its core findings with Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, a professor at Nanyang Technological University. The book examines governance from the ground up in the world’s two most enduring electoral authoritarian or “hybrid” regimes—regimes that blend politically liberal and authoritarian features to evade substantive democracy. While key attributes of Singapore and Malaysia’s regimes differ, affecting the scope, character, and balance among national parties and policies, local machines, and personalized linkages, the two polities also share important features. Taken together, these attributes accustom citizens to the system in place, making meaningful change in how electoral mobilization and policymaking happen all the harder to change.
Meredith Weiss is Professor of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research addresses social mobilization and civil society, the politics of identity and development, parties and elections, institutional reform, and subnational governance in Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Malaysia and Singapore.
Walid Jumblatt Abdullah is Assistant Professor at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Program, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He works on relationships between Islam and the state, political Islam, and political parties and elections. He published a book recently (2021) entitled Islam in a Secular State: Muslim Activism in Singapore (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press), and also has a co-authored book on Singapore’s 2020 elections entitled Unmasking Singapore’s 2020 General Elections: Covid-19 and the Evolving Political Landscape (Singapore: World Scientific). He is host of the ‘The Tarik With Walid’ (TTWW) podcast, where he has an hour-long conversation with politicians from all parties in Singapore, and with academics or activists involved in the local political scene.
Moderated by Margaret Scott, Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
This event is co-sponsored by the New York Southeast Asia Network and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.