As freedom continues to decline around the world, the Indo-Pacific stands out as a region with some recorded improvements for political rights and civil liberties. At the same time, many countries in the region continue to face issues of restricted electoral democracy, curbs to freedom of association and freedom of speech, and increasing digital authoritarianism. Despite notable progress in some areas, less than half of the nations of the Indo-Pacific are officially labeled “Free” by Freedom House.

This panel will discuss the findings of an upcoming Atlantic Council Issue Brief on the future of democracy in the Indo-Pacific and seeks to understand the risks facing the region’s emerging and existing democracies, as well as ongoing efforts to advance democratic governance across the region. How can democracies in the region such as Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, and Taiwan, cooperate on these efforts? Where should support for democracy and shared values fit in the US Indo-Pacific strategy? What are the main challenges facing democracies and democratic governance in the 2020s?

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The Center honors General Brent Scowcroft’s legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders.

This event is open to the public and will be webcast online. The event is open to the press and on the record.


Panel Discussion Featuring

Mr. Ash Jain

Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Dr. Matthew Kroenig

Deputy Director for Strategy, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Ms. Alison Szalwinski

Vice President of Research
The National Bureau of Asian Research

Via Teleconference

Dr. Kharis Templeman

Social Science Research Scholar and Program Manager, Taiwan Democracy and Security Project, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University