[POSTPONED] Workshop on From #Activism to Cyber-Surveillance: Digital Technologies and Democracy in Southeast Asia


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the ISEAS workshop on “From #Activism to Cyber-Surveillance: Digital Technologies and Democracy in Southeast Asia” will be postponed until further notice.  We are in the midst of rescheduling and will provide you with an update on the new workshop dates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this postponement and hope you can join us for the workshop on the new dates.”

Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme
& Indonesia Studies Programme

About the Workshop

The rapid development and use of digital technologies in Southeast Asia is making a major impact on the nature of political participation and governance across the region. From the vastly amplified scope of political discussion online, to the rise of social media-driven protest movements, to cyber-propaganda and political manipulation of information flows, to new technologies of state surveillance and control, as well as new technologies of circumventing and resisting such restrictions, to novel modes of political education and socialisation — few aspects of political life remain unaffected by the increasing use of digital technologies and online channels for various political purposes. Digitised political practices, and the technological and social infrastructures that enable them, create new opportunities but also pose new challenges to the state of democracy in Southeast Asia. While these practices and infrastructures facilitate increased citizen participation in political processes, this may also encourage the hardening, polarisation and segmentation of political opinions and identities. Furthermore, fears over fake news and the viral spread of fabricated “facts” have led to countermeasures that often have perverse effects on civil liberties. Depending on different uses and abuses, digital technologies may simultaneously facilitate the expansion and the shrinking of democratic political space.

This workshop discusses the role of digital technologies and increased connectivity in contemporary processes of political identification, action, interaction, influence and control. It presents a range of case studies — analysing recent developments in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — which demonstrate the ambivalent and contested nature of digitised politics in Southeast Asia’s fragile democracies. The presentations also discuss how digital technologies provide new parameters for political practice, and explore the role of government and civil society in determining whether digital technology can help to promote or hamper an inclusive “Democracy 4.0”.

Best wishes,

Dr Yatun Sastramidjaja
Workshop Convener


Mar 19 - 20 2020


9:00 am - 5:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2