This article examines the relationship between social resilience and democratic resilience in 13 electoral regimes in Asia. Our analysis of social factors (such as basic welfare provision, social cohesion, human investment, and civil society development) in both resilient democracies and fragile electoral regimes suggests that civil society is a vital aspect of “democratic social resilience,” but a combination of social factors, rather than any individual factor, supports successful liberal democracy.
We first look at six Asian democracies and identify factors of social resilience associated with their democratic resilience. We then look at Asian democracies that exhibit regime fragility to identify shared social resilience characteristics that may help to explain their democratic fragility. Finally, we compare the social resilience profiles of resilient and fragile democratic regimes to see how social resilience may help us to better understand the pattern of democratic development and democratic resilience (or fragility) observed in Asia. In this way, this multidimensional concept of social resilience updates thinking about the social requisites of democratic resilience and development.
Related research: Exploring Societal Resilience and Regime Type in Asia