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The Street and the Ballot Box: The Bersih movement, 2018 election and Malaysian politics

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Drawing on Malaysia’s Bersih movement and the 2018 election, Dr Lynette Ong’s latest book, The Street and the Ballot Box: Interactions between Social Movements and Electoral Politics in Authoritarian Contexts, illustrates how a broad-based social movement that champions a widely shared grievance can mobilise across social cleavages and unite elites and society.

Such a movement contributes to cohesion of an opposition coalition, which is crucial for regime change. She drew on the implications of Bersih for the state of Malaysian politics since 2018.


  • Dr Lynette H Ong, associate professor of political science, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Dr Dan Slater, Ronald and Eileen Weiser professor of emerging democracies and Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies director and professor of political science, University of Michigan

Moderator: Dr Satu P Limaye, vice-president, East-West Center, and director, East-West Center in Washington

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