In the Asia-Pacific region, CIPE plays the role of a convener of think tanks and civil society organizations in order to strengthen democratic unity through the defense of shared values and the championing of market-oriented democracy as a development path for the region and for individual countries. In Phase I, participants from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, together with CIPE, set the goals for the network and expressed their interest in initiatives that would foster peer-to-peer learning on a regional basis. Executing on this vision, participants began to share best practices and advocacy solutions for overcoming common roadblocks to market-oriented democracy. Additionally, CIPE successfully linked the network partners with peers in solidly democratic countries such as Korea and Taiwan who can provide guidance, arguments, and models for advancing democratization. Consequently, this strategic initiative is linking mature democracies with reformers and intellectuals from Southeast Asian countries where democracy is less established or nonexistent.
In the second year of this project, CIPE is guiding the crafting of this regional narrative through regional policy fora and workshops; develop think tanks’ strengths in messaging, communication, and advocacy in support of the narrative; and foster a regional exchange of reform ideas among the think tanks and other advocates. The targeted outcomes of these activities are to position the network’s leading think tanks to best promote a common regional narrative, initiate new partnerships around reform in their countries, and strategically engage with other democratic and market-oriented networks throughout Southeast Asia. In this way, the network participants will be able to marshal support for real policy solutions grounded in a shared vision of market-oriented democracy.