The Biggest Show on Earth: A Guide to South Asia Elections


Location: Virtual Panel | Livestream on YouTube

Voters show the mark of indelible ink after casting their vote at a polling booth in India and Afghanistan elections.

The year 2024 is a big one for elections globally, but perhaps nowhere more so than South Asia, home to approximately ¼ of the world’s population. Bhutan and Bangladesh conducted elections in January, Pakistan did so in February, the Indian General Elections will start on April 19 and Sri Lanka is set to go to the polls later this year. When the year is through well over one billion people in the region will have had the opportunity to vote. But South Asian elections do not always imply democracy and the democratic backsliding concerns that we see globally are also present in South Asia. If, as some have suggested, 2024 is make-or-break for democracy at a global scale, South Asian elections, how they are conducted and their outcomes, are poised to put a pretty significant thumb on the scale in either direction.

At this event regional experts will familiarize attendees with elections in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka and the state of democracy in each country before taking Q&A for a wide-ranging audience.

Presented by Kellogg Institute for International Studies as part of the Democracy Initiative with the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.

Watch the livestream.


Submit a question for the panelists.

Neil DeVotta
Professor of Politics & International Affairs, Wake Forest University

Mubashar Hasan
Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Oslo, Norway

Maira Hayat
Assistant Professor of Environment and Peace Studies

Julia Kowalski
Assistant Professor of Global Affairs

Rithika Kumar
Visiting Fellow, Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Moderated by Susan Ostermann
Assistant Professor of Global Affairs and Political Science