Democracy or Alternative Political Systems in Asia: After the Strongmen, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Democracy or Alternative Political Systems in Asia

After the Strongmen, 1st Edition

Edited by Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao


212 pages

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From the 1980s onwards, a tide of democratization swept across the Asian region, as the political strongmen who had led since the end of World War II began to fall. Although it is generally assumed that once authoritarian leaders no longer hold power, the political landscape will drastically change and the democratic transition will simply be a matter of time, this book shows that the move towards democracy in Asia has by no means been linear process, and there have been a number of different outcomes that reflect the vastly divergent paths towards liberalization the Asian nations have followed.

This book examines seven countries that were previously under authoritarian or semi-authoritarian rule, but then followed very different trajectories towards increasing liberalization after the fall of political strongmen: South Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Importantly, the case studies reveal the factors that may enable transition to a more democratic system, and alternatively, the factors that inhibit democratic transition and push countries down a more authoritarian path. In turn, three key models that follow the fall of a political strongman emerge: democratization with substantial political reform and consolidation; democratization with limited political reform, leading to weak democratic institutions and instability; and an alternative political system with sustained authoritarianism. By tracing these very different paths and outcomes in the wake of a strongman’s fall, the contributors present valuable information for countries on the course towards democratization, as well as governments and organisations who work to facilitate this process.

This book will be welcomed by students and scholars interested in Asian politics, governance and democratization studies.

Table of Contents

Part I: Overview 1. After the Strongmen: The Beginning of Democracy in Asia? Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao and L. C. Russell Hsiao 2. Personalist Leadership Styles and Legacies: A Comparative Survey of East and Southeast Asian Nations, Laurence Whitehead Part II: Northeast Asia 3. Taiwan’s Democratization after the Strongmen: Leadership Matters, Chih-Cheng Lo 4. After Chun Doo-Hwan: Progress of Democratization and Residue of Authoritarianism in South Korea, Jong- Yil Ra 5. China after Deng Xiaoping: The Search for a Non-Democratic Development Model, Steve Tsang Part III: Southeast Asia 6. Unchanged after Changes: The Philippines after Marcos, Samuel C. Y. Ku 7. Malaysia after Mahathir: Late Democratization Amidst Development, the Strong Developmental State and Developmentalism, Francis Kok-Wah Loh 8. Indonesia’s Quest for a Democratic Culture: Pluralism, Tolerance and Rule of Law, 1998-2013, Suhardiyoto Harydi and Peter Carey 9. Rise and Fall of Thaksin Shinawatra and the New Politics in Thailand, Hugh Pei-Hsiu Chen

About the Editor

Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao is Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General