1st Edition

Inequality and Democratic Politics in East Asia

Edited By Chong-Min Park, Eric M. Uslaner Copyright 2020
    220 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Bringing together scholars of inequality, both inside and outside of Asia, this book examines how the distribution of income has affected political institutions, representation, and behaviour in Asia.

    Through detailed data analysis, the international team of contributors engages with the existing literature, arguing that the connection between inequality and political institutions is much more complex than has been suggested by previous studies from outside the region. Instead, Inequality and Democratic Politics in East Asia demonstrates that the micro-level evidence for the correlation between inequality and democracy is mixed and the impact of distributive politics is conditioned not only by institutional but also by historical and geopolitical factors. As such, this volume suggests that the median voter theorem and simplified partisan models prove to be ineffectual in accounting for distributive politics in East Asia.

    Analysing history, structure, and context to further understand the politics of inequality in East Asia, this book will be invaluable to students of Asian politics, as well as students of inequality, democracy, and political economy more widely.

    Introduction, Chong-Min Park and Eric M. Uslaner

    Part 1: Inequality and Political Institutions 

    1. Inequality, Democracy, and the Welfare States in East Asia: Toward a New Theoretical Proposal to Analyze the Politics of Redistribution, Cheol-Sung Lee 

    2. Trust, Corruption and Inequality, Eric M. Uslaner

    3. The Political Economy of Inequality and Capture in South Korea, Jong-sung You 

    Part 2: Inequality and Political Support 

    4. Assessing the Inequality-Democracy Linkage at the Individual-Level: Evidence from East Asia, Chong-Min Park

    5. Equality of Opportunity and Satisfaction with the Political System: The Mediating Role of Regime Type, Yun-han Chu and Chin-en Wu

    6. Economic Inequality and Authoritarian Legitimacy: The Case of China, Shuai Jin and Yingnan Joseph Zhou 

    Part 3: Inequality and Political Behaviour 

    7. Redistribution Preferences and Ideological Orientations across Countries, Willy Jou and Sejin Koo 

    8. Economic Inequality and Political Participation in East Asia: Evidence from East Asian Countries, Inyoung Cho 

    9. Economic Inequality, Ethnic Mobilisation, and Electoral Competition, Eric C.C. Chang and Chunho Park


    Chong-Min Park is Professor of Public Administration at Korea University, Seoul, South Korea. His most recent co-edited book is The Quality of Democracy in South Korea (2018).

    Eric M. Uslaner is Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. His most recent publications include The Historical Roots of Corruption (2017) and Segregation and Mistrust (2012).