The fragility of democracy in Southeast Asia is a subject of increasing concern. While there has been significant movement in the direction of democratisation, the authoritarian tendencies of popularly elected leaders and the challenges posed by emerging security threats have given rise to a shared concern about the return of military rule in the region. This book examines the nature of political transitions in Southeast Asia and why political transitions towards political liberalisation and democracy have often failed to take off. It considers political systems in Southeast Asia that have gone through significant periods of transition but continue to face serious challenges toward democratic consolidation. Some key questions that the book focuses on are – Are emerging democracies in the region threatened by weak, failed or authoritarian leadership? Are political institutions that are supposed to support political changes toward democratisation weak or strong? How can democratic systems be made more resilient? and What are the prospects of democracy becoming the defining political landscape in Southeast Asia?
"This is a book to collect as reference for future work. Its empirical and analytical contributions substantially add to the burgeoning literature on democratic transition and consolidation in developing countries." - Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; South East Asia Research, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2011, pp.160-162
1 Introduction: Political change and political development in Southeast Asia: transitology revisited Mely Caballero-Anthony 2 Political transition and democratic resilience in Indonesia Rizal Sukma 3 Confusing democracies: diagnosing Thailand’s democratic crisis, 2001-2008 Pavin Chachavalpongpun 4 A (not so) funny thing happened on the way to the forum: the travails of democratisation in the Philippines Herman Joseph S. Kraft 5 Toward democratic consolidation in Cambodia? Problems and prospects Sorpong Peou 6 Political transition in Malaysia: the future of Malaysia’s hybrid political regime Lee Hock Guan and Helen E. S. Nesadurai 7 Networked autocracy: consolidating Singapore’s political system Cherian George 8 Conclusion: Reflections on political change, democratic transitions, and regional security in Southeast Asia Mely Caballero-Anthony
Series editors: Leszek Buszynski and William Tow, both Australian National University
New security concerns are emerging in the Asia Pacific region as global players face challenges from rising great powers, all of which interact with confident middle powers in complicated ways. This series puts forward important new work on key security issues in the region. It embraces the roles of the major actors, their defense policies and postures and their security interaction over the key issues of the region. It includes coverage of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, the Koreas, as well as the middle powers of ASEAN and South Asia. It also covers issues relating to environmental and economic security as well as transnational actors and regional groupings.