This collection explores democratic transitions in East Asia, arguing against the standard wisdom that European or Christian value systems and socioeconomic forces are essential for democracy to succeed. Instead the contributors convincingly illustrate that political institutions, which can be built anywhere by skilled coalitions, have the most profound and lasting influence on a stable democratic system. Indeed the East Asian experience reveals truths about Western democratization that are obscured by popular Western mythologies. This partnership of U.S. and Asian scholars has given us the first systematic effort to bring East Asia into the democratization debate in a way that compels one to rethink "the politics of democratization" everywhere. The book therefore is a crucial contribution for all those interested in the broader issues of transition.
Introduction -- Theoretical Overview -- Democratization: Generalizing the East Asian Experience -- Japan -- Democratization, Peace, and Economic Development in Occupied Japan, 1945–1952 -- Japan’s Foreign Policy and Asian Democratization -- New Directions in Japanese Foreign Policy: Promoting Human Rights and Democracy in Asia— ODA Perspective -- Korea -- Making Democracy: Generalizing the South Korean Case -- Uncertain Promise: Democratic Consolidation in South Korea -- Hong Kong -- Decolonization Without Democracy: The Birth of Pluralistic Politics in Hong Kong -- Taiwan -- Toward Peaceful Resolution of Mainland-Taiwan Conflicts: The Promise of Democratization -- Political Liberalization and the Farmers’ Movement in Taiwan -- China -- Problems of Democratic Reform in China -- Social and Cultural Prerequisites of Democratization: Generalizing from China -- Conclusion