In East and Southeast Asia, the creation of civil society is a crucial yet most difficult issue. Europeans have had the luxury of centuries in a slow-moving world characterised by weak governments in which the foundation institutions, norms and values of civil society could ferment and develop. Asia, however, faces this task when a nation's currency can devalue in seconds, destabilising its government, and when states have far more effective means of surveillance, suppression and terror. This book examines these issues and shows that a better understanding of civil society in the Asian context is central to promoting contemporary political, social and economic reform in Asia. It will appeal to students and teachers of politics, law and sociology because it provides new perspectives on how to understand civil society drawing on Asian examples, as well as indications for rethinking what civil society means in Asia. Individual chapters combine theoretical and empirical issues in a way which fills a major gap in the literature. Henceforth, works about 'civil society' will need to take more account of the Asian evidence and Asianists will need to have a clear idea of what civil society in Asia means.
'This book makes a significant contribution to the study of civil society. It demonstrates that the Asian experience of civil society has been very different from the dominant western forms and that there is no universal civil society. The volume is not only timely because of the huge interest in civil society but also goes a long way in satisfying the urgent need for comparative study of different societal models of civil society. The chapters in this excellent volume provide strong theoretical and empirical analysis of the diversity of Asian civil societies.' Gerard Delanty, University of Liverpool, UK 'An exceptionally informative, historically grounded, empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated collection of essays which offers the latest thinking on the status of civil society in nine nations from South Korea down to Singapore.' Thomas Gold, University of California, Berkeley, USA ’The country studies bring out the huge diversity of civil society experiences in this vast continent, and make this book a compelling read for anyone interested in contemporary Asia.’ Journal of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association ’…a timely evaluation of the development of civil society in Asia…this is a valuable addition to the literature on civil society…’ Political Studies Review 'This book is a useful account of the manner in which civil society has developed in the recent past in different parts of Asia, and the fact that this is still "a project in progress".' Journal of Educational Planning and Administration '…useful and stimulating reading for those interested in various aspects of civil society in several individual countries in Southeast and East Asia.' Australian Journal of Political Science
Contents: Civil society in Asia, David C. Schak and Wayne Hudson; Problematizing European theories of civil society, Wayne Hudson; Non-transformative politics: civil society in Singapore, Chua Beng-Huat; Thorns in the flesh: civil society as democratizing agent in Malaysia, William Case; Civil Society and political reform in Malaysia, Meredith L. Weiss; Civil society and democratization in Indonesia: the transition under President Wahid and beyond, Azyumardi Azra; Thai civil society: exploring a diverse and complex landscape, Juree Vichit-Vadakan; Civil society in the Philippines: struggling for sustainability, Isagani R. Serrano; The making of a nascent civil society in China, He Baogang; The Taiwanese business association in the People's Republic of China, David C. Schak; The transformation of Chinese civil associations in Taiwan, Hong Kong and South China, Robert P. Weller and Hsin-huang Michael Hsiao; NGOs and democratization in Taiwan: their interactive roles in building a viable civil society, Hsin-huang Michael Hsiao; Unraveling civil society in South Korea: old discourses and new visions, Hyuk-Rae Kim; Civil society in Japan, Ross E. Mouer and Yoshio Sugimoto; Postscript: an agenda for further research, Wayne Hudson and David C. Schak; Index.