Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Essay:
Democratic Transition in Asia
Transition and Structural Theories of Democratization
Important Asian countries participated in the Third Wave of democratization from the 1970s to the 1990s, including South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. In China and Burma, there might have been a democratic revolution in 1989-90 had the ruling regimes not suppressed their own people with utmost brutality. This Third Wave, which according to Samuel Huntington started in Spain and Portugal in 1974-75, spread to Southern and eastern Europe and then to Asia, Africa and Latin America (Haynes 1999, p. 80). It demolished the Soviet Union and the apartheid regime in South Africa, and today seems to be rising yet again in North Africa and the Middle East. These unexpected events have led scholars of history, political science and international relations to delve into the questions of how transitions from authoritarianism to democracy occur and what structural factors seem to make these more likely. Another related set of questions concerns the social, economic and cultural factors that offer the best chance for the consolidation and stabilization of democracies over time.
Given the immense cultural, historical and ethnic diversity of Asia, attempting to come up with a theory that fits all cases is probably a hopeless task. There very likely is a correlation between social and economic development and an eventual transition to democracy, for example, but even then there are exceptions like Singapore -- rich countries that have no democracy at all. Even in countries that have strong civil societies and people power movements like the Philippines, capable of overthrowing dictatorships, there is often a persistent danger of military coups as well as feudal-oligarchic tendencies that limit real democratization. Some countries with strong Confucian values became democratic, while others never did. Some countries that had been within the British Empire developed a strong liberal-democratic political culture but this hardly exists at all in others. There is simply no theoretical consensus on democratization that can encompass this vast, diverse reality that is Asia.
Education is another major structural factor in sustaining a stable democracy, which has a far better chance of consolidating in societies with effective public education systems like those in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Even so, Communist and fascist states also had systems of mass education and propaganda that were expressly designed to turn the population away from liberal or democratic values.. Karl Popper declared that the vitality of democracy depended "on a culture of learning and an ethic of justice," which Confucianism certainly has in abundance, so much so that even the Chinese government formally declared itself neo-Confucian in 1994 (Schmiegelow, p. 29). In this instance, however, Confucianism is likely to be deployed as a buttress for the authoritarian state, as in often was in imperial times before 1911.
Western scholars gave little thought to transition to democracy before 1970, since most nations were ruled by Communist, fascist or military-authoritarian regimes with state-directed economic policies. Certainly this was the case with every Asian country at the time, with the exception of India and Japan. Dankwart A. Rustow argued that the transition to democracy should be separated from later stages of consolidation and stabilization. He doubted that high literacy levels, economic development or liberal values were essential for the initial transition, but only for "angry and exhausted elites" facing a "stalemate" after prolonged conflicts to decide to opt for democratization (Anderson 1999, p. 3). At certain key junctures in history, elite groups may decide that democratization is in their interest in order to resolve persistent ethnic, religious or economic conflicts. Elites are not always a united or cohesive ruling class, and their unity may break down due to political or economic contradictions, regionalism or rival ethic and religious loyalties. Such a breakdown between Northern and Southern elites occurred in the U.S. Civil War of 1861-65, just to name one important example. Democratization and compromise can resolve intractable differences like these, especially if they provide "material gains through greater stability" (Bevir p. 365). Another feature of elite transitions to democracy is that they often entail demands for "preservation of capitalist institutions through the public suppression of 'extremists'" (Haynes, 2001, p. 150).
Democratic political culture may not yet exist during the initial transition to democracy, but its development over time is essential to the stability and success of a democracy. Among the values associated with it are: respect for diversity, pluralism, tolerance, a civic culture or civil society with space for NGOs, labor unions and popular organizations, the rule of law, and belief in the political process to resolve disputes rather than violence. Statistical studies in the World Values Survey demonstrate a "strong correlation between the values and attitudes of a democratic culture and the number of years a country has experienced democracy" (Bevir, p. 367). Democracy is a relatively recent development in Asia, and most studies of democratization in the region begin in 1945 since outside of Western Europe and North America it hardly existed before that time. For this reason, many of the countries have not yet had sufficient time to develop a truly democratic political culture compared to the older, more established democracies in Western Europe and North America.
In East Asia particularly, Confucian values of order, hierarchy, duty, self-discipline and collectivism remain quite influential on both the elite and popular levels. When the Asia Barometer Surveys of 2006 and 2007 studied public opinion in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and South Korea, they found that the majority of people generally valued free speech and popular participation in government much less than their counterparts in most Western nations. Even in highly developed societies like Japan and Hong Kong, for example, only 9-10% placed a high value of freedom of speech, while just 3-4% did in the other countries. In Singapore, 71% of those surveyed placed high value on maintaining order, as did 58% in China and 47% in South Korea, while only about 35% in Japan and Hong Kong valued popular participation in government. In other Asian nations, those surveyed valued this much less than people in most Western nations (Broadbent and Brockman 2009, p. 21).
East Asia: The Confucian Core Countries
Confucianism and Buddhism had a far different impact on politics and the state in Asia than Christianity did in the West. Confucianism emphasized rule by an enlightened elite of scholar-bureaucrats in a hierarchical and authoritarian society, while Buddhism was generally quietist and otherworldly. None of the Asian countries had a tradition of voting, parliamentary rule, or individual rights, and indeed in Confucian philosophy, individualism is seen as selfishness and egotism. For Confucianism, the good of the family, group, society and nation takes precedence over the personal desires of the individual, who is expected to fulfill certain duties and obligations faithfully rather than act merely out of rational, calculated self-interest. On the other hand, in China, Korea and Vietnam, Confucians and Buddhists also recognized the right of the people collectively to revolt against a corrupt or tyrannical government, but this was not the case in Japan. In that country, both Buddhism and Confucianism were stripped of all their "original populist and humanist qualities" and became a prop for the state. Shinto animism was used in the same way, with all "loyalty, unending and self-sacrificing, due to the feudal lord" -- to the shoguns and later the emperor (Broadbent and Brockman, p. 18).
Japan is unique in that the U.S. imposed democracy there after 1945, as it did in West Germany. Thus it "presents few opportunities to study the complex process of interaction between external and internal factors" in the transition to democratization, or the conservative backlash against it once the Cold War was underway in Asia (Shelley, p.…[continue]
"Democratic Transition In Asia Transition And Structural" (2011, January 27) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/democratic-transition-in-asia-84921
"Democratic Transition In Asia Transition And Structural" 27 January 2011. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/democratic-transition-in-asia-84921>
"Democratic Transition In Asia Transition And Structural", 27 January 2011, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/democratic-transition-in-asia-84921
Political, financial and most of all ethnic interest are going to "to further muddle the results. Perhaps most dangerous is that the results did not yield a Parliament whose ethnic proportions match those of the country, and will therefore be perceived as unfair, whether the seats were won by fraud or not." (Rubin, 2010). The other two perspectives to be taken into account in terms of the development of the
S.S.R. stands the fact that civil strife is less dangerous if it takes place on the losing side that it is on the winning side (p99). Realists and Their Critics Predictive failure: realism through structural realism failed to predict the fall of the U.S.S.R. And instead foresaw stability in the bipolar system. However, no theory considered the idea of the way in which the Cold War would end. Even so, theorists did
New Face of Development," Ronald Inglehart and Chrisitan Welzel's article, "How Development Leads to Democracy: What We Know About Modernization," and Jack Goldstone's article, "The New Population Bomb: The Four Megatrends That Will Change the World." Essentially, each of these articles takes varying approaches in chronicling the history of development and the impact that it will have on the future. The overarching goal that is found in synthesizing each
The source of the current crisis can be traced to 1998 when an initial agreement was reached on a plan of action and policy guidelines to establish the Nile Basin Initiative at the 2nd Nile Technical Advisory Committee meeting held in Arusha. A few months later, the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was officially launched at an extraordinary meeting of the Nile Basin Council of Ministers, in Dar es Salaam,
UNDP Report Study Human Development Report 2011: A Study of the Improvements and the Deteriorations in Four Nations Our world has changed immensely in the past twenty-one years. Major improvements, such as high-speed communication via the internet, have allowed East and West to link together, yet some countries have stagnated, and others have even deteriorated. The reason the world is unequal and many countries are still suffering from war, disease, and poverty is
During the 1980s, to help spotlight international concern regarding the unprecedented nuclear arms race, India joined the Six-Nation Five-Continent joint. Amidst India's resolve to maintain its commitment to nuclear disarmament, it consistently opposed discriminatory treaties like the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); holding its nuclear options while other countries hold their nuclear weapons/options (India's Foreign Policy… 2010). Another contemporary concern involves the fact that different departments report different
Fueled by massive inflows of foreign direct investment, rising exports, and one of the highest personal savings rates (around 40% of GNP) in the world, this exceptional economic performance has translated into a tripling of per capita incomes. A better material existence is apparent from the provision of food, clothing, and housing for the vast majority of China's 1.3 billion people to the widespread availability of basic consumer durables