This book documents the search for a workable model of democracy in Asia. It begins with two conceptual chapters that explore the role of electoral democracy as a governance mechanism in the light of other governance mechanisms, then reviews the various forms of Asian democracy, including those that many may consider to be in name rather than in substance, that have been practiced to date, and indicates where these models may have failed or succeeded. Underpinned by extensive case studies, valuable insights into governance and democracy in Asia – arguably one of the most fascinating and dynamic regions in the world – are provided.
The contributors chart the historical development of democracy (or democratic aspirations) within their respective countries/territories, and analyse both the positive and the negative influences on democratization. They assess whether the particular form of democracy (or lack of, as the case may be) that has developed brings benefit or harm to the people living in the countries and why. The extent to which policy-making has been able to produce benefits for the population, regardless of the degree of democratic development, is then addressed. Finally, the book evaluates whether lessons can be learnt from Asia’s experiences with democracy for other areas of the world.
Concluding that sound governance mechanisms, in particular the rule of law, – is the key to effective democratic systems, this book will strongly appeal to those with an interest in democracy, comparative politics, political economy and Asian studies and will be a timely reference or text in courses related to these areas.