Asian new democracies: the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan compared

Asian new democracies: the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan compared

Peformance of democracy in Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan

This book focuses on the common issues and unique problems faced by three new democracies in Asia: Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan.The book contains 12 chapters in three parts following a general introduction. Together, essays in this volume provide a baseline characterisation of the democratic performance of three countries.

The editor of the volume notes in the introduction that the struggles for democracy in these countries have been an integral part of world movements toward democracy. Among the various common issues before them, the editor identifies two as most pressing. They are:

  • the challenge to consolidate the respective new democratic systems by establishing regulated inter-political party competition without being trapped into chaotic political struggles, and
  • the ability to govern the new democracy without having been held up by the structural inertia still prevailing in their old bureaucracies
There are significant unique features for each case, not so much for the causes of democratisation, but rather in the consequences of democratic transition which the three democratic states have to deal with.
  • for the Philippines, it is the real threat of continuing armed movements led by both the communist-led guerrilla and Islamic-based secessionist campaign that the state has been forced to face since the day of democratic regime change in 1987
  • for South Korea, it is the political cleavages and conflicts manifested in political party struggles originated and perpetuated by long lasting regionalism that the Korean new democratic governments since 1998 all had hard time to deal with
  • taiwan shares similar democratic challenge posed by the opposition party that had reigned in power for almost five decades and still did not accept the loss in both 2000 and 2004 presidential elections
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