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Consultative Authoritarianism and Regime Change Analysis: Implications of the Singapore Case

Rodan, G. (2012) Consultative Authoritarianism and Regime Change Analysis: Implications of the Singapore Case. In: Robison, R., (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Politics. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London, England, pp. 120-134.


It had been expected by earlier modernization theorists that social and economic transformations generated by rapid capitalist development would promote new aspirations, opportunities and functional governance pressures favouring liberal democracy (Huntington 1991). However, in Southeast Asia, while authoritarian regimes have collapsed in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, they have proved durable in precisely the most economically advanced countries of Singapore and Malaysia. Such patterns in Southeast Asia and elsewhere led to analytical attention by transition theorists to the contingencies of political change (Diamond et al. 1997) - a focus that has both enriched the literature and also reinforced the limited nature of the problematic under investigation. Preoccupation with understanding the prospects of liberal democratic regimes has come at the expense of more open and fundamental questions. Where are political regimes headed, and why? What are the possibilities for the continuation of authoritarian rule and the forms this might take?

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: The Author
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