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Political engineering and ethnic politics in the Asia-Pacific

Reilly, B. (2005) Political engineering and ethnic politics in the Asia-Pacific. In: Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, March 05, 2005, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii USA

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This paper examines how the democratizing states of Asia and the Pacific have responded to ethnic diversity by political engineering and institutional reform. In recent years, some of the contemporary world’s most ambitious and innovative attempts at political engineering have come from the Asia-Pacific region. During the 1990s, democratizing states such as Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Taiwan each embarked upon far- reaching overhauls of their political systems via refashioning of their executives, electoral laws, party systems and other key democratic institutions. Many of these reforms were driven, in large part, by the need to manage the consequences of social cleavages – cultural, religious, linguistic, regional and political -- upon political stability by the design of political institutions. This paper examines the record of these reforms, focussing particularly on the broad areas of mediating, representative and powersharing institutions.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Publisher: International Studies Association
Copyright: (c) 2005 Internation Studies Association
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