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Semi-presidentialism and democratic development in East Asia grows

Reilly, B. (2008) Semi-presidentialism and democratic development in East Asia grows. APEC Economies Newsletter, 12 (10).

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East Asia contains three of the world’s semipresidential democracies: Taiwan, Mongolia, and East Timor. Each of these countries is an unusual case of democratisation: Taiwan is one of East Asia’s famous ‘tiger’ economies and the world’s only Sinitic democracy, but faces an ongoing crisis of nationhood; Mongolia is one of the few unambiguous cases of a successful transition to democracy and a market economy in the post-Communist world; while East Timor is both Asia’s poorest nation and its newest democracy. Prior to their democratic transitions, each was also under the influence of a large foreign power — be it Russia in relation to Mongolia, Indonesia in East Timor, or China’s claim to sovereignty in relation to Taiwan. This is not a propitious starting point for a transition to democracy; indeed, in different ways, each country seemed to lack some of the essential preconditions for successful democratisation. Nonetheless, each has succeeded to the extent that successive free elections and peaceful changes of power have now occurred.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Publisher: The Crawford School of Economics and Government
Copyright: © The Australian National University, Canberra
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