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Democratization and State Capacity in East and Southeast Asia


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Marsh, I 2006 , 'Democratization and State Capacity in East and Southeast Asia' , Taiwan Journal of Democracy, vol. 2, no. 2 , pp. 69-92 .

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This essay surveys the development of democracy in seven East and Southeast
Asian states and its impacts on state capacity. The states covered are: South
Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.
In the first five of these states, democratic structures have been introduced
only over the last two decades. In the last two, they remain profoundly
constrained. The essay considers the impacts of this development on state
capacity. State capacity is a complex variable. It can be subdivided into three
primary components: political, policy, and organizational capacities. Within
each of these components, specific elements that have been affected by, or
that potentially gain new significance from, democratization are examined.
Political capacity involves political culture, political parties, the formation
of executives, and executive-legislative relations. Policy capacity entails
the assimilation of new policy strategies. Administrative capacity involves
bureaucratic politicization and interest aggregation. The essay concludes
that state capacity in all seven countries draws mostly on old foundations.
Democracy has introduced new forms and new dynamic elements. However,
its consolidation is a work in progress. For the moment, democratic forms
constitute primarily a varnish, beneath which older patterns of power and
authority continue to flourish.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marsh, I
Journal or Publication Title: Taiwan Journal of Democracy
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