Region: Asia

January 2007, Volume 18, Issue 1

Malaysia: Turnover Without Change

When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi succeeded Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in 2003, many expected far-reaching change in Malaysia. So far, however, turnover at the top has not led to significant democratic progress.

October 2006, Volume 17, Issue 4

History Repeats Itself in Pakistan

If there is a common thread through Pakistan's checkered history, it is the army's perception of itself as the country's only viable institution. As the next parliamentary elections approach, what does the future hold for democratic hopes in Pakistan?

April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

Challenge and Change in East Asia: Taiwan’s Year of Stress

Thanks to a disputed presidential election and a narrowly divided parliament, Taiwan's politics remains tense. Yet the worst of the conflicts that gripped the island seem to have eased, and the difficult political events of the last few years may have some beneficial effects after all.

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

Hong Kong’s Democrats Stumble

The democratic forces had an uphill climb going into the September 2004 legislative elections, but they made unforced errors as well. What were these, and how can the democrats do better next time?

October 2004, Volume 15, Issue 4

Philippine Politics and the Rule of Law

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election as president in her own right capped a campaign that spoke well of Philippine democracy, but yawning gaps in the rule of law obstruct the road to consolidation.

July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

Crafting a Constitution for Afghanistan

As 2004 began, Afghanistan approved a new constitution that represents a key step forward in its political reconstruction. But it is not yet clear whether this new constitution will enable the country to surmount the many challenges that lie ahead.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Tibet: The Exiles’ Journey

Almost a half-century after being forced from their homeland, Tibetans abroad, led by the Dalai Lama, have democratized their institutions in hopes that they may one day form the basis for a free and self-governing Tibet.

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Democracy Under Stress in Thaksin’s Thailand

In 1997, Thailand adopted constitutional reforms. Now, five years after the reforms and almost two years into the premiership of Thaksin Shinawatra, we can see the gaps and ironies that the reforms left behind.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

South Asia Faces the Future: Democracy on Hold in Pakistan

After September 11 and the start of the U.S.-led war on terrorists in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military regime of Pervez Musharraf found itself at the center of world attention. What do these new and dramatically changed circumstances portend for a possible return to elected, civilian rule in Islamabad?

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

South Asia Faces the Future: Back and Forth in Bangladesh

Recent parliamentary elections showed the continuing strengths and weaknesses of Bangladeshi democracy. Although the country does have strong political parties and a decade of democratic elections, the intense antipathy between government and opposition will continue to cause problems well into the future.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

What Democracy Can Do for East Asia

The implicit social bargain that carried many East Asian countries through the Cold War has lost its currency. If the peoples of this region are to secure the blessings of peace, liberty, and prosperity in the century ahead, they will need to have a new and explicitly democratic bargain working for them.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

Books in Review: Reconstructing Afghanistan

A review of “Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban,” by Larry P. Goodson; and “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia,” by Ahmed Rashid.

April 2001, Volume 12, Issue 2

The Return of “People Power” in the Philippines

The mass demonstrations that ousted President Joseph Estrada recalled those that had brought down dictator Ferdinand Marcos 15 years earlier. Yet the return of “People Power” raises some concerns about the health of Filipino democracy.

April 2001, Volume 12, Issue 2

Pressing for Openness in Singapore

Although friendly to business, Singapore’s government represses dissent and is far from transparent in its management of public funds. A leading dissident chronicles his struggle for greater openness.

January 2001, Volume 12, Issue 1

Malaysia’s Resilient Pseudodemocracy

While many of the world’s pseudodemocracies have lately made the transition to “unadulterated” democracy, Malaysia and its leader, Mahathir Mohamad, have successfully bucked this trend.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

The Politics of the Asian Financial Crisis

The political dimensions of the 1997-99 Asian financial crisis have been largely ignored. Yet political factors are crucial to understanding the crisis and the differing ways in which the democracies and authoritarian regimes in the region responded to it.

January 1999, Volume 10, Issue 1

Taiwan Gets it Right

Review of The First Chinese Democracy: Political Life in the Republic of China on Taiwan by Chao, Linda and Myers, Ramon H.

July 1998, Volume 9, Issue 3

India Defies the Odds: Enduring Another Election

Indians appear to love the practice of democracy so much that they are in danger of overdoing it. In February and March of 1998, the world's largest democracy held its twelfth general election since gaining its independence a half-century ago. The voting was largely fair and peaceful. New, right-of-center rulers led by the Bharatiya Janata…

July 1998, Volume 9, Issue 3

India Defies the Odds: Making Federalism Work

To understand how India's democracy works, and how it manages demands from social groups for greater power, resources, autonomy, and respect, it is essential to understand Indian federalism. That, in turn, requires us to address two questions. First, why have relations between New Delhi and the various state governments (there are at present 25) usually…

July 1998, Volume 9, Issue 3

India Defies the Odds: Why Democracy Survives

India has long baffled theorists of democracy. Democratic theory holds that poverty, widespread illiteracy, and a deeply hierarchical social structure are inhospitable conditions for the functioning of democracy. Yet except for 18 months in 1975-77, India has maintained its democratic institutions ever since it became independent of Britain in 1947. Over those five decades, there…

Winter 1990, Volume 1, Issue 1

Tiananmen and Beyond: After the Massacre

The following text is based upon remarks presented by Wuer Kaixi in Washington, D.C. on 2 August 1989 at a meeting cosponsored by the Congressional Human Rights Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Winter 1990, Volume 1, Issue 1

Tiananmen and Beyond: The Resurgence of Civil Society in China

The remarkable events of April and May 1989 revealed the degree to which civil society has reemerged in Communist China. The ruthless campaign of suppression that began on June 4 revealed in turn the degree to which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remains unwilling and unable to accept the reality of nascent civil society in…

Winter 1990, Volume 1, Issue 1

Tiananmen and Beyond: Peering Over the Great Wall

Our goal at present is the thorough modernization of China. We all have a compelling sense of the need for this. There is a widespread feeling of dissatisfaction with the status quo among people in all walks of life.

Democracy in East Asia

"Asian and non-Asian authors debate the desirability of democracy in East Asia… The two editors… do an excellent job introducing the issues, ideas, and approaches of the fifteen authors."—Foreign Affairs

How People View Democracy

No serious student of democracy can afford to be without this book. It offers an original and comprehensive view of what citizens around the world think as democracy's global "third wave" prepares to enter its fourth and perhaps most challenging decade.