Democracy, Governance and Economic Performance: East and South-east Asia
1 Jan 2000
United Nations University
United Nations University Press
The states of East and Southeast Asia constitute a fertile setting for exploring the links between political and economic development-- subjects usually considered in isolation. Democratization occurred, or was consolidated, in a number of these states in the early 1990s, but irrespective of the level of democratization, economic performance has been a primary source of political legitimacy in all states in the study. Yet the levels of development vary markedly. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore have progressively turned to technological innovation as the primary engine of development, while the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have focused on incorporation in regional/global production systems. In evaluating democratic development, the study focuses particularly on the condition of parties and party systems. In relation to economic governance, the idea of a developmental state provides a template against which the practices of individual states are evaluated. The political and policymaking institutions within these states must now negotiate responses to the financial crisis of the late 1990s. Ultimate outcomes will be determined, on one hand, by the capacity of political systems to sustain popular support and, on the other, by the capacity of institutions to rework dysfunctional economic arrangements.