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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 02 October 2023

p. 40125. East Asialocked

p. 40125. East Asialocked

  • Doh Chull Shin
  •  and Rollin F. Tusalem


This chapter examines the processes of democratization in East Asia over the past two decades. It first provides a historical background on transitions to democracy in the region before assessing the extent to which third-wave democracies have consolidated by appraising the quality of their performances. Analyses of Freedom House and the World Bank data show that the East Asian region has been slow in responding to the surging wave of global democratization in terms of not only transforming authoritarian regimes into electoral democracies, but also consolidating electoral democracies into well-functioning liberal democracies. The Asian Barometer surveys, on the other hand, reveal that the mass citizenries of China and Singapore endorse their current regime as a well-functioning democracy, and are not much in favour of democratic regime change in their country. The chapter concludes with a discussion of prospects for democratic regime change in China and Singapore.

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