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The Democratic Rollback? Democracy in East-Asia
 

The Democratic Rollback? Democracy in East-Asia

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The Democratic Rollback? Democracy in East-Asia The Democratic Rollback? Democracy in East-Asia Presentation Transcript

  • The Democratic Rollback? With reference to … The Resurgence of the Predatory State, Larry Diamond, From Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008 By FILI AN
  • Larry Diamond
    • Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Stanford University.
    • Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    • Founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.
    • Related Books:
      • The Spirit of Democracy
      • Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation
      • Promoting Democracy in the 1990s
      • Political Culture and Democracy in developing Countries ed.
    • (Reference : Prof. Diamond’s website at Stanford)
  • The Democratization Wave
    • By 2000 – 60% of the world’s independent counties democratic.
    • East-Asia : South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia.
    • (Reference : Following data and charts are from the Freedom House 2008 report)
  • What’s Democracy about?
    • Not sure there is one “definition”…
    • Majority rule (/representative).
    • Rule of Law / Equality before law.
    • Civil liberties & human rights – speech, press, religion, privacy, own property, fair trail etc.
    • Balanced separated powers – government, parliament, judiciary, press...
    • What else?
  • Freedom House – the definition of “Free”
    • “ Freedom is the opportunity to act spontaneously … outside the control of the government … “
    • Political rights - “Participate freely in the political process through the right to …
      • Vote.
      • Compete for public office.
      • Elect representatives who have a decisive impact on public policies and are accountable to the electorate”
    • Civil liberties – “Freedoms of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy without interference from the state“
  • Freedom – Who’s Free in East Asia?
    • Country - (PR, CL)
    • Japan - 1, 2
    • South Korea - 1, 2
    • Taiwan - 2, 1
    • Mongolia - 2, 2
    • Indonesia - 2, 3
    • Philippines - 4, 3
    • Malaysia - 4, 4 (down)
    • Singapore - 5, 4
    • Thailand - 6, 4
    • Cambodia - 6, 5
    • Brunei - 6, 5
    • Vietnam - 7, 5
    • China - 7, 6
    • Laos - 7, 6
    • Burma - 7,7 (down)
    • North Korea - 7, 7
    • The report ranks every country on a seven point scale in two categories ( 1 highest, 7 lowest)
    • “ Political Rights" (PR)
    • “ Civil Liberties" (CL)
  • Freedom - What’s happening in East Asia – 2007-8
    • “ A number of Asia’s most important countries suffered freedom setbacks during 2007”-8
    • Burma – Violence against peaceful demonstrations.
    • China
      • Crack down: Political activists, online journalists, human-rights lawyers.
      • Olympics : “Antidemocratic environment”.
      • Growing pressure on Tibet.
    • Malaysia – Tighter control : online media crackdown, suppression of opposition-led protests.
    • Philippines - High-level corruption allegations.
    • Thailand – Recovering from a military cope. Re-electing the Thaksin’s party allies.
  • Perception of Democracy -> Negative trend
    • Decreasing faith in the democratic political system – Politicians, parties, government officials.
    • Examples :
    • Asian Barometer – Philippines (2001 -> 2005)
      • “ Democracy is Best” : 64% -> 51%.
      • Satisfaction with Democracy : 54% -> 39%.
      • Rejection of Authoritarian Rule : 70% -> 59%.
    • Afrobarometer – Nigeria (2000 -> 2005)
      • “ Government is fighting corruption” : 64% -> 36%
  • World-wide “Democratic Recession”
    • Nigeria, Russia
      • Expansion of executive power, intimidation of the opposition, rigging the electoral process.
      • The people embrace stronger authoritarian leader (Vlademir Potin)
    • Venezuela
      • The people embrace stronger authoritarian leader President Hugo Chavez almost passing a referendum to give him unlimited power. Control.
    • Kenya
      • Ethnic violence regarding Electoral Fraud (2007).
  • What’s the core problem? - Elections
    • Elections
      • “ The Fallacy of Electoralism” : Democracy isn’t all about elections.
      • Potential “Electoral Authoritarianism” : Elections aren’t always democratic.
    • Other strong democracies (US, Europe) accept “superficial democracies”, often mixing economics and politics.
  • Elections - Democracy requires…
    • Freedom to advocate, associate, contest, and campaign.
    • Fair and neutral electoral administration.
    • A widely credible system of dispute resolution.
    • Balanced access to mass media.
    • Independent vote monitoring.
  • What’s the core problem? - Governance
    • “ Monopoly of Power ” - Rule of the Elite - nearly everyone feels powerless, exploited, and unhappy.
    • “ Predatory societies ” – Use any means necessary and break any rules possible to gain power and wealth.
    • “ Social distrust” - Thin line between police and criminals.
    • Robert Putnam, Douglass North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast – Problem is … “Bad governance is not an aberration or an illness to be cured, but rather a natural condition ”.
  • Governance - Democracy requires …
    • Freedom, justice, and a fairer society through :
    • It takes time to make it work - ongoing commitment to the principles of democracy.
    • Democratic Balance
      • Accountable Government.
      • Judicial system and Rule of Law : Law enforcement, crime and corruption containment.
      • Independent organizations, mass media, and think tanks.
    • Generating steady solid economic growth while ensuring economic equality.
    • Professionalism & open market economy?
  • Governance - Transforming Predator Societies…
    • Civic involvement and consciousness.
    • Forming impartial rules and democratic institutions (political parties, parliaments, and local governments).
      • better, stronger, and more
      • transparency and accessibility .
    • Accountability
      • Vertical (by the public) : G enuine democratic election with strict integrity and neutrality, public hearings, citizen audits, the regulation of campaign finance, and a freedom-of-information act
      • Horizontal (by the counterpart agencies) : Independent with resources - Legal authority, professional staffs, public audits, parliamentary oversight committees, etc.
  • My take on things - Maslow on a social scale
    • Human needs -> Social needs.
    • Social Physiological and Safety should be satisfied in order to allow a confident long-lasting Social-actualization.
  • My take on things - Democracy
    • Democracy – least worst . It’s not near perfect, but it’s the best we have.
    • It’s essentially working - People in strong enduring democracies – see and constantly complain about the weaknesses, but wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
    • The main democratic strength
      • A work in process for the whole society.
      • A self-evolving political system.
      • Focusing on rights and liberties.
  • My take on things - World’s Democratic Recession
    • I’m optimistic .
    • Up to the people - There’s no such thing “cultural tendencies to freedom or democracy”, yet it’s up to the people in different nations to figure out what’s right for them. Democracy can take many forms.
    • Democracy can’t be rushed into - It took Europe and the US hundreds of years and it’s still in process.
    • People’s Democracy - Democracy has to come from the people. It can not be forced upon. People need to want it.