Asia’s Dysfunctional Democracies

The abrupt resignation of Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is but another sign of a disturbing paradox: the more “vigorous” Asian democracy becomes, the more dysfunctional it is.

There is no shortage of examples. The attempt by opposition parties last year to impeach South Korea’s President Roh Moo Hyun on the flimsiest of excuses; Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s inability to pass legislation through a parliament controlled by the opposition Kuomintang; Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s stalemated first term and the repeated rumors of looming coup attempts against her: each bears testimony to a form of democratic paralysis in Asia.

If deadlock and confusion were the only results, such political impasses might be tolerable. But chronic stalemate has confronted many Asian democracies with the threat of being discredited, a potential for violence, and the prospect of economic decline.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/nc5H9SK;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.