Democracy and Democratization

Professor: Mehmet Ozkan Student: Envera Suljić 1010250 Wednesday, 28th March, 2012

Article review

China and East Asian Democracy Larry Diamond
Article ‘China and East Asian Democracy’, written by Larry Diamond (and with contributions of Francis Fukuyama, Mixin Pei and Yun- han Chu) in January of 2012, talks about changes that are starting to happen in East Asia, their causes and future. This area was never connected with near expansion of democracy because all focus was on the Middle East, but the truth is that if fourth wave starts in next five to ten years it will be from East Asia. Taking into consideration all these countries influenced by Arab spring and those who might follow same pattern (Egypt, Tunisia- fallen and Yemen, Syria, Maroco, etc.) only Tunisia has biggest chances of becoming democracy, while, on the other side, stable democracies already exist (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) with Indonesia, Mongolia and Philippines as electoral democracies. So, according to Larry D. these democracies and position will help developing democracy in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma and China. It is true that electoral democracies need to adjust themselves more (problems of corruption, underdeveloped judiciary and weak rule of law), but the brighter side, and more important one, is fact that huge majorities of population in each of these countries believe in democracy. The East Asian countries yet to enter transition have much bigger and harder obstacles to conquer which makes their success questionable. Singapore has GDP of $56.522 and HDI1 0.8662, which makes it perfect candidate for transition (because it is so high). Current party is conscious of that because it faces waking up of opposition (Workers’ Party) as well as of youth. In Malaysia educated society, independent organizations and free social media is pulling it toward democracy. The high GDP ($14.670) and HDI of 0.7613 also plays important role here. But the situation with government is little bit different because they are trying to regain support they previously had. Prime- minister Razak tried to change some laws (mainly electoral- best and easier way to bring democracy), but these trials were criticized and described as ‘too little, too late’.
1 2

Abriervation of Human Development Index; Diamond, Larry; F. Fukuyama; Mixin Pei and Yun- han Chu, 'China and East Asian Democracy'; Journal of Democracy, january 2012; page: 9 3 Diamond, Larry; F. Fukuyama; Mixin Pei and Yun- han Chu, 'China and East Asian Democracy'; Journal of Democracy, january 2012; page: 9


American Heritage Dictionary. 2012 Situation is different in Thailand and Burma with GDP not so high. Journal of Democracy.collar jobs5. Mixin Pei and Yun. d) Shrinking of labor force. january 2012. but sudden and fast. page:928. e) Education on limit. with economic growth faster than anywhere else and situation that seems to function so many discuss why to change it? In 1996 some predictions came that by 2015 China will be half democratic and by 2025 the full democracy will be achieved. F.han Chu. Larry. but it will not probably last too long (if the strong middle class exist). Modernization and stronger relationship with Taiwan are driving force of democracy despite crisis government is facing. but with the rising level of modernization. In the conclusion we can say that in least 2 generations East Asia will be democratic and that will largely influence spread of democracy on global level. New York. Reasons for it are tangible democratization in Malaysia and Singapore. but after coup in 2006 it gained more freedom and things are slowly stabilizing. In Burma authoritarian leader is democratizing influenced by global happenings and their transition can be with least turbulence. b) Problems with one. Chinese Communist Party has two choices and either of them is good for it.10 years) sooner or later. China is special case with GDP 7.6874. What they do not realize are next facts that are much dangerous: a) Increasing frustration among citizens because economic development is not followed by checks of corruption and abuses of power. Political stability is illusion and will change (in 5.child policy (fast aging). 4 Diamond.not enough white. There is risk that something worse might come on the stage.519 and HDI 0. page: 9 5 Related to workers whose work does not include manual labor. 28th March. 4th edition. 2 . c) Slowed urbanization. They do not want to enter the path of liberalizing because of fear not to end as Soviet Union in Gorbachev’s hands in 1980s. trials of it in Thailand and Burma and only sights of transition to democracy in China. 2007. Fukuyama. 'China and East Asian Democracy'. It can leave government to democrats or can find way to fix these problems with further result in creating strong middle class which will then bring democracy. But the current situation is showing us that the transition (if ever happens) will not be step-by-step.Democracy and Democratization Professor: Mehmet Ozkan Student: Envera Suljić 1010250 Wednesday. Thailand faced many problems. Bantam Dell.