The Politics of Elections in Southeast Asia
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The Politics of Elections in Southeast Asia

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Though most governments in Southeast Asia are widely described as authoritarian, elections have been a feature of politics in the region for many decades. This volume, bringing together eleven separate case studies by leading authorities, examines the countries that have conducted multi-party elections since the 1940s and 1950s - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar, and Singapore. It identifies the common and distinguishing features of electoral politics in the region. The contributors to this volume, unlike most earlier students of politics in Southeast Asia, conclude that it is not something peculiar to the political culture of the region that shapes its political behaviour. It is, rather, the same political forces and structures that shape politics in North America and Europe.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 400g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 7 Tables, unspecified
  • 0521564433
  • 9780521564434
  • 1,293,892

Table of contents

List of tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the study of elections in the politics of Southeast Asia R. H. Taylor; 1. Elections and participation in three Southeast Asian countries Benedict R. Anderson; 2. A useful fiction: democratic legitimization in New Order Indonesia R. William Liddle; 3. Elections without representation: the Singapore experience under the PAP Garry Rodan; 4. Elections' Janus face: limitations and potential in Malaysia K. S. Jomo; 5. Malaysia: do elections make a difference? Harold Crouch; 6. Contested meanings of elections in the Philippines Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet; 7. Elections in Burma/Mynmar: for whom and why? R. H. Taylor; 8. Elections and democratization in Thailand Suchit Bunbongkarn; 9. A tale of two democracies: conflicting perceptions of elections in Thai politics Anek Laothamatas; 10. The Cambodian elections of 1993: a case of power to the people? Kate G. Frieson; Afterword Dan S. Lev; Index.
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Review quote

'This is a timely, informative and highly readable collection of essays on the nature and role of elections in South East Asia. The ten essays provide both overview and detailed accounts of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nyanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.' Commonwealth and Comparative Politics "By ignoring culture as an explanatory variable and self-consciously adopting a systematic comparative approach, this book represents a major contribution to the study of politics and elections in contemporary Southeast Asia and in other regions and historical periods as well." Crossroads "Historians of China will, therefore, find this study of Korean Confucian thought a useful reference work. For historians of Korea, this book will be more than useful. It will be indispensable. No library of Korean history, neither in North America nor in Korea should be without it." Don Baker, Pacific Affairs "This volume serves as a useful reader to the ongoing debate about elections and their (mis)use in Southeast Asia." James Chin, Journal of Asian Studies
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