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 ten separate case studies by leading authorities, examines the countries that have conducted multiparty elections since the 1940s - 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 behavior. It is, rather, the same forces and structures that shape politics in North America and Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521564045
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press Series
  • Pages: 269
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables
List of contributors
Introduction: Elections and politics in Southeast Asia 1
1 Elections and participation in three Southeast Asian countries 12
2 A useful fiction: Democratic legitimation in New Order Indonesia 34
3 Elections without representation: The Singapore experience under the PAP 61
4 Elections' Janus face: Limitations and potential in Malaysia 90
5 Malaysia: Do elections make a difference? 114
6 Contested meanings of elections in the Philippines 136
7 Elections in Burma/Myanmar: For whom and why? 164
8 Elections and democratization in Thailand 184
9 A tale of two democracies: Conflicting perceptions of elections and democracy in Thailand 201
10 The Cambodian elections of 1993: A case of power to the people? 224
Afterword 243
Index 253
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