This timely collection explores democratic transitions in East Asia, arguing against the standard wisdom that European or Christian value systems and socioeconomic forces are essential for democracy to succeed. Instead the contributors convincingly illustrate that political institutions and broad political coalitions, which can be built anywhere by skilled politicians, are keys to consolidating a democratic breakthrough. An exploration of the East Asian experience reveals truths about Western democratization that are usually obscured by popular Western mythologies. This partnership of U.S. and Asian scholars offers the first systematic effort to bring East Asia into the democratization debate in a way that compels one to rethink “the politics of democratization” everywhere. The book therefore is a crucial contribution for all those interested in the broader issues of transitions to democracy.