Democratic Transitions In Asia
by Johannen, Uwe & James Gomez (Eds)
About This Book
Post-Asian crisis developments show that the
countries of the region are seeing greater demands for freedoms by its peoples. The symbol of the region's democratisation struggle was marked with
the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to South Korean President Kim Dae Jung in 2000.
But where does the region stand in real terms with regards to democratisation? Indonesia under Gus Dur struggles to overcome the shackles of too many years of authoritarian rule, and is discovering that democracy comes at a heavy price. In the Philippines, "People Power 2" brought down Joseph Estrada, but Gloria Magapagal Arroyo is not ensured of a smooth rule. The Thais elected Thaksin Shinawatra premier even though he was under investigation for corruption. In Malaysia, the sacking and conviction of the former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has heightened political awareness. In Singapore, there is much talk of a civil society but the rules of the game have not changed. And, in Myanmar, SLORC changes it name, but not its game, and Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest. Meanwhile, the socialist regimes in Vietnam and Laos are still reluctant to open up. but they may have no choice. The politics of violence continues to plague Cambodia.
In this environment, politicians, activists, journalists and academics go beyond the usual theory and talk about how to translate democracy into practice. In this volume they examine the reforms needed for democratic transitions to take place. Independent political institutions, human rights, the rule of law, free media, civil society, demilitarisation, local economy and the development of free market economy are examined. Contributors include Marzuki Darusman, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Martin Lee, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Gen. Agus Wijoyo, and academics Don Emmerson and Harold Crouch.
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