Rethinking economy and democratisation

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It’s usually stated as fact that economic growth leads to democratisation. However, when we consider democratisation as a strategic outcome – the result of government and non-government actors responding to each other’s behaviour – the opposite is true. Under weak economic conditions, the government has the highest incentive to accommodate citizens’ demands, while citizens’ threats to use their capabilities for political reforms are most credible then. Using this model we can see how economic downturn in fact leads to democratisation, with the experiences of South Korea and Taiwan proving particularly elucidating.

Fiona Yap

Updated:  11 January, 2015/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team