Rule of Law and Democracy: Lessons for China from Asian Experiences

DEMOCRACY AND RULE OF LAW IN EAST ASIA, IN EAST ASIAN DEMOCRACIES: DEEPENING, REVERSAL, AND NON LIBERAL ALTERNATIVES, Yin-Wah Chu and Siu-Lun Wong, eds., Taylor and Francis, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2008

See all articles by Randall Peerenboom

Randall Peerenboom

La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management; Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

Abstract

Foreign leaders, academics and pundits often suggest that the successful democracies in Asia such as Taiwan may provide inspiration for China. On the contrary, Chinese leaders and citizens are not likely to be inspired by what they see elsewhere in Asia or other regions. Rather, they are more likely to conclude that the best approach is to continue to follow the "East Asian Model" and postpone democratization until the country is richer and more stable.

After exploring the global relation between rule of law, democracy and economic growth, this chapter surveys the results of democratization in Asia, and shows that most countries that democratized at low levels of wealth have suffered from low economic growth, poor governance and weak institutions, while those that postponed democratization until higher level of economic and institutional development have managed to consolidate democracy.

Nevertheless, as China is likely to democratize at some point, I consider what type of democracy is likely to take hold. I suggest that China is likely to develop its own variety of democracy, which will most likely be closer to the nonliberal elitist democracy found in other Asian countries than to the liberal democracy found in Euro-America.

Suggested Citation

Peerenboom, Randall, Rule of Law and Democracy: Lessons for China from Asian Experiences. DEMOCRACY AND RULE OF LAW IN EAST ASIA, IN EAST ASIAN DEMOCRACIES: DEEPENING, REVERSAL, AND NON LIBERAL ALTERNATIVES, Yin-Wah Chu and Siu-Lun Wong, eds., Taylor and Francis, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1300882

Randall Peerenboom (Contact Author)

La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Victoria 3552, 3086
Australia

Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

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