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
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.
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