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Democratisation in East Asia

Shaun Breslin

CSGR Working Paper No. 100/02

June 2002




This paper considers how an assessment of East Asian states helps us test concepts of democratisation. It argues that many of the analytical approaches deployed by democratisation scholars reflect the contexts in which the majority of democratisation studies have been developed. In particular, they underplay the significance of the lack of separation of state and economy – of public and private – that predominates in much of the developing world. It argues that democratisation studies can be enhanced by engaging with the insights provided by international political economy approaches – particularly, but not only, in relation to the study of East Asia.

This working paper is a chapter from the forthcoming book Democratization Through the Looking Glass, edited by Peter Burnell, for publication by Manchester University Press in 2003. The book contains different perspectives of several disciplines such as international political economy, legal scholarship, sociology and women’s studies, together with the insights of different area studies. It advances the case for a broadly based comparative study of democratisation, while arguing that multidisciplinarity will enhance our understanding far more than a narrow political science approach.

Keywords: Democratisation; East Asia, international political economy

Address for correspondence:

Dr Shaun Breslin
Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

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