Democratization in Southeast Asia

Social, institutional and security considerations

Authored by: Michael Vatikiotis

The Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138210295
eBook ISBN: 9781315455655
Adobe ISBN:


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With the end of the Cold War in 1989, there was a strong belief in academic and global policy circles that democracy as a system of governance would prevail and that the authoritarian systems that lingered in Asia would soon disappear. Writing in 1991, Clark Neher argued that the transformation of the bipolar world of contest between the United States and the Soviet Union opened a vista of change, with democratization the welcome byproduct of a world in which ‘economic as opposed to security considerations’ would dominate. 1 Thus for the past three decades, the assumption was that progressive democratization in Southeast Asia would help reinforce social and economic security.

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