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Populist Threats and Democracy’s Fate in Southeast Asia : Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia
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This book offers a new explanation for democracy’s collapse or persistence in Southeast Asia today.
Focusing on the cases of Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines — the only three countries in Southeast Asia with any serious experience with democracy — the author explains that most customary explanatory frameworks for understanding what makes democracy endure fail to explain these cases well. Indonesia, against most predictions, has remained democratic; Thailand, contrary to many expectations, has not; the Philippines has had a mixed record, but in the main, has done rather better than most works on democratic stability would tend to predict. Against these explanations, he advances a new argument: that what sustains democracy is the absence of a populist threat that motivates elites to overturn democratic rule.
Presenting research into vital questions over democratic persistence and authoritarian breakdown, this book will be of interest to scholars in the field of comparative politics, specifically comparative democratization and Southeast Asian politics.