Public Governance in Asia and the Limits of Electoral Democracy

Public Governance in Asia and the Limits of Electoral Democracy

Edited by Brian Bridges and Lok Sang Ho

This book documents the search for a workable model of democracy in Asia. It begins with two conceptual chapters that explore the role of electoral democracy as a governance mechanism in the light of other governance mechanisms, then reviews the various forms of Asian democracy, including those that many may consider to be in name rather than in substance, that have been practiced to date, and indicates where these models may have failed or succeeded. Underpinned by extensive case studies, valuable insights into governance and democracy in Asia – arguably one of the most fascinating and dynamic regions in the world – are provided.

Foreword

Edited by Brian Bridges and Lok Sang Ho

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, asian politics, public policy, regulation and governance

Extract

Hong Kong, as a vibrant city-state which has gone through a transition from a colonial territory to a special administrative region of China, has proved a pertinent site from which to observe and analyse the changing patterns of government and governance in neighbouring countries across Asia. As it happens, the decade following the turn of the millennium has been a fantastic time to study the subject of public governance and democracy, with many interesting developments around the world. The case studies developed in this volume provide valuable insights into this crucial subject in Asia, which remains a fascinating and dynamic region despite the impact of the recent global financial crisis. They highlight the spirit of public governance as the prevention of the abuse of power by public officials and politicians, and the importance of public governance in protecting the public interest. The initial impetus for this volume came from one editor’s enthusiasm for trying to learn from past experiences to make public policy-making and public governance more effective in the region in the future. While serving as Chair of Lingnan University’s Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS), Lok Sang Ho organized an international conference specifically on the ‘Lessons from History’ in June 2006 and, with this volume in mind, asked a number of regional specialists to present papers at that conference. These papers have, in due course, been revised and updated in the light of comments made at that conference and the unfolding of events since then. We have...