Prominence has often been given to the lives and activities of such top female leaders in Asia as Indira Gandhi and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Indeed, the ability of a small elite of highly educated, upper-class Asian women to obtain the highest political positions in their country is unmatched elsewhere in the world and deserves study. But, for those interested in a more detailed understanding of how women strive and sometimes succeed as political actors in Asia, there is a marked lack of relevant research as well as of comprehensive and user-friendly texts.
It is a singularly coherent, comprehensive and accessible volume, even though it brings together an array of prominent European and Asian academicians and researchers working in this field. The book covers a wide range of Asian countries, offers original data from various perspectives and engages the latest research on women in politics in Asia. Drude Dahlerup Index. No matter where you are in the world, all NIAS Press books can be ordered through your local bookseller as well as from online booksellers such as Amazon. Libraries can order from their usual library supplier.
Australia and New Zealand With our old distributor gone out of business and scholars prefering to buy online, this territory is currently an open market. At this point, the press has entered into distribution agreements with a number of library suppliers and we soon aim to make our books available for download onto ebook readers like the Kindle and iPad. Older titles NIAS Press aims to keep all our books in print indefinitely, but our distributors do not carry a full complement of the oldest titles.
Asia and Oceania is a region of political extremes.
Thailand's election highlights the struggle for women to enter politics following princess's ban
The spectrum ranges from established democracies, such as Taiwan and South Korea, to an utterly fossilized autocracy, such as North Korea. This also applies to the criteria the BTI uses to assess political transformation. With the exception of stateness no failed states and political and social integration no top performers in relations with civil society , the region offers an almost complete spectrum of evaluation.
Leaving aside the positive and negative outliers, it is notable that while polities in Asia are largely stable, they tend to be less politically inclusive than countries elsewhere around the globe. A glance at recent developments in individual countries confirms the impression of greatly contrasting levels and trends. In Nepal, for instance, the constituent assembly was re-elected in November and a government answerable to parliament was formed.
At the same time, 12 of the 21 countries are still subject to autocratic rule, although here, too, there are significant differences, as the elections conducted within the review period demonstrate. While alleged manipulation marred elections in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Malaysia, with contested results at times rejected by opposition parties, both the May parliamentary elections in Pakistan and the January presidential election in Sri Lanka represented positive steps.
Half-hearted attempts to prevent the transfer of power with the assistance of state and political actors came to nothing. With all due caution, we can state that the events of suggest that there is considerable potential for self-healing in this island country. The opposite is true of Thailand. By staging a coup in May , the military added another act to a drama that has already enjoyed a decade-long run. Beyond these obvious milestones and crossroads in transformation, it is worth investigating the more or less gradual, longer-term processes of the last decade.
Particularly worrying here are the losses registered in free and fair elections, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. In 13 of the 20 countries reviewed since the BTI , there is less freedom in the core areas of political participation than there was 10 years ago.
The trend toward lower voter turnouts is one facet of this phenomenon; others include restrictions of civil rights and liberties — particularly freedom of opinion and the media — as well as disputed elections. Erosion of the rule of law, a development also found in 13 countries, is almost as striking. On the other hand, the decline in stability of democratic institutions is less pronounced and now only affects Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The negative changes over the last 10 years in the three named areas contrast with the modest improvements in stateness in nine of the 20 countries as well as the very high scores that remained unchanged in three other countries. Finally, political and social integration is the only democracy criterion in which a majority of countries showed improvement 12 out of However, this cannot be attributed to the consolidation of party systems, the rise of well-organized, assertive and pluralistic interest groups, or a surge in social capital.
Rather, the gain derives from the broad consensus that the system of democracy enjoys among the citizenry — at least for now. Indeed, there are indications that liberal values and attitudes are far less pronounced in Asian societies than they are in other regions of the world. Authentic supporters of liberal-participatory democracy are usually in the minority. And the proportion of citizens who are satisfied with the functioning of government institutions is consistently far lower in the democracies of East and Southeast Asia than in autocratic China, Singapore and Vietnam.
Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea are setting the standards for successful economic and social policies. But unsatisfactory regulation and disregard for sustainability in the two largest economies, China and India, continue to pose a risk to the further development of the entire region. South Asia features one of the largest deficits in socioeconomic development of any subregion in the world. As with political development, so too with economic transformation: There is a broad range of performance among the countries of Asia and Oceania.
At the bottom is North Korea, where a crisis in state distribution systems has caused the socialist planned economy to drift apart into subsystems of military economy, cadre capitalism and an informal shadow economy. At the top are Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, which occupy positions 1, 5 and 8, respectively, in economic transformation out of the countries surveyed worldwide. True, the social order of these three medium-sized powers places much of the burden of protection against social risks on the individual and the family, particularly women. But demographic factors, if nothing else, have prompted an expansion of social security systems in South Korea and Taiwan, and Singapore is likely to follow suit.
Some distance behind these three, we find the functioning market economy of Malaysia. The Malaysian economy is built on solid macroeconomic foundations and, compared to most countries in the region, it has achieved a high level of socioeconomic development.
- You Cant Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times.
- Constitutional Reform, Legal Consciousness, and Citizen Participation in Thailand;
- Women’s Political Participation and Representation in Asia.
- The Karamazov Brothers (Oxford Worlds Classics).
The country also features structural problems arising from its high dependency on exports as well as the negative effects of falling prices for raw materials caused by a drop-off in demand in Western markets and in China. India and China exemplify the inconsistent, at times contradictory developments in the region. While development in India has slowed considerably and even reversed in the areas of sustainability and inclusive development, China has achieved considerable improvements in most areas of market economic transformation over the last decade and has proved able to maintain its already high levels of performance.
Politics of China
Whether its competition regimes or anti-monopoly policies, the banking sector or property rights, social security systems or environmental protection, in numerous areas, this economic superpower has a lot of ground to make up. Bhutan is among the nine market economies with functional flaws and, in recent years, it has made steady improvements in basic social security for its citizens, modest advances in competition and price stability, as well as appreciable strides toward a universally accessible, modern education system while registering healthy economic growth.
Transformation has been even more dynamic in Myanmar, though the base level was very limited. The reforms set in motion in have begun to yield dividends, and the economy has profited greatly from the lifting of most Western sanctions and the liberalization of foreign trade. Of the 20 countries reviewed in the BTI , 11 have deteriorated. Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, in particular, each suffered dramatic falls following political turbulence in the immediate and recent past. Longer-term prospects reveal a strength-and-weaknesses profile more or less typical of the region.
On the one hand, it has replaced East-Central and Southeast Europe as the frontrunner in economic performance. In currency and price stability, too, the region holds up well.
On the other hand, social safety nets, equality of opportunity and social justice, anti-discrimination policies, and compatibility of environmental sustainability and economic growth continue to represent, on average, the weakest areas of development. The South Asian countries in aggregate perform particularly poorly here. They also invest little in health and education. Although there are considerable differences between a country like Sri Lanka, on the one hand, and Afghanistan, on the other, it is nonetheless telling that none of the seven national economies of South Asia appears in the two top categories of economic transformation.
One positive result: Women in the seven Muslim-majority countries of South and Southeast Asia experience less discrimination than do their counterparts in the Middle East. Mediocre transformation management has many faces: Some governments shun necessary democratic reforms for fear of losing control; others lack efficient resource management and the capacity to steer policymaking processes; still others are mired in traditional patterns of confrontation.
In and — prior to the recent turmoil caused by Taliban attacks on Kunduz — Afghanistan made some progress in advancing transformation. The national unity government — formed in by President Ashraf Ghani and his erstwhile challenger and current prime minister, Abdullah Abdullah — has survived its first year. Beyond that achievement, the national government has also tackled a number of reforms and announced others.
Overall, this sobering assessment can be applied to 10 of the 20 countries. The decline in quality is particularly pronounced in South Asia, where steering capability Bangladesh, Pakistan and resource use Nepal, Pakistan are now less efficient, and the capacity for societal consensus Sri Lanka and international cooperation Pakistan, Sri Lanka diminished considerably.
On the other hand, 10 countries managed to improve their quality of transformation management. Here, it is worth looking at three democracies and three autocracies separately.
Women’s Political Participation and Representation in Asia | Nias Press
The autocracies in which management performance has improved include Myanmar, Vietnam and China. While the two single-party dictatorships are distinguished by highly successful economic management, in Myanmar, effective management is largely reflected in processes of political liberalization.
The top performer in the region is Taiwan, which occupies third place for political management worldwide. South Korea, on the other hand, declined slightly for the third time in succession and, since the BTI , now numbers among the countries with good transformation management. Other countries in this group include Singapore, which demonstrates the best political management of any autocracy in the world, followed by Malaysia. The group of countries categorized as featuring moderate management typify the differing transformation paths in the region.
Here, China and Vietnam prove that innovative governance that is fit for purpose, from a technocratic perspective at least, is by all means possible in an autocracy. Furthermore, these two cases prove the relative management advantages that decentralized single-party states enjoy in co-opting the elite, innovation and exploring flexible solutions. But the constant tension between the preservation of power and economic transformation remains.