Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-wdwc2 Total loading time: 0.512 Render date: 2022-01-25T05:40:49.635Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

1 - Introduction: Rethinking Stateness and Democracy in East Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2020

Aurel Croissant
Universität Heidelberg
Olli Hellmann
University of Waikato, New Zealand
Get access


The introductory chapter performs four key functions. First, it reviews the relevant literature on the relationship between stateness and the quality of democracy and sets out the guiding questions for the country chapters. Second, the editors define the key terms of the volume – state, stateness and democracy – and break them down into their individual components. Third, based on arguments found in the wider democratization and state-building literature, the editors theorize the causal mechanisms that may connect stateness and democracy. Fourth, the chapter develops the volume’s key argument on the relationship between stateness and the quality of democracy in East Asia more generally. The argument places particular focus on the relationship between the state and particularistic networks and on the disbritution of power between particularistic network. The chances of democratic consolidation are greatest in new democracies where the state has a strong capacity to fend off particularistic demands but political systems characterized by lower levels of state autonomy can develop into electoral democracies, depending on the systemic properties of particularistic networks. Moreover, stateness does not exert a linear effect on the quality of democracy.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Andersen, D. (2017). Stateness and Democratic Stability. Aarhus: Forlaget Politica.Google Scholar
Andersen, D., Møller, J., and Skaaning, S. E. (2014). The State-Democracy Nexus: Conceptual Distinctions, Theoretical Perspectives, and Comparative Approaches. Democratization, 21(7), 1203–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bosco, J. (1992). Taiwan Factions: Guanxi, Patronage, and the State in Local Politics. Ethnology, 31(2), 157–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bratton, M., and Chang, E. C. C. (2006). State-building and Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa Forwards, Backwards, or Together? Comparative Political Studies, 39(9), 1059–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bräutigam, D. A. (2008). Introduction: Taxation and State-building in Developing Countries – Taxation and State-Building. In Bräutigam, D. A., Fjeldstad, O.-H., and Moore, M., eds., Developing Countries: Capacity and Consent. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–33.Google Scholar
Cappocia, G., and Ziblatt, D. (2010). The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies: A New Research Agenda for Europe and Beyond. Comparative Political Studies, 43(8–9), 931–68.Google Scholar
Carbone, G. (2015). Democratisation as a State-Building Mechanism: A Preliminary Discussion of an Understudied Relationship. Political Studies Review, 13(1), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carbone, G., and Memoli, V. (2015). Does Democratization Foster State Consolidation? Democratic Rule, Political Order, and Administrative Capacity. Governance, 28(1), 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carothers, T. (2002). The End of the Transition Paradigm. Journal of Democracy, 13(1), 5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carothers, T. (2007). The Sequencing Fallacy. Democratization, 18(1), 12–27.Google Scholar
Case, W. (2002). Politics in Southeast Asia: Democracy or Less. London and New York: Curzon Press.Google Scholar
Collier, D., Hidalgo, F. D., and Maciuceanu, A. O. (2006). Essentially Contested Concepts: Debates and Applications. Journal of Political Ideologies, 11(3), 211–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coppedge, M., et al. (2018). V-Dem Codebook v8. Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project. Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2019].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Croissant, A. (2015). Southeast Asian Militaries in the Age of Democratization: From Ruler to Servant? In Case, W., ed., Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization. London: Routledge, pp. 314–32.Google Scholar
Croissant, A. (2018). Civil-Military Relations in Southeast Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Croissant, A., and Bünte, M., eds. (2011). The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
Croissant, A., and Merkel, W. (2019). Defective Democracy. In Kollmorgen, R., Merkel, W., and Wagener, H.-J., eds., Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 437–46.Google Scholar
D’Arcy, M., and Nistotskaya, M. (2017). State First, Then Democracy: Using Cadastral Records to Explain Governmental Performance in Public Goods Provision. Governance, 30(2), 193–209.Google Scholar
Dahl, R. A. (1971). Polyarchy. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Diamond, L. (1999). Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Diamond, L. (2008). The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. New York: Times Books/Henry Holt & Company.Google Scholar
Diamond, L. (2016). In Search of Democracy. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Diamond, L., and Morlino, L., eds. (2006). Assessing the Quality of Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Evans, P. B., Rueschemeyer, D., and Skocpol, T. (1985). Bringing the State Back In. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fishman, R. (1990). Rethinking State and Regime: Southern Europe’s Transition. Review Article. World Politics, 42, 422–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fortin-Rittberger, J. (2014). Exploring the Relationship between Infrastructural and Coercive State Capacity. Democratization, 21(7), 1244–64.Google Scholar
Fukuyama, F. (2014). State and Democracy. Democratization, 21(7), 1326–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilley, B. (2009). The Right to Rule: How States Win and Lose Legitimacy. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Hanson, J. K. (2018). State Capacity and the Resilience of Electoral Authoritarianism: Conceptualizing and Measuring the Institutional Underpinnings of Autocratic Power. International Political Science Review, 39(1), 17–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hanson, J. K., and Sigman, R. (2013). Leviathan’s Latent Dimensions: Measuring State Capacity for Comparative Political Research. APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. SSRN. Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2019].Google Scholar
Holliday, I. (2012). Burma Redux: Global Justice and the Quest for Political Reform in Myanmar. New York and Chichester: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Hung, R. L. (2012). Re-thinking Myanmar’s Political Regime: Military Rule in Myanmar and Implications for Current Reforms. Contemporary Politics, 19(3), 247–61.Google Scholar
Hutchcroft, Paul. (2000). Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, reprint.Google Scholar
Johnston, M. (2008). Japan, Korea, the Philippines, China: Four Syndromes of Corruption. Crime, Law and Social Change, 49(3), 205–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kang, D. C. (2002). Bad Loans to Good Friends: Money Politics and the Developmental State in South Korea. International Organization, 56(1), 177–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Khan, M. H. (2010). Political Settlements and the Governance of Growth-Enhancing Institutions. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Kimenyi, M. S. (2006). Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods. Journal of African Economies, 15(suppl_1), 62–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Billon, P. (2003). Buying Peace or Fueling War: The Role of Corruption in Armed Conflicts. Journal of International Development, 15(4), 413–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linz, J. J., and Stepan, A. (1996). Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Lührmann, A., et al. (2018). State of the World 2017: Autocratization and Exclusion? Democratization, 25(8), 1321–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MacIntyre, A. (2000). Funny Money: Fiscal Policy, Rent-Seeking and Economic Performance in Indonesia. In Khan, M. H. and Sundaram, J. K., eds., Rents, Rent-Seeking and Economic Development: Theory and Evidence in Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 248–73.Google Scholar
Mann, M. (1984). The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms and Results. European Journal of Sociology, 25(2), 185–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mazucca, S., and Munck, G. (2014). State or Democracy First? Alternative Perspectives on the State-Democracy Nexus. Democratization, 21(7), 1221–43.Google Scholar
Merkel, W. (2004). Embedded and Defective Democracies. Democratization, 11(5), 33–58.Google Scholar
Merkel, W., and Croissant, A. (2000). Formal Institutions and Informal Rules in Defective Democracies. Central European Political Science Review, 1(2), 31–48.Google Scholar
Møller, J. (2015). The Medieval Roots of Democracy. Journal of Democracy, 26(3), 110–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Møller, J. (2018). Medieval Roots of the Modern State: The Conditional Effects of Geopolitical Pressure on Early Modern State-building. Social Science History, 42(2), 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Møller, J., and Skaaning, S. E. (2011a). Requisites of Democracy: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Explanation. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Møller, J., and Skaaning, S. E. (2011b). Stateness First? Democratization, 18(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Møller, J., and Skaaning, S. E. (2014). The State-Democracy Nexus: Special Issue of Democratization. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Munck, G. (2016). What Is Democracy? A Reconceptualization of the Quality of Democracy. Democratization, 23(1), 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mungiu-Pippidi, A. (2015). The Quest for Good Governance: How Societies Develop Control of Corruption. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
North, D., Wallis, J. J., and Weingast, B. R. (2009). Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reno, W. (2000). Clandestine Economies, Violence and States in Africa. Journal of International Affairs, 53(2), 433–59.Google Scholar
Rock, M. T., and Bonnett, H. (2004). The Comparative Politics of Corruption: Accounting for the East Asian Paradox in Empirical Studies of Corruption, Growth and Investment. World Development, 32(6), 999–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rogers, S. (2004). Philippine Politics and the Rule of Law. Journal of Democracy, 15(4), 111–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose, R., and Shin, D. C. (2001). Democratization Backwards: The Problem of Third-Wave Democracies. British Journal of Political Science, 31(2), 331–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rothstein, B., and Teorell, J. (2008). What Is Quality of Government? A Theory of Impartial Government Institutions. Governance, 21(2), 165–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rueschemeyer, D. (2005). Building States: Inherently a Long-Term Process? An Argument from Theory. In Lange, M. and Rueschemeyer, D., eds., States and Development. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 143–64.Google Scholar
Schmitter, P. C. (1995). Democracy’s Future: More Liberal, Preliberal or Postliberal? Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmitter, P. C. (1997). Civil Society: East and West. In Diamond, L., et al., eds., Consolidating Third Wave Democracies: Themes and Perspectives. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 239–62.Google Scholar
Seeberg, M. B. (2014). State Capacity and the Paradox of Authoritarian Elections. Democratization, 21(7), 1265–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shin, D. C., and Tusalem, R. (2009). East Asia. In Haerpfer, C., et al., eds., Democratization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 356–74.Google Scholar
Skaaning, S. E. (2006). Political Regimes and Their Changes: A Conceptual Framework, Working Paper No. 55. Stanford University Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
Skocpol, T. (1985). Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research. In Evans, P. B., Rueschemeyer, D., and Skocpol, T., eds., Bringing the State Back In. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3–38.Google Scholar
Slater, D., and Fenner, S. (2011). State Power and Staying Power: Infrastructural Mechanisms and Authoritarian Durability. Journal of International Affairs, 65(1), 15–29.Google Scholar
Snyder, R. (2006). Beyond Electoral Authoritarianism: The Spectrum of Nondemocratic Regime. In Schedler, A., ed., Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, pp. 219–31.Google Scholar
Tomsa, D. (2015). Local Politics and Corruption in Indonesia’s Outer Islands. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde/Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, 171(2–3), 196–219.Google Scholar
Uslaner, E. M., and Rothstein, B. (2016). The Historical Roots of Corruption: State-building, Economic Inequality, and Mass Education. Comparative Politics, 48(2), 227–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Ham, C., and Seim, B. (2018). Strong States, Weak Elections? How State Capacity in Authoritarian Regimes Conditions the Democratizing Power of Elections. International Political Science Review, 39(1), 49–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Way, L. A. (2006). Authoritarian Failure: How Does State Weakness Strengthen Electoral Competition? In Schedler, A., ed., Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, pp. 167–80.Google Scholar
Weber, M. (1992). Wissenschaft als Beruf/Politik als Beruf (MWG, 1/17). In Mommsen, W. J. and Schluchter, W., eds., Max Weber-Gesamtausgabe: Band I/17: Wissenschaft als Beruf 1917/1919/Politik als Beruf 1919. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar
White, D. (2018). State Capacity and Regime Resilience in Putin’s Russia. International Political Science Review, 39(1), 130–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, M. C. (2018). The Value of Descriptive Sequences in Historical Institutionalist Research. Comparative Democratization Newsletter, 16(2), 9–13.Google Scholar
Woodall, B. (2018). Democratization in East Asia. In Hua, S., ed., Routledge Handbook of Asian Politics. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 15–25.Google Scholar
Wu, C. L. (2003). Local Factions and the Kuomintang in Taiwan’s Electoral Politics. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 3(1), 89–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zakaria, F. (1997). The Rise of Illiberal Democracy. Foreign Affairs, 76(6), 22–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats