Driven by Growth: Political Change in the Asia-Pacific Region

In This Review

Driven by Growth: Political Change in the Asia-Pacific Region

Edited by James W. Morley
M. E. Sharpe, 1992
200 pp. $39.95

This collection of essays by reputable scholars explores the relationship between economic growth and political change in East Asia. Unlike many volumes of this type, there is a stimulating final chapter that seeks to integrate the findings. It concludes that there is a broad pattern, something like flying geese, in which democracy correlates with the level of development achieved. If the two exceptions to the rule, Singapore and the Philippines, are removed, the pattern holds. Japan is the economic leader and the most established democracy; Taiwan and South Korea have relatively high per capita incomes and are both at the early stages of democracy; Malaysia and Thailand, with smaller per capita incomes, are still only quasi-democratic; Indonesia and China, with the lowest per capita incomes, are the most authoritarian. The authors convincingly explore the dynamics involved in the relationship and the reasons for the exceptions.

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