Democratic Aspirations and Democratic Ideals: Citizen Orientations toward Democracy in East Asia

Dalton, R. J. & Doh Chull Shin
East Asia has only partially shared in the Third Wave of democratization that spread around the globe in the 1990s. Indeed, the severe economic problems of the late 1990s raised concerns about the increasing trends of public protest and dissatisfaction in some of the consolidated democracies of East Asia, such as Japan and Korea. In other nations, democracy regressed or made only little progress during this decade. The newest findings from the 2000-02 World Values Survey enable us to assess how people across East Asia now think about democracy and the value of a democratic regime. Has democracy lost some of its appeal in the consolidated democracies as these nations struggle with their policy problems, is the democratic ideal appealing in those nations were democracy has not been achieved? A striking finding from the World Values Survey is the breadth of public support for a democratic form of government - and beliefs that democracies can be effective. These "democratic aspirations" now transcend national boundaries and regime forms in East Asia.

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