Democratisation and leadership : crisis leadership and regime change in East Asia

Wayne Errington

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated] Notwithstanding the contemporary emphasis on the role of political actors, existing literature on democratisation under-specifies the role of leadership in regime change and regime maintenance. This thesis, in contrast, argues that leadership amplifies and attenuates other causes of regime change and regime maintenance. Thus, leadership can affect the direction, timing and pace of democratisation, as well as the nature of the resulting regime. National leaders are able to take advantage of a national crisis in order to influence the course of regime change. National leaders - those competing to be the head of government, are in a position to set and control a nation's political agenda, no more so than during and after a crisis. They do this, in part, through crisis leadership, that is, exploiting the crisis to justify regime change, or alternatively to forestall regime change, mobilising sources of support dormant before the crisis. Leadership acts as an intervening variable, in concert with other variables such as economic conditions, culture and political institutions to influence the course of democratisation. The emphasis on leadership as a relationship between leaders and followers aims to show leadership as much more than the purely contingent variable that most studies of democratisation assume it to be. By emphasising the interdependence of leaders, their societies and economic conditions, leadership becomes an important part of any comprehensive theory of democratisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    DOIs
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2002

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