Democratization and electoral reform in the asia-pacific region: Is there an "asian model" of democracy?

Benjamin Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


During the past two decades, numerous Asia-Pacific states have made transitions to democracy founded on basic political liberties and freely contested elections. A little-noticed consequence of this process has been strikingly congruent reforms to key political institutions such as electoral systems, political parties, and parliaments. Across the region, these reforms have been motivated by common aims of promoting government stability, reducing political fragmentation, and limiting the potential for new entrants to the party system. As a result, similar strategies of institutional design are evident in the increasing prevalence of "mixed-member majoritarian" electoral systems, new political party laws favoring the development of aggregative party systems, and constraints on the enfranchisement of regional or ethnic minorities. Comparing the outcomes of these reforms with those of other world regions, there appears to be an increasing convergence on an identifiable "Asian model" of electoral democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1350-1371
Number of pages22
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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