Shaun Breslin
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East Asia

This chapter talks about democratization in East Asia. A key element in democratic transition is the end of the Cold War and the resulting reduction in US tolerance of authoritarianism is so long that the authoritarianism was overtly anti-communist. A clear notion of what East Asia means in terms of studies of democratization in large part emerges from the 'Asian values' debate. This debate in itself has been spurred by Samuel P. Huntington's notion of a 'clash of civilizations'. The chapter tabulates Freedom House ratings for East Asian countries. A cursory analysis of the Freedom House ratings for states in this region gives some indication of the problems of considering the region as a whole. The chapter draws out the conceptual and methodological issues in considering democratization in Asia: issues that vary in importance and relevance in each regional state.

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