The Quality of Democracy in the Asia-Pacific

The Griffith Asia Institute and the Centre for Governance and Public Policy recently hosted the ‘The Quality of Democracy in the Asia-Pacific’ workshop.

The workshop applied Leonardo Morlino’s, framework to the study of the quality of democracy in the Asia-Pacific. Professor Morlino, Professor at the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane and President of the International Political Science Association, argues that democracy is a multidimensional phenomenon, that its quality depends on how countries perform in each of the constitutive dimensions, and that countries’ performance on such dimensions is either hindered or facilitated by a constellation of factors such as norms and institutions, the role of the elites and political culture.

Consolidated democracies, unstable democracies, newly established democracies both in developing and in highly developed societies were analysed. The selected cases displayed considerable variation in terms of socio-economic development, rule of law, vertical accountability, horizontal accountability, responsiveness, freedom and equality and thus provided the perfect setting for assessing whether, and to what extent, variations to the functioning of democratic regimes is affected by differences in each of these dimensions.

This project generates new insights into why some Asia-Pacific democracies are more successful than others. This information will be employed in wider cross-regional comparative analyses.