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A Comparative Study of Democratic Transition in Taiwan and South Korea: Process and Results Analysis
Wen-Cheng Chen Ph.D.
the third wave of democratization
From World War II to the 1980s, Taiwan and South Korea have gone through an authoritarian regime to a democratic regime one after another, and also been ruled by authoritarian government for more than 4 decades. After that, they won their name "Four Asian Tigers" by their outstanding economic performance. However, where does the democracy wave in Asia come from? Does it from the Third Wave, just comply with Samuel Huntington’s study of democratization? Or are there any unique transforming factors of East Asia in this Confucian culture circle? The main purpose of this thesis is to apply the concept of democratization to Taiwan and South Korea. From understanding democratization concept, to further observe these two countries’ democratic transition, and figure out the differences between them, wishing to take their successful democratization experience as the references of other non-democracy countries in Asia, particularly the economic rising China. Despite its rising influence in international society, the eager of democracy of Chinese people has increased. The future Chinese leaders must have to face this hard issue of democracy. This thesis, is not only based on Huntington’s Third Wave Democracy studies, but also apply other democratic theory to examine the process of democratization in Taiwan and South Korea, and identify the key factors closer to Asian development. Besides observing international situation, this thesis focuses on the changing domestic situation, the Government's response to the opposition. Through determining similarities and differences between the two countries in transformation, we shall find a more suitable way of democratic transition to East Asia.
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