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Democracy, Inequality and Corruption
Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines Compared

$112.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107078406

$ 112.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this comparative, historical survey of three East Asian democracies, Jong-sung You explores the correlation between inequality and corruption in the countries of South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. Drawing on a wealth of rich empirical research, he illustrates the ways in which economic inequality can undermine democratic accountability, thereby increasing the risk of clientelism and capture. Transcending the scope of corruption research beyond economic growth, this book surveys why some countries, like the Philippines, have failed to curb corruption and develop, whilst others such as South Korea and Taiwan have been more successful. Taking into account factors such as the success and failure of land reform, variations in social structure, and industrial policy, Jong-sung You provides a sound example of how comparative analysis can be employed to identify causal direction and mechanisms in political science.

    • Offers a comparative, historical survey of three East-Asian democracies: South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines
    • Highlights the critical role of land reforms in the developmental trajectories of East Asian countries
    • Evaluates why some countries failed to curb corruption and develop, while others have been more successful
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Concern about inequality has grown not only in the advanced industrial states but in the developing world as well. Those concerns are not just economic, but extend to the political arena: that democracy might be damaged by an unequal distribution of income and assets. In this forcefully-argued comparative study of Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines - backed by broader cross-national evidence - Jong-sung You shows how inequality contributes to corruption. The mechanisms include elite capture, patronage and clientelism. This book is an important contribution to the study of inequality, corruption and of the new democracies of East Asia."
    Stephan Haggard, University of California, San Diego

    "Professor You’s important work argues that inequality fuels elite corruption and undermines state legitimacy. A key contribution to debates over corruption’s impact on democracy, poverty and growth, especially in Asia."
    Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University, Connecticut

    "The book makes a penetrating comparative analysis of how inequality and poverty shape corruption in South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. Timely and relevant in theme, new and innovative in theoretical argument, and rich and informative in empirical research. Strongly recommended for students of comparative political economy and East Asian studies as well as policy-makers dealing with corruption and inequality."
    Chung-In Moon, Yonsei University, Seoul

    'This excellent book compares Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines to challenge widespread myths on important issues such as the 'developmental state' and inequality. Jong-sung You’s findings are stimulating and worth consideration.' J. Bruce Jacobs, The China Journal

    '… this book brilliantly synthesises various theoretical insights into a coherent framework. It represents a major contribution to the study of political corruption in Asia. And given its contextual richness and theoretical innovation, this work should become standard reading for every student interested in political corruption and economic inequality.' Eric Chang, Journal of Contemporary Asia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107078406
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 36 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the puzzles, arguments and methodology
    2. Democracy, inequality and corruption: theory and hypotheses
    3. Corruption in Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines: relative levels, trends and possible explanations
    4. The genesis of inequality, land reforms and path dependence
    5. Elections, clientelism and political corruption
    6. Bureaucracy, patronage and bureaucratic corruption
    7. Industrial policy, capture and corporate corruption
    8. Cross-national evidence for generalizability
    9. Conclusion

  • Author

    Jong-sung You, Australian National University, Canberra
    Jong-Sung You is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political and Social Change, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University. His research has addressed the relationships between inequality, corruption and social trust, employing both cross-national quantitative studies and (comparative) case studies of Korea and East Asia. His research also attempts to provide new explanations for South Korea's political and economic development. His new research agenda includes freedom of expression and election campaign regulations in Korea and East Asia. His work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Political Psychology, the Journal of East Asian Studies, and Trends and Prospects, and he has authored book chapters including a chapter on Korean development in a volume edited by Douglas North et al. He holds an MPA and PhD in public policy from Harvard University and a BA from Seoul National University. Before entering an academic career, he worked in the fields of democratization and social justice in South Korea. He has also worked for the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice as Director of Policy Research and later as General Secretary.

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