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2017 | Tom 1 | 65-88
Article title

Inclusion and Power-Sharing in Pacific Asia: From Consociationalism to Centripetalism

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EN
Abstracts
EN
This paper looks at the changing nature of political power-sharing in the Asia-Pacific region, characterised by the ethnically-plural democracies and semi-democracies, and it reviews several cases in terms of their institutional structures and mechanisms adopted for the purpose of political inclusion. The paper states that the classic consensual recommendations of parliamentary rule, proportional elections and ethnic parties have been abandoned in favour of more majoritarian and multiethnic models of governance. In this shift from one model of power-sharing to another, political inclusion in Southeast Asia then increasingly takes place informally, through centripetal rather than consociational means, via some key institutional mechanisms: oversized but not grand coalition governments; aggregative rather than segmental political parties; ethnically-mixed federal or other sub-national jurisdictional units; and majoritarian, vote-pooling political institutions. As a result, this “Asian model” of political inclusion stands in contrast and in many ways in opposition to the classic consensual recommendations.
Year
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Pages
65-88
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Dates
published
2017-06-01
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References
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  • See Benjamin Reilly, ‘Democracy, Ethnic Fragmentation, and Internal Conflict: Confused Theories, Faulty Data, and the “Crucial Case” of Papua New Guinea’, International Security, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2000, pp. 162–185; Benjamin Reilly, ‘State Functioning and State Failure in the South Pacific’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 58, No. 4, 2004, pp. 479–493.
  • Tonga’s Constitutional and Electoral Commission (2008) recommended that the Single Transferable Vote be adopted for future elections. In the Solomon Islands, reform debates have focused on the Alternative Vote. Neither has yet been adopted.
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  • This section draws on my chapter ‘Political Reform and the Demise of Consociationalism in Southeast Asia’ in The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia, Aurel Croissant and Marco Bünte (eds), New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • See Benjamin Reilly, Democracy in Divided Societies: Electoral Engineering for Conflict Management, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 185–192.
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  • See Arend Lijphart, ‘Self-determination Versus Pre-determination of Ethnic Minorities in Power-sharing Systems’ in The Rights of Minority Cultures, Will Kymlicka (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
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  • See, for instance, William Case, Elites and Regimes in Malaysia: Revisiting a Consociational Democracy Monash: Monash Asia Institute, 1996.
  • See Narayanan Ganesan, ‘Democracy in Singapore’, Asian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996, pp. 63–79.
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  • See Allen Hicken and Yuko Kasuya, ‘A guide to the constitutional structures and electoral systems of east, south and southeast Asia’, Electoral Studies, Vol. 22, 2003, p. 135.
  • William Liddle, ‘Coercion, Co-optation, and the Management of Ethnic Relations in Indonesia’ in The Architecture of Democracy: Constitutional Design, Conflict Management and Democracy, Andrew Reynolds (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 286.
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  • See Dan Slater, ‘Indonesia’s Accountability Trap: Party Cartels and Presidential Power after Democratic Transition’, Indonesia, Vol. 78, 2004, pp. 61–92.
  • Juan Linz, ‘The Perils of Presidentialism’, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1990, pp. 51–69; John Gerring, Strom Thaker and Carola Moreno, ‘Centripetal Democratic Governance: A Theory and Global Inquiry’, American Political Science Review, Vol. 99, No. 4, 2005, pp. 567–581.
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  • A subject I cover in more detail in my chapter ‘Parties, Electoral Systems and Governance’ in Democracy in East Asia – A New Century, Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner and Yun-han Chu (eds), Baltimore Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
  • See Benjamin Reilly, ‘Electoral Systems’ in Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization, William Case (ed.), New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Erik Martinez Kuhonta and Allen Hicken, ‘Shadows from the Past: Party System Institutionalization in Asia’, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5, 2011, p. 573.
  • An exception to this rule applies in Aceh, and was a key part of the 2005 peace agreement there. See Ben Hillman, ‘The Policy-Making Dimension of Post-Conflict Governance: The Experience of Aceh, Indonesia’, Conflict, Security, and Development, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2012, pp. 533–553.
  • The assassination in February 2017 of U Ko Ni, a prominent Muslim intellectual and legal adviser for Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, was another marker of the sharp downwards turn in the country’s ethnic relations.
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  • See Alvin Rabushka and Ken Shepsle, Politics in Plural Societies: A Theory of Democratic Instability Columbus, OH: Merrill, 1972; Daniel Posner, ‘The Political Salience of Cultural Difference: Why Chewas and Tumbukas Are Allies in Zambia and Adversaries in Malawi’, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 98, No. 4, 2004, pp. 529–545; idem, Institutions and Ethnic Politics in Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
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  • See Reilly, Democracy and Diversity..., chapter 7.
  • With no formal power sharing requirements, the Barisan Nasional relies on the willingness of its three main constituent ethnic parties – UMNO, the MCA and the MIC – to ‘pool votes’ across communal lines. The component parties typically divide up the electoral map so as to avoid competing with one another on a constituency level, and campaign under the Barisan label rather than as separate parties. See Donald L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict, rev. ed., Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.
  • Under Myanmar’s constitution, three ministers – of Border Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs – are appointed by the National Defence and Security Council, while the military retains a quarter of seats in the national legislature.
  • Nils-Christian Bormann and Martin Steinwand, Power-Sharing Coalitions and Ethnic Civil War, American Political Science Association annual meeting, 1–4 September 2016, Philadelphia, PA, p. 1.
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  • Krzysztof Trzcinski, ‘The Consociational Addition to Indonesia’s Centripetalism as a Tactic of the Central Authorities: The Case of Papua’, Hemispheres: Studies on Cultures and Societies, Vol. 4, No. 31, 2016, pp. 5–20.
  • Reilly, Democracy in Divided Societies..., chapter 4.
  • R.J. May, R. Anere, N. Haley and K. Wheen, Election 2007: the Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby: National Research Institute, 2011.
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  • Jon Fraenkel, ‘The Alternative Vote System in Fiji: Electoral Engineering or Ballot-Rigging?’, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2001, pp. 1–31; Jon Fraenkel and Bernard Grofman, ‘Does the Alternative Vote Foster Moderation in Ethnically Divided Societies? The Case of Fiji’, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2006, pp. 623–651; cf. Donald L. Horowitz, ‘Strategy takes a holiday: Fraenkel and Grofman on the alternative vote’, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2006, pp. 652–662.
  • Bormann and Steinwand, Power-Sharing Coalitions and Ethnic Civil War…, p. 1.
Document Type
Publication order reference
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YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-66f685e3-19fd-4478-ae36-e7ab783b974b
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