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Economic Development and Semi-Democracies: The Relationship between Economic Development and Political Regimes in Malaysia and Singapore, 1960-2004
Unformatted Document Text:  3 Formerly, economic development is believed to be the determination of why countries can or cannot be democratized. Some political scientists believe that the lack of economic development causes the destabilization of democratic regimes and the sustainability of authoritarian regime (Lipset 1959 and 1981; Valenzuela 1978; Rostow 1990; Putnam 1993). The richer the countries, the more likely they are to be democratized, and the more likely their democratic regimes are to survive. However, the argument made by modernization theorists is still questionable. Why are some semi- democratic regimes not democratized even though they perform well in economic development? For instance, democratization came very late in South Korea and Taiwan even though their economies had been performing well for earlier decades. On the other hand, Malaysia and Singapore were not fully democratized even though their economies were impressively developed. Is there any causal relationship between economic development and democracy? This paper will examine the relationship between economic development and semi-democratic regimes of Malaysia and Singapore from 1960 to 2004. The main questions are whether there is a significant relationship between economic development and semi-democratic regime and how economic development is related to semi- democratic regimes in a long run.   I will use statistical methods in order to theorize the relationship between economic development and semi-democratic regime. My expectation is that in the long run, economic development cannot explain the direction of political regimes in Malaysia and Singapore in terms of whether the political regimes of the countries are more democratic or autocratic.

Authors: Laiprakobsup, Thanapan.
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3
Formerly, economic development is believed to be the determination of why
countries can or cannot be democratized. Some political scientists believe that the lack
of economic development causes the destabilization of democratic regimes and the
sustainability of authoritarian regime (Lipset 1959 and 1981; Valenzuela 1978; Rostow
1990; Putnam 1993). The richer the countries, the more likely they are to be
democratized, and the more likely their democratic regimes are to survive. However, the
argument made by modernization theorists is still questionable. Why are some semi-
democratic regimes not democratized even though they perform well in economic
development? For instance, democratization came very late in South Korea and Taiwan
even though their economies had been performing well for earlier decades. On the
other hand, Malaysia and Singapore were not fully democratized even though their
economies were impressively developed.
Is there any causal relationship between economic development and
democracy? This paper will examine the relationship between economic development
and semi-democratic regimes of Malaysia and Singapore from 1960 to 2004. The main
questions are whether there is a significant relationship between economic development
and semi-democratic regime and how economic development is related to semi-
democratic regimes in a long run.
 
I will use statistical methods in order to theorize the
relationship between economic development and semi-democratic regime. My
expectation is that in the long run, economic development cannot explain the direction
of political regimes in Malaysia and Singapore in terms of whether the political regimes
of the countries are more democratic or autocratic.


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