As the East Asian financial crisis continues to leave a path of economic and political destruction in its wake, people all over the world seek to know what went wrong. Many blame the illiberal markets of the countries involved, and many blame their political leadership. This book explores how strong, open, liberalized markets create a counterbalance to crony capitalism and corruption and form the basis for a foundation of political liberalization. Using both a quantitative model and qualitative country studies, this work analyzes the experiences of China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Korea in moving toward both marketization and democracy.
'Ravich's book shows the importance of market liberalization to the development of the democratic values and institutions in East Asia over the last four decades. She presents a compelling argument that U.S. policies for promoting democracy abroad should be crafted hand-in-hand with policies that advocate economic liberalization. Highly recommended.' Donald Rumsfeld, Former Secretary of Defense 'Among the many astonishing developments of the last two decades of the twentieth century, one of the most drastic has been the emergence of free and democratic political systems on Asian soil where it had rarely - or in some cases never - taken root before. Unfortunately, the collapse of Asian financial markets at the end of the century threatens to undermine confidence for this political progress. Thus, Dr. Ravich's compelling analysis of the role marketization has played in the modern development of political liberties in East Asia is particularly important now. At a time when the benefits of economic liberalization are being challenged from Malaysia to Moscow, Dr. Ravich presents a convincing argument that capitalism is the quickest path to democracy and toward the achievement of broader political liberties.' Paul Wolfowitz, Former Under Secretary of Defense and Dean, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University 'Samantha Ravich has carried the analysis of the relationship between economic progress and democracy to a new level. She has quantified critical links persuasively and illuminated the importance of individual economic autonomy for political participation.' William Overholt, Nomura International Limited 'Dr. Ravich's book is a significant contribution to the abundant literature on whether and how economic development and political development relate to one another. Using both case studies and advanced quantitative tools, she demonstrates an important relationship between marketization and the emergence of democratic institutions. Her work is both innovative and timely, with valuable lessons for policymakers as well as academics.' Charles Wolf, Jr., Senior Economic Adviser, RAND 'This fascinating study by Ravich makes a new and interesting contribution ...' Development and Change