This book offers a timely analysis of the tripartite links between the middle class, civil society and democratic experiences in Northeast and Southeast Asia. It aims to go beyond the two popular theoretical propositions in current democratic theory, which emphasise the bilateral connections between the middle class and democracy on one hand and civil society and democracy on the other. Instead, using national case studies, this volume attempts to provide a new comparative typological interpretation of the triple relationship in Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Presenting a careful analysis and delineation of historical democratic transformation over the past thirty years, three discernible typologies emerge. Namely, there are positive links in Taiwan and South Korea, dubious links in the Philippines and Indonesia, and negative links in Thailand.

Middle Class, Civil Society and Democracy in Asia will be of interest to students and scholars of Asian politics and democracy.

part I|20 pages


chapter 1|18 pages

Comparing the tripartite links of middle class, civil society and democratization in Asia

Positive, dubious and negative
ByHsin-Huang Michael Hsiao

part II|58 pages

The positive links in Taiwan and South Korea

chapter 2|16 pages

The tripartite links of middle class, civil society and democracy in Taiwan

ByHsin-Huang Michael Hsiao

chapter 3|22 pages

Democracy and institution building through civil society activism in Taiwan

The case of the Judicial Reform Foundation
ByMau-Kuei Chang

part III|68 pages

The dubious links in the Philippines and Indonesia

chapter 6|17 pages

Coalition politics and the contested democracy in the Philippines

ByYusuke Takagi

chapter 7|28 pages

Democratization and religious NGOs in Indonesia

ByJafar Suryomenggolo

part IV|61 pages

The negative links in Thailand

chapter 8|22 pages

Contingent authoritarians

Why Thai civil society and the middle class oppose democracy
ByVeerayooth Kanchoochat

chapter 9|18 pages

Thailand at the critical royal transition

The middle class, civil society and democratisation
ByPavin Chachavalpongpun

chapter 10|19 pages

From paragons to opponents of democracy

Middle class in civil society’s role in Thailand’s democratization
ByHugh Pei-Hsiu Chen