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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Regime Divergence at the Time of Decolonization in Asia: A Comparative Historical Analysis

Contentious Politics
Yuko Kasuya
Keio University
Yuko Kasuya
Keio University

How did Asian colonial polities diverge into various types of political regimes in the wake of decolonization? Asia is the major world region, along with Africa, where a variety of regime types (Monarchy, One-party, Military, Multi-party authoritarian, democracy) exist today while countries in Europe and Latin America predominantly transited to democracies. This paper explores the roots of such regime divergence in Asia by investigating three historical junctures: whether the monarchical authority was maintained during the colonial rule; whether native leaders were allowed to participate in the national decision-making; whether the communists took the leadership in the independence movement. The then-newly independent 15 countries (Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam) can be clustered into four regime types (democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, one-party) according to the above three nodes.
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