Breaking With the Past? Civil-Military Relations in the Emerging Democracies of East Asia

by Aurel Croissant, David Kuehn, and Philip Lorenz

Policy Studies, No. 63

Publisher: Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 978-0-86638-226-7 (print); 978-0-86638-227-4 (electronic)

Binding: paper

Pages: x, 72

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Price: $10.00


In recent decades, several East Asian nations have undergone democratic transitions accompanied by changes in the balance of power between civilian elites and military leaders. These developments have not followed a single pattern: In Thailand, failure to institutionalize civilian control has contributed to the breakdown of democracy; civil-military relations and democracy in the Philippines are in prolonged crisis; and civilian control in Indonesia is yet to be institutionalized. At the same time, South Korea and Taiwan have established civilian supremacy and made great advances in consolidating democracy. These differences can be explained by the interplay of structural environment and civilian political entrepreneurship. In Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia, strategic action, prioritization, and careful timing helped civilians make the best of their structural opportunities to overcome legacies of military involvement in politics. In Thailand, civilians overestimated their ability to control the military and provoked military intervention. In the Philippines, civilian governments forged a symbiotic relationship with military elites that allowed civilians to survive in office but also protected the military's institutional interests. These differences in the development of civil-military relations had serious repercussions on national security, political stability, and democratic consolidation, helping to explain why South Korea, Taiwan, and, to a lesser degree, Indonesia have experienced successful democratic transformation, while Thailand and the Philippines have failed to establish stable democratic systems.

About the authors
Aurel Croissant is professor of political science at Heidelberg University, Germany, and can be reached at David Kuehn ( and Philip Lorenz ( are research and teaching fellows at the Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University.



China-North Korea: Renewal of the "Blood Alliance"

by Masako Ikegami

Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 158

Publisher: Washington, D.C.: East-West Center in Washington

Publication Date: April 5, 2012

Binding: electronic

Pages: 2

Free Download: PDF



Masako Ikegami, Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, argues that “Recently, the China-North Korea ‘blood alliance,’ a concept of allies that originated during the Korean War, has been renewed, and it is in China’s interests that North Korea consolidates its ‘absolute deterrence’ capability to deter US forces in the region.”


Energy and Environmental Policy in China: Towards a Low-Carbon Economy

by ZhongXiang Zhang

New Horizons in Environmental Economics

Publisher: Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

Publication Date: 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84844-546-8

Binding: hardcover

Pages: 192



This pioneering book provides a comprehensive, rigorous and in-depth analysis of China's energy and environmental policy for the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

This unique book focuses on concrete, constructive and realistic solutions to China's unprecedented environmental pollution and rising greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and energy security as a result of steeply rising oil imports. It provides an up-to-date factual analysis of China's efforts and commitments to improve energy efficiency, to cut pollutants and to increase the use of renewable energy to create a low-carbon economy. The author explores many of the policies and measures that China has put in place to save energy and reduce emissions, as well as examines new policies and measures in order for China to be successful.

Energy and Environmental Policy in China will prove to be of great value to practitioners and policymakers, as well as to academies and students in the areas of economics, environmental studies, Asian studies, regional and urban studies, law, political science and sociology.

List of figures
List of tables
List of boxes
List of abbreviations

  1. Introduction
  2. Effective Environmental Protection in the Context of Government Decentralization
  3. Is it Fair to Treat China as a Christmas Tree to Hang Everybody’s Complaints? Putting its Own Energy Saving into Perspective
  4. Assessing China's Carbon Intensity Pledge for 2020: Stringency and Credibility Issues and their Implications
  5. In What Format and Under What Time Frame Would China Take on Climate Commitments? A Roadmap to 2050
  6. The US Proposed Carbon Tariffs, WTO Scrutiny and China's Responses
  7. Conclusions: China in the Transition to a Low-carbon Economy




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