Social Capital and Support for Democracy in Four Asian Countries

By Aie-Rie Lee and Yong U. Glasure.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article uses the fourth wave of the World Values Survey to investigate the development of social capital as commonly understood in terms of civic engagement in four East and Southeast Asian nations. Also examined are the causal antecedents of social capital and its consequences on mass political attitudes, support for democracy. The findings indicate that there is a wide cross-national variation in the percentages of civic engagement ranging from 5.5 percent in Japan to 10.53 percent in South Korea, and that there is a consistent association between only one form of associational interactions and pro-democratic sentiments in a multivariate analysis: membership in the “information & education” associations in Singapore and the “issue-based” groups in South Korea. Consequently, contrary to the findings in prior studies, social capital plays a minor role in support for democracy in East and Southeast Asia.

Keywords: Social Capital, Support for Democracy, Social Trust, Political Cynicism, East Asia

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.21-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.024MB).

Aie-Rie Lee

Professor, Political Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Aie-Rie Lee is Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University. Her work has appeared in such journals as Comparative Political Studies, Social Science Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, Asian Survey, Studies in Comparative International Development, Asian Affairs, Policy Studies Journal, Energy Sources, and Women & Politics.

Yong U. Glasure

Professor, School of Business, University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, Texas, USA

Yong U. Glasure is Professor of Economics at University of Houston-Victoria. One of principal areas of research is East Asian political economy and/or country study in such diverse areas as public opinion, environmental policy, trade relations, energy policy, economic and political participation issues, economic reform, and the process of economic and political democratization. He has publications in such journals as Resource and Energy Economics, Energy Economics, Atlantic Economic Journal, Asian Survey, Asian Affairs, Journal of Northeast Asian Studies.

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