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|
Professor, Political Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
Professor, School of Business, University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, Texas, USA
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