Political Culture, Alternative Politics and Democracy in Greater China

  • David Zweig
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


What forces and circumstances lead people in Asian societies to turn from formal democratic institutions to alternative institutions or extra-institutional political action?1 According to Rocamora, when elections are controlled by central or local oligarchies, citizens in East Asia form civic organizations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), join social movements, or turn to social protest (Rocamora 2000). This chapter addresses this issue in three Chinese societies that are part of Greater China: Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. In this way, we can account for the impact of Confucian culture on political behaviour, and highlight the role of democratic values and political structures on the decision to rely on formal versus alternative politics. Also, rather than accepting that democratic institutions failed in these societies, I chose to treat the assertion that people had to turn to alternative democracy as a hypothesis to be tested empirically.


Political Party Political Culture Chinese Communist Party Political Structure Democratic Institution 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • David Zweig

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