Political Finance Regimes in Southeast Asia

Feature: Political Finance Regimes in Southeast Asia, Introduction

Author: Andreas Ufen and Marcus Mietzner


The three articles in this themed collection investigate the interplay between political finance regimes and the quality of democracy in Southeast Asia. Andreas Ufen's piece on political finance in Malaysia and Singapore argues that the semi-authoritarian regimes in both states have blocked the reform of campaign and party funding regulations in order to keep their opposition in check. The article on Indonesia, authored by Marcus Mietzner, showcases the country's dysfunctional political finance system as a major hurdle toward further democratization. In their contribution on Thailand, Napisa Waitoolkiat and Paul Chambers show that weak political finance regulations have contributed significantly to the shallowness of Thai parties. Overall, the collection demonstrates that without meaningful political finance reforms, Southeast Asia's democratic stagnation is likely to persist for many years to come.

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December 2015
© Edward Aspinall