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Responsive Democracy: Increasing State Accountability in East AsiaJeeyang Rhee Baum 2011
---Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University Law School
"Baum's book is a very significant contribution because it focuses on a part of the world that has often been neglected in studies of democratization. It focuses attention on the nuts and bolts of what we mean by democratic consolidation and responsiveness. Indeed, if more political science were written with this clarity, we would all enjoy reading the literature much more!"
---Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University
Under what conditions is a newly democratic government likely to increase transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to its citizens? What incentives might there be for bureaucrats, including those appointed by a previously authoritarian government, to carry out the wishes of an emerging democratic regime? _Responsive Dem_ocracy addresses an important problem in democratic transition and consolidation: the ability of the chief executive to control the state bureaucracy.
Using three well-chosen case studies---the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan---Jeeyang Rhee Baum explores the causes and consequences of codifying rules and procedures in a newly democratic government. In the Philippines, a president facing opposition has the option of appointing and dismissing officials at will and, therefore, has no need for administrative procedure acts. However, in South Korea and Taiwan, presidents employ such legislation to rein in recalcitrant government agencies, and, as a consequence, increase transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. Moreover, as Baum demonstrates by drawing upon surveys conducted both before and after implementation, administrative procedural reforms in South Korea and Taiwan improved public confidence in and attitudes toward democratic institutions.
Jeeyang Rhee Baum is a Research Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.