Civil Society and State in Democratic East Asia

Civil Society and the State in Democratic East Asia: Between Entanglement and Contention in Post High Growth is a collection edited by David Chiavacci, Simona Grano and Julia Obinger, published by Amsterdam University Press in 2020. It is reviewed for JCA by editorial board member Michael K. Connors of the Department of International Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China.

Connors considers the collection lacks theoretical direction, especially when considering the post-authoritarian experience of Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Instead, he observes that “the volume’s merit is mostly stand-alone chapters on contested politics regarding the environment, identity and economy/social inclusion.” The eleven chapters should “be of interest to students of social movements, policy networks, political parties in democratic countries, and conservative and environmental social movements.”

However, Connors concludes that these empirically-rich, well-researched and insightful case studies are useful, they “do not rise to the challenge teased in the title.”

Readers who want the book can access it for free download here.

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