Alexis De Tocqueville Case Study

2185 Words 9 Pages
I. Southeast Asian countries, due to their historical and social complexity, continue to deviate from widely held political theories. In this paper, I will employ the work of Alexis De Tocqueville and Robert Putnam to show how the Philippines and Thailand prove to be enigmatic in that regard. I argue that we see a largely active civil society but low democratization in Thailand and the Philippines owing to their authoritarian histories and lack of democratic institutionalization. I chose to use these two countries as my case studies because they share similarities in quality of democracy and degree of civil society activity; their histories are comparable and their futures seem parallel. In order to present a strong argument, I must first define the terms my paper is predicated on, since they have evolved through time and place. Primarily, I will show that the strong association between civil society and democracy is widely accepted and was first made apparent by Alexis De Tocqueville. He made clear that “democracy is strengthened, not weakened, when it faces a vigorous civil society” such that the two build on each other. Robert …show more content…
Martial law was then declared, without regard to the decision of the Thai people who put him into power. This arbitrary silencing of the people’s choice for prime minister shows direct disregard to the basic tenants of democracy. Moreover, the suspension of elections by the military, until otherwise noted, posed a greater threat to Thailand’s institutionalization of democracy. The reign of Shinawatra deepened the divide in civil society between Yellow Shirts (the urban economic elites) and the Red Shirts (the populists). Although Thaksin was forced out of power by the authoritarian rule of the military, we see the strengthening of civil society to democratically oppose, or favor, their

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