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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2011/2012 Research Topic: 4-02
Comparative Studies on Political Institutions in Southeast Asia


The main purpose of this research project is to show how political institutions influence policy outcomes, as well as the stability of political regimes in Southeast Asia. The original ASEAN members – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore – have developed institutions for the representative governments since their independence. Though all the five countries have experienced an authoritarian rule, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia have accomplished full-scale democratization in the past two decades. Malaysia and Singapore still cannot be seen as democracies; nevertheless, political parties and elections are essential tools for rulers to assume and exert power even in these countries.
These five countries are in relatively similar structural conditions, in which they are all susceptible to political tensions arising from religious or ethnic divide. To a greater or lesser extent, they have succeeded in industrialization and experienced rapid economic growth, although their track record of policy performance and political stability vary. We will attempt to show how political institutions function as a mediating factor between social structure and political performance by the comparative studies of five cases.


April 2010 - February 2012

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] NAKAMURA Masashi
[ Co-researchers ] SHIGETOMI Shinichi