Democracy, economic crisis, and market oriented reforms

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In this paper I analyze the nexus between economic crises, market oriented reforms, and democratization in Indonesia and Korea since the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis. I provide some support for the hypothesis that democracies are better able to survive economic crises than authoritarian regimes. In both countries democratization facilitated a crisis resolution strategy based on market oriented reforms. However, I assert that in the long run the social consequences of market-oriented reforms tend to undermine democratization partly because both are so closely linked and the majority of the population sees them as one. This process does not necessarily destroy democracies but it leaves them more vulnerable to possible external shocks in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-373
Number of pages30
JournalComparative Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*) T he author would like to thank the Korea Research Foundation for supporting the research on this paper.


  • Democratization
  • East Asia
  • Economic crisis
  • Indonesia
  • Korea
  • Market reforms


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