Why have Taiwan, rich parts of China, and Thailand boomed famously, while the Philippines has long remained stagnant both economically and politically? Do booms abet democracy? Does the rise of middle “classes” promise future liberalization? Why has Philippine democracy brought no boom and barely served the Filipino people? This book, unlike most previous studies, shows that both the roots and results of growth are largely political rather than economic. Specifically, it pays attention to local, not just national, power networks that caused or prevented growth in the four places under consideration. Violence has been common in these polities, along with money. Elections have contributed to socio-political problems that are also obvious in Leninist or junta regimes, because elections are surprisingly easy to buy with corrupt money from government contracts. Liberals should pay more serious theoretical attention to the effects of money on justice, and Western political science should focus more clearly on the ways non-state local power affects elections. By considering the effects on fair justice of local money and power (largely from small- and medium-sized firms that emerge after agrarian reforms), this book asks democrats to face squarely the extent to which electoral procedures fail to help ordinary citizens. Students and scholars of Asia will all need this book — as will students of the West whose methods have become parochial.Contents: Introduction: What Politics Aids Booms? Political Roots of Taiwan's Boom Political Roots of East China's Boom Political Roots of Thailand's Boom Political Roots of Philippine Stasis Political Results of Taiwan's Boom Political Results of East China's Boom Political Results of Thailand's Boom Political Results of Philippine Stasis Conclusion: Do Booms Aid Democracy? Readership: Academics, researchers and graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Asian politics, sociology and political economy; informed readers interested in the causes of growth or stagnancy in Asian political economies. Keywords:China;Southeast Asia;Taiwan;Thailand;Philippines;Economic Growth;Local Politics;Corruption;Inductive Method;Comparative Politics;Comparative SociologyReview: “Professor White is one of the leading scholars on China and the rest of Asia. Here, his interests in China are on the local, particularly in southern Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and he gives special emphasis to the role of political networks at the local level. Importantly, however, he brings his thesis to bear on Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. I cannot think of any existing work with a similar range and analytical perspective.” Dali Yang University of Chicago, USA “The author offers a very stimulating integrated macro view cutting across discipline lines in an innovative manner, and thus challenges most existing research frameworks … This volume is worthwhile reading for anyone seriously interested in Asian studies and comparative politics.” Professor Joseph Y S Cheng Contemporary China Research Project City University of Hong Kong “While considered a foremost specialist on China affairs, in this volume, he not only brought into fore his knowledge on China's political economic landscape but also exemplified his undeniable scholarship on comparative discourse … His attempt on explaining the varying experiences of Taiwan, East China, Thailand and the Philippines on these key areas is a notable contribution in this direction.” Rowena R Pangilinan Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman “The empirical core of the book is organized around eight chapters, two per country, exploring first the political 'causes' of the booms (or, in the case of the Philippines, their absence) and then their political effects. Here White synthesizes an extraordinary amount of scholarship. For this reason alone, scholars and students will find the book very useful.” The China Journal Key Features: Suggests new general perspectives on the need for...