This post takes a look at two political systems which once described several countries in Southeast Asia: the bureaucratic polity and consociational democracy.
The political development of countries in Southeast Asia began after a long period of colonisation. Except for Thailand, after escaping from colonial rule, the newly decolonised countries had to devise their own political system. The way they achieved them differed significantly from one another. Although many of these countries practice some form of democracy — say, Malaysia’s consociational (or some may say, ethnic) democracy — the type of democracy is shaped by unique cultural, social, and economic factors.
This time, I’ll look at two political systems that have been present in Southeast Asia: the bureaucratic polity, which once described Thailand and Indonesia; and consociational democracy, which once described Malaysia.