Democratization, Good Governance and Good Government in Asia
Should Western governments adopt policies encouraging democratisation and good governance elsewhere in the world? There is no doubt that governments in various countries in Asia (and elsewhere) reject this as unjustified interference in their internal affairs. Yet both the United States and EU member countries still persist with this policy approach, so do international economic organisations such as the World Bank, and so do international aid agencies. Why? This paper will address some of the normative as well as positive issues involved in answering this question. First, it will discuss the legitimacy of such an approach. Second, it will question the focus of these policies on democracy; should it not instead focus on the 'process of democratisation'? A further related question is whether the policies should focus on 'good government' or on the broader issue of 'good governance', including transparency, accountability, rule of law, etc. Third, any normative approach obviates the need for some kind of 'audit' of the extent of democratisation; however, what would be the possible criteria for such an audit? Finally, is it legitimate for the international community to advocate 'democracy'?