Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Democratization in an era of globalization—does trade till the soil for democracy?
by Xu, Jingqian, Ph.D., Yale University, 2007, 227; 3293412
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores democratization in an era of globalization by following a three-pronged strategy. First, I develop a formal model which examines the resilience of authoritarian regimes against the backdrop of a global market. The model combines a two-country two-factor general equilibrium model of international trade and a political model of strategy optimization by different political agents in an authoritarian society. The formal analysis concludes that (1) both socio-economic endowments and characteristics of the authoritarian state apparatus go a long way in determining the tariff-repression policy equilibrium; (2) tariff reduction beyond a certain point will trigger a process of political relaxation, which in turn expands the room for collective political movements and facilitates the process of democratization.

Second, drawing upon a cross-sectional time-series data set covering 1913 country-year units of authoritarian observations from 1981 to 2002, I confront the set of formal propositions to empirical tests. The findings of Seemingly Unrelated Regression are confirmative of the formal hypotheses as to structural determinants of varieties of authoritarianism. Path Regression generates supportive evidence for a two-link theory of trade-led democratization in authoritarian regimes, where tariff reduction induces political liberalization and political liberalization fosters democracy.

Third, guided by the formal analytical framework, I engage in historical analysis to understand why three otherwise-similar countries in East Asia, namely South Korea, Singapore and China, have ended up in different types of tariff-repression equilibria since the 1980s. As demonstrated by the case studies, the formal model developed in this dissertation provides a powerful tool to rationalize the South Korean paradigm, solve the Singapore riddle, and predict China's political future.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roemer, John E.
Commitee:
School: Yale University
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 68/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: International law, International relations
Keywords: Democratization, East Asia, Globalization, Repression, Tariffs, Trade, Trade and democracy
Publication Number: 3293412
ISBN: 9780549373568