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The role of ethnic politics in promoting democratic governance: a case study of Malaysia

Shukri, Syaza Farhana Mohamad (2017) The role of ethnic politics in promoting democratic governance: a case study of Malaysia. Intellectual Discourse, 25 (2). pp. 321-339. ISSN 2289-5639 E-ISSN 2289-5639

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It is a known fact that Malaysia has been ruled by a coalition of political parties demarcated along ethnic lines since independence more than 50 years ago. How has this affected democratic governance in a relatively young multi-ethnic nation? Some have argued that ethnic, religious, or linguistic politics threaten democracy as they leave room for the majority to abuse the minorities, which in turn disrupts democratic governance of a country. This paper will argue against this idea that consolidation of democracy is difficult in a heterogeneous society by using Malaysia’s leadership and institutions after independence as an example. The approach to the problem is to account for Malaysia’s relative stability and repeated experiences with elections as evidence that having multiple ethnicities do not necessarily have to lead to discord in a country, but could instead lay the foundation for democratic consolidation. This argument is appealing because the relationship between diversity and democracy is an on-going debate as racial and religious conflicts are occurring almost everywhere in the world.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 8365/63316
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethnic politics, democracy, Malaysia, multi-ethnic, democratic,governance
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia > JQ715 Politics and Government in Malaysia
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Political Science
Depositing User: Dr. Syaza Farhana Mohamad Shukri
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 17:33
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2018 17:33
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/63316

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