A Tale of Two Courts: The Judicialization of Electoral Politics in Asia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines the judicialization of electoral politics in Asia, an important but understudied trend, as demonstrated in Thailand and Indonesia. Though the constitutional courts in both have similar histories and institutional arrangements, their electoral interventions vary radically. We argue that the diffusion or concentration of power among post-transition elites determines whether the effect of judicial activism will be to shore up or undermine electoral governance. Where power is diffused, as in Indonesia, political actors, less able to impose their own will on the judiciary, seem to prefer a credible referee, which fosters electoral competition. Where power is concentrated, as in Thailand, elites have both the motive and the means to turn judicial activism to antidemocratic ends. By focusing on the ends, rather than the means, of judicial activism, this account goes beyond personalities and institutional design to enhance understanding of the role of the courts in transitional democracies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-414
    JournalGovernance: an International journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions
    Volume25
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Tale of Two Courts: The Judicialization of Electoral Politics in Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this