How does economic performance affect support for democracy in emergent democracies? Government approval studies do not directly evaluate this. Recent literature suggests using separate assessments: Citizens in emergent democracies-through political trust-distinguish between government approval and democratic support. This article directly assesses the question for Asia's democratizing nations of Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines. Two results are relevant: First, economic performance explains government approval over time and across these democratizing nations. This result accords with findings from other regions to lend to the accumulation of knowledge from extending study to Asia. Second, economic performance does not explain democratic support; instead, political trust is statistically related to democratic support. Specifically, although political trust and economic performance both explain government approval, political trust outweighs economic conditions in explaining democratic support. These results show that by building political trust in the democratizing system, citizens may hold officials accountable while remaining committed to democratic development. Theoretically, then, this article synthesizes diverse findings in the literature to enrich theory building.
|Journal||Comparative Political Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|