2011 Vincent Lemieux Prize

May 31, 2011 | Prizes, Vincent Lemieux Prize

Winner: Netina Tan (University of British Columbia)

Access to Power: Hegemonic Party Rule In Singapore and Taiwan

Excerpt from jury report: Natina Clara Tan asks the question why Singapore’s People’s Action Party has been successful in maintaining its hegemonic rule while Taiwan’s Kuomintang has yielded to the forces of democratization. She makes a compelling argument for the importance of elite cohesion and strategic coordination of public goods and the restriction of political and civil liberties as the key variables in establishing and maintaining a hegemonic party system. Tan builds her analytical model through a combination of the historical institutional perspective and a carefully constructed comparative analysis. Using a mix of interviews, survey data and historical narrative, Tan offers a detailed examination of the decisions, practices and circumstances which have shaped the course of both parties. She has provided an insightful and provocative examination of the importance of party organization elite succession in either promoting or forestalling democratization. Her conclusion – that intra-party democracy has a deleterious impact on party cohesion – has applicability beyond the particular circumstances the two case studies.