Discipline: Sociology

Type of Paper: Article review

Academic Level: High school

Paper Format: APA

Pages: 2 Words: 550


I will post two questions now and two tomorrow or later on the week from each article. Please answer the questions.
This reading explores the civilian role in Asian democracies and governance in terms of keeping track of police misconduct. This is a way and new form of democracy to have civil participation to ensure there is no growth of corruption with police organizations. With CRBs, (Civilian Review Boards), which are civilian complaint procedures, they help provide accountability for wrong actions taken by authorities of these countries. This helps expand the power of the people as well as taking away limitations. After WWII, there were new independent countries who were free from colonial rule and creating their own governance which led to new practices to ensure power to the people. Different forms of democracy existed in Asia and they were still forming. The protection of the people just showed to me how there was protection of human rights on a regional scale in terms of governance.

In this study there are four categories identified as a stage in democracy. They are “Full Democracy, Flawed Democracy, Hybrid Regimes, and Authoritarian Regime” (EIU 2011). When there is a full democracy, the media has control over what they present to the public and there is an open communication as well as an understanding between the government and civil society. There are civil liberties as well as freedom, the government is balanced, and so is the political climate of that country (EIU 2011). A flawed democracy is just like a full democracy, but without the evolution it has done. The flawed democracy has a weak government and is undeveloped in terms of their political system and participation between the people. Hybrid regimes have many issues like failure to hold fair elections, jeopardizing away civil liberties, weakness of proper governance, and political structure and culture. In Hybrid regimes there is a weak society because there is no trust between the people and authorities and this further results in corruption. Then it snowballs where civil society and rule of law collapse and people commit crimes because they feel like they have no other choice. In authoritarian regimes, there are many restrictions. There is no freedom, the people are suppressed from speaking out, and if they do they are held accountable to the fullest extent. Since the country controls the media, there is no truth and no expression to freedom (EIU 2011).

In this study it explored how far and how developed Asian countries were in terms of their democracy. They were analyzed based on their electoral process, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. These things estimated whether their system was good or flawed because these were important factors that are needed to maintain a proper governance and relationship with the people. Additional things that were also looked at were the quality of “public services, civil service (including its level of independence), policy formulation and implementation, and the government’s level of commitment, as well as Corruption Control” (Kaufmann et al., 2009).

Countries in the study who came up as full democracy were Japan and South Korea. Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines all had a flawed democracy. China had an authoritative regime and Hong Kong was considered a hybrid regime (Mahesh & Chae 2013). They fit the categories they were placed in based on the electoral process, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties that were identified. History of a country has affected their system in terms of their recovery and how they handle certain situations when they arise. Even recovering from dictatorship and gaining independence, countries still have trouble transitioning their systems and policing. Transition in style can be difficult for a developing country hence the results of the study.

Further into the study it was also identified that relationships with developed nations and the Asian countries can influence their democracy. Like the United States holds a relationship with South Korea, it has greatly impacted their defense policies, internal security issues, corruption, and law enforcement (Mahesh & Chae 2013).

South Korea has been a colony of Japan in the past, now making reforms to evolve into a much more advanced society. They have tried to increase police accountability to have a much more open relationship between citizens and authorities. The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) created the Office of Hearing and Inspection (OHI) to investigate complaints made against police. There civilian programs created to establish trust.

The Philippines had been under Spanish rule and under the United States. Through the years of conflict, there has been a lack of development in terms of their governance and democracy. Reforms of law enforcement such as demilitarizing and the implementation of mechanisms. Mechanisms that were suggested to be incorporated were the human rights commission (Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines); anti-corruption agency (Presidential Anti-Graft Commission). This was to prevent any injustice.

Hong Kong has been under 156 years of British colonial rule. This has influenced their corrupt system, but they have been making efforts in taking into account the complaints against police. The Independent Police Complaints Commission was created to reinvestigate complaints that were not properly handled.

Overall, looking at countries with issues have established “external agencies with the sole responsibility to investigate and oversee complaints filed against the police '' which has greatly influenced their democracy development (Mahesh & Chae 2013). Depending on the agencies and their mandates as well as their ideas of policing violations and human rights, how much change they have managed to do. The main goal of this study was to understand countries and their relationship with their public in terms of civilian role in police oversight (Mahesh & Chae 2013). Despite most Asian countries having oversight in human rights commission and reforms to combat corruption, only a two have civilian oversight of police. The countries that have this are the ones who are full democracy. This means this is needed in order to have a functioning democracy system and better public relationship with police.


Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). (2011). Democracy Index 2011: Democracy under stress.

Retrieved October 31, 2012 fromå%20arbetar%


Mahesh K. Nalla & Chae Mamayek (2013) Democratic policing, police

accountability, and citizen oversight in Asia: an exploratory study, Police Practice and Research,

14:2, 117-129, DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2013.767091

3 questions I ask you are:

Why do you think the factors of electoral process, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties affect the democracy of a country?

In your perspective, how does the civilian oversight affect the policing of the country?

In your opinion, what are some other solutions or reforms that need to take place to improve democratic policing and holding police accountable?
The Death Penalty in Asia

David T. Johnson highlights the prevalence of the death penalty in the Asian region. An explicit study has been made by Johnson in order to determine Asian society and its approach towards capital punishment. This article is actually a symposium in which suggestions and findings of multiple experts are presented to get a better understanding of capital punishment. Johnson extensively provides information about the work of other experts on the death penalty to provide great insight. The accumulation of opinions and perspectives of different scholars significantly increases the overall credibility of this article in terms of Asian society and its death penalty preference. It is important to mention that “Asia is the regional capital of capital punishment” (Johnson, 2008) due to its largest number of judicial executions. The main area where Johnson mentions the significance of the death penalty in the society, political system, and culture of Asia. The text indicates that 90 percent of total judicial executions happen in Asia (Johnson, 2008). The parts of this article do embody that China is a leading nation where judicial executions are on its peak. The overall toll of capital punishment is high in China. Mainly East Asia is the target region of this article due to the prevalence of increased death penalty cases in China, Taiwan, and South Korea.

A detailed examination of this article determines the concentration of the symposium on the case study of a single jurisdiction. The implication of the case study methodology in order to figure out the occurrence of the death penalty is majorly utilized in this context. Merits of the case study of a single jurisdiction are significantly acknowledged in this article. These virtues include; giving specific attention to the local context and conducting research in the context where researchers lived and worked. In addition to this, specific attention is given to the demerits of the case study approach. These case study approaches are used for a specific nation, but one must need to consider other nations in Asia including Nepal, Pakistan, Indian, and Mongolia as well.

In this article, an overview of different jurisdictions in Asian countries reveals variations in the death penalty. It has been observed that many countries have laws that oppose the frequent use of capital punishment in the country. A critical analysis of this symposium predicts the development of capital punishment in the entire world. According to Johnson, “in the next few decades of the 21st century, Asia – and the rapidly developing nations of East Asia especially – will play a key role in global death penalty developments” (Johnson, 2008). There are two main possibilities presented in this article when it comes to the death penalty and its future. There is an increased chance that capital punishment will either spread to other regions of the world or different campaigns against capital punishment will abolish it. In this context, the findings of scholars are presented in order to demonstrate the intensity of judicial executions in China. A comparison of judicial executions in China and the United States is indicated to illustrate the severity of this issue. Average capital punishment in China is 15,000 executions per year between 1998 and 2001 (Johnson, 2008). One can understand the seriousness of this issue by comparing these statistics with the US. In the last four centuries, the US has experienced less than 15,000 judicial executions. The increased prevalence of the death penalty in China is dated back to the practice of state-killing by Mao Zedong. This text highlights the roots of contemporary practice that is resulting in mass judicial execution in Asian countries, especially China. The rule and decisions of Mao Zedong in China is the major reason behind the prevalence of death penalty. This article demonstrates the policies and decisions of Mao that led to a major number of executions under jurisdiction. The decision of judicial execution resided in the Communist Party under the rule of Mao, which increased its overall priority in China (Johnson, 2008). Furthermore, the desired scale of execution was determined with the help of a quota system under the supervision of Mao. Johnson explicitly explains that the decisions and actions of Mao in the past “continue to shape Chinese capital punishment today” (Johnson, 2008).

The ideas presented in the article indicate that China should need to abolish the practice of extensive death penalty by following the protocol of democracy. The transition of South Korea’s death penalty “from de facto to formal abolition” (Johnson, 2008) is presented in this symposium to get a better understanding. Governments of South Korea change the death penalty policy with time due to democratization. In this symposium, works of some scholars are presented to demonstrate diversity in Asian capital punishment. A significant difference in public opinion and death penalty policy illustrates that the studies conducted in these regions are scarce (Johnson, 2008). In this article, Johnson effectively presented various studies to explain the extent of capital punishment and its relation with the social and political forces of the South Asian countries. The concept of the symposium by Johnson augmented the credibility of the entire article. Step by step explanation of the issue and then presenting potential suggestions to abolish capital punishment is efficiently done in this article.

My questions to you is:

1. Why there is a difference between the general public’s opinion and death penalty policies in Asian countries as compared to the US?

2. How the political system of China is responsible for the increased prevalence of death penalty in the country?

3. Why it is beneficial for China to abolish the practice of capital punishment?

Reference: Johnson, D. T. (2008). The death penalty in Asia: Introduction to a Special Issue of Punishment & Society. Punishment & Society, 10(2), 99-102.