Responsive Democracy: Increasing State Accountability in East Asia


Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Jeeyang Rhee BaumJeeyang Rhee Baum, Research Fellow, Ash Center
A light lunch will be served.

About the Seminar
Under what conditions is a newly democratic government likely to increase transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to its citizens? What incentives might there be for bureaucrats, including those appointed by a previously authoritarian government, to carry out the wishes of an emerging democratic regime? At this seminar, Jeeyang Rhee Baum will discuss findings from her new book Responsive Democracy, which addresses an important problem in democratic transition and consolidation: the ability of the chief executive to control the state bureaucracy.

Using three well-chosen case studies – the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan – Jeeyang Rhee Baum will explore the causes and consequences of codifying rules and procedures in a newly democratic government. In the Philippines, a president facing opposition has the option of appointing and dismissing officials at will and, therefore, has no need for administrative procedure acts. However, in South Korea and Taiwan, presidents employ such legislation to rein in recalcitrant government agencies, and, as a consequence, increase transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. Moreover, as Baum will demonstrate by drawing upon surveys conducted both before and after implementation, administrative procedural reforms in South Korea and Taiwan improved public confidence in and attitudes toward democratic institutions.

About the Speaker
Jeeyang Rhee Baum is a research fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Her research and teaching interests include comparative political institutions, administrative law and political economy of bureaucratic reform, particularly in the context of developing democracies in East Asia. She has conducted field research in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, the results of which appear in her book, Responsive Democracy: Increasing State Accountability in East Asia (2011, University of Michigan Press). Scholarly journals in which her work has appeared include the British Journal of Political Science, Governance, Democratization, and Journal of East Asian Studies. A recipient of numerous research fellowships and awards, including a National Science Foundation grant, her current research focuses on the different ways that politicians restructure the state in Asia after democratic transition. Previously, she worked as budget and legislative analyst for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as the FAA Budget Examiner at the Office Of Management and Budget.

Presently she serves on the editorial board for the Political Science Network (PSN) at Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, she was a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and an assistant professor in the political science department at UC San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in political science at UCLA.