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? Responsive Democracy 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 explores 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 demonstrates 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.