From the mid-nineteenth century, Pacific Asian countries experienced a series of efforts to reform and change the political system in their countries. These efforts aimed to transform existing institutions and establish new institutions according to modern ideas, principles and values. For more than a century following the beginning of these efforts, incremental reform, revolution and mass political movements have supplanted the traditional political order of Pacific Asia. The considerable challenges Pacific Asian states have experienced building the modern state over this period can be partly explained by the massive social, economic and political changes that took place as elites and social groups pushed for reform and revolution but also by the vulnerability this transitional period created for the new states. On the other hand, however, modern state building unleashes contestation between different political actors and interest groups over how the modern state will support differing ideals and values. There has been no single blueprint for modern state building in the region. The ideas that underpin it range from communism to socialism, nationalism to imperialism, republicanism to democracy and socialism to capitalism.
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- Building the modern state
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- Chapter 2