To write a textbook on politics and governments in Pacific Asia is not an easy matter. Two things in particular make this a great challenge. First, the diversity of the region is unmatched anywhere else in the world. Since the 1950s, the region has seen all the types of state and forms of government that have ever been known. On various governance indicators, Pacific Asian countries exhibit greater gaps among themselves than any other region. As students of political science, we want to see patterns and regularities so that we can explain what happened and, if we are ambitious, ponder what might happen in the future. However, the great diversity of Pacific Asian politics defies easy generalizations.
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