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Enduring democracy depends on an ensemble of elements: 1) genuinely democratic leaders; 2) trust among elites and a modicum of satisfaction among the general public; 3) legal protections for individual rights; 4) moderate levels of both voter turnout and non-electoral participation; and 5) the predominance of civil society organizations over patron-client relations. Democracy is difficult to attain or maintain if one (or more) of the required conditions remains absent. At any given time in most countries in Asia, one or more of the five uneasy pieces is weak or missing. The difficulty of simultaneously maintaining all five elements explains why democracy has proven to be so challenging, country specific, and historically contingent as it has been in Asia.