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  • Author: Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Changes of ruling parties are widely viewed as a critical marker of a country's level of democratisation. Huntington (1991: 266–267) even suggested a democracy can only be considered consolidated after passing a “two-turnover test”: two changes of ruling parties through elections. Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has continu- ed to experience comprehensive social transformation and political reforms, including the first direct presidential election in 1996; the defeat of the Chinese Nationalist Party , Zhongguo Guomindang, Kuomintang, KMT) in the 2000 presidential election by the Democratic Progressive Party, Minzhu Jinbudang, DPP) after five decades of one-party rule; and the subsequent setback for the DPP in 2008 when the electorate voted the KMT back into power. This indicates that Taiwan should now be considered a con- solidated democracy even though, comparatively speaking, it may still be young and evolving (Rawnsley and Gong 2011).
  • Author: Dafydd Fell, Charles Chen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In early 2011, the Kuomintang (KMT, Guomindang) government appeared to be in danger of losing power in the upcoming presidential elections. The DPP had recovered sufficiently from its disastrous electoral performance in 2008 to pose a real challenge to Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu) and had matched the KMT's vote share in mid-term local elections. Ma also faced the challenge of an independent presidential candidate, James Soong (Song Chuyu), who had come a close second in 2000 and now threatened to divide the pro KMT vote. Nevertheless, the KMT was able to win reduced majorities in both the presidential and legislative elections in January 2012. This article seeks to explain how the KMT was able to hold on to power by comparing the campaign with earlier national-level elections. We are interested in identifying the degree to which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, Minjindang) learnt from its electoral setbacks in 2008 and whether the KMT employed a similar campaign strategy to the one that had been so effective in returning it to power in 2008. Our analysis relies of an examination of campaign propaganda and campaign strategies as well as participant observation and survey data from 2012 and earlier contests.
  • Topic: Political Violence
  • Author: Lee Chun-yi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the comparison of labour policies in Taiwan and China has an important bearing on the interaction between state and society. The fact that labour policies have changed over time illustrates a process of bargaining between the state and society. The core question of this paper is whether the development of labour policies in Taiwan can provide China a good example to learn from. In order to answer this question more systematically, the first part of this paper provides theoretical reviews of the state–society relationship, while the second part aims to verify whether those labour-favouring policies in Taiwan have changed under a different party's governance. The third part of the paper further investigates labour policy in China; this section mainly focuses on the historical background to the new labour contract law. Based on the preceding two sections' literature review of the changing path of labour policies, the fourth section scrutinises fundamental issues reflected in the development of Taiwan's labour policies, then compares how those issues are reflected in the case of China. The conclusion of this paper is that although Taiwan, like China, formerly had a one-party system, the changes in Taiwan's labour policies are not completely comparable to China, though both societies had some similarities.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Dafydd Fell, Isabelle Cheng
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years, female marriage migration from China and Southeast Asia has significantly increased the number of foreign-born citizens in Taiwan. This article is a preliminary investigation into how political parties responded to the growing multicultural makeup of the national community between 2000 and 2012. We examine the content of the Understanding Taiwan textbook, the election publicity of the two major political parties, citizenship legislation, and the results of interviewing immigrant women. The findings show that the change in the ruling party did make differences in terms of both parties\' projection of immigrant women in election propaganda and citizenship legislation. However, inward-looking multiculturalism is practised by the two main political parties in Taiwan to forge national identity and enhance national cohesion rather than to promote the recognition of immigrants\' different cultural heritage.
  • Topic: Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley, Chien-san Feng
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The student-led anti–media-monopoly movement in Taiwan has generated strong momentum since mid-2012. In early 2013, the National Communications Commission responded by drafting the “Prevention of Broadcasting and Television Monopoly and the Maintenance of Diversity Act”, which was approved by the Executive Yuan in April 2013 and is now waiting to be debated in the Legislative Yuan. In contemporary Taiwan, the social is often connected with the political. The existing democratic system, which is a legacy of the democratisation process in the twentieth century, no longer seems adequate to serve the citizens of the twenty-first century. This paper considers the anti-media-monopoly movement and the burgeoning civic movements in recent years as part of a “second wave” of democratisation for further political reform and democratic consolidation. When martial law was lifted in Taiwan in 1987, the “first wave” of media liberalisation ended with the commercialisation of industry. The “second wave” of media democratisation has picked up where the first wave left off and may finally establish, through increasingly more thoughtful media policies, a better and fairer media environment that is more suitable for democratic Taiwan.
  • Author: Gary D. Rawnsley
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses how Taiwan exercises “soft power” and uses public diplomacy to engage with the international community, and to compensate for the absence of formal diplomatic relations with major powers. The research suggests that Taiwan's strategies of international engagement are constrained by its external and internal political environments. The international system (structure) has locked Taiwan into a set of challenging arrangements over which it has little control or influence, while Taiwan's public diplomacy architecture and the activities organised and undertaken by its government agencies in Taibei and its representatives abroad (agency) reveal, at best, a misunderstanding of how Taiwan's soft power might be exercised more effectively. The strategic thematic choices of legitimacy (invoking Taiwan's international status) versus credibility (which in soft power terms offers the most benefit), and the decision to privilege cultural over political themes in international communications, all have profound effects on the success of Taiwan's soft power.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Marius Korsnes
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to understand what government mechanisms have allowed China's wind industry to grow as fast as it has over the past ten years. Instead of formal rules and regulations, this paper focuses on specific sets of institutional conditions that have been crucial in the process of high-speed implementation of wind energy in China. Specifically, fragmentation and centralisation, together with policy experimentation and policy learning, have been fundamental for policy flexibility and institutional adaptability. The paper illustrates that there are benefits and disadvantages to these characteristics, and that inherent qualities of China's governing system that lead to rapid growth overlap with those that lead to challenges in terms of quality and long-term performance.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: May Tan-Mullins, Peter S. Hofman
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: There is increasing evidence that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is emerging as a management issue within Chinese business (Moon and Shen 2010; Yin and Zhang 2012). The main drivers of this movement, which are commonly discussed, include domestic political will and international pressure. However, what is less understood is the nature of the shaping of CSR. As a concept, CSR has been widely interpreted as the way companies take into account interests of a broader range of stakeholders beyond owners and shareholders of the firm. Hence, it is about the way firms develop policies and practices to minimize the negative impacts and even increase the positive impacts of their business practices on various stakeholder groups. In a Western context, the rationale for CSR has been explained as a result of interaction between business, government and society where institutional pressures that develop from these interactions lead to certain expectations regarding the nature of business practices. This is where firms increasingly see CSR as a strategic approach to maintaining and enhancing legitimacy and reputation so as to ensure the buy-in and loyalty of key stakeholder groups such as employees and customer
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: May Tan-Mullins
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's insatiable appetite for natural resources and energy to fuel its national growth is having an increasing impact on the domestic and global environment. Globally, China has turned to resource-rich regions in Africa and South America, at times engaging so-called “rogue states” to secure the resources it requires. Now is a critical juncture at which to encourage socially responsible behaviours in the Chinese extractive sectors, such as adopting the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This analysis discusses the current corporate social responsibility (CSR) mechanisms in extractive industries and assesses the feasibility of socialising China towards adopting CSR global norms in the extractive industries. This article has three sections. The first discusses China's environmental governance trajectory and ecological footprint in the domestic and global extractive industry. The second section discusses the factors contributing to the success and failure of various CSR mechanisms, with a specific focus on the EITI, and the final section expounds on the emerging challenges and issues and concludes with policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Douglas Whitehead
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: NGO–firm partnerships have been well studied in the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Marano and Tashman 2012; Dahan et al. 2010; Oetzel and Doh 2009). However, these studies have generally limited their focus to Western multinationals and Western NGOs and, moreover, not by-and-large examine in depth the institutional settings under which either the firm or the NGO operates Building on recent institutional approaches to CSR (Brammer, Jackson, and Matten 2012; Kang and Moon 2012; Matten and Moon 2008), this paper examines how the institutional dynamics of several partnerships between Chinese firms and NGOs affect the manifestation of CSR (e.g. “implicit” vs. “explicit”). The paper also looks into how CSR and NGO–firm collaboration plays out within a changing state-corporatist framework in Chinese context (Unger and Chan 1995, 2008; Hsu and Hasmath forthcoming). The paper then argues 1) that the involvement of an NGO in the partnership reflects a changing institutional setting in China, and 2) that type and level of involvement of Chinese government institutions affects whether a given firm takes an “implicit” or an “explicit” approach to CSR.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China