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  • Author: Stefan Braig
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Under special circumstances created by a government decision to partly merge and upgrade six counties and county-level cities to special municipality status, local elections took place on December 5, 2009 in areas covering less than half of Taiwan's population. The results are generally seen as an important, though small, victory for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) (Guomindang), however, has remained in a stable position, while the DPP still has a long way to go towards a comeback.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Mingo-sho Ho
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: For Taiwan, the 65 years since the en d of the Second World War can be divided into three periods. The first 15 years saw the rule of a highly repressive regime, which took power shortly after the departure of the Japanese colonizers. The Kuomintang (KMT) ( ೟⇥咼 , Guomindang) consolidated its grip on the island by suppressing the native revolt in the February 28 Incident ( џӊܿѠѠ , ererba shijian ) of 1947 and exterminat- ing the clandestine communist movement in the early 1950s. The harsh political domination not only secured the survival of an émigré regime amid the disillusioned and hostile populace, but also facilitated its re- source extraction for its military mission to re-take mainland China. Situ- ated at the very frontline of the in ternational Cold War, Taiwanese people experienced a period of regimented frugality, ubiquitous counter- espionage, and preparation for war – a highly sterile environment for social movements.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Anru Lee, Wen-hui Anna Tang
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: “The Twenty-five Maiden Ladies' Tomb” is the collective burial site of the female workers who died in a ferry accident on their way to work in 1973. The fact that of the more than 70 passengers on board all 25 who died were unmarried young women, and the taboo in Taiwanese culture that shuns unmarried female ghosts, made the Tomb a fearsome place. Feminists in Gaoxiong ( 催䲘) had for some years wanted the city government to change the tomb' s public image. Their calls were not answered until the Gaoxiong mayor's office finally allocated money to clean up the gravesite and, as part of the city's plans to develop urban tourism, to remake it into the tourist-friendly “Memorial Park for Women Labourers”. Consequently, even though the tomb renovation seemed to indicate a triumph of the feminist endeavour, it was more a result of the Gaoxiong city government's efforts towards culture-led urban revitalization.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: James W. Y. Wang
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article provides a seminal analysis of collective labour legislation in Taiwan. A chronological review of Taiwan's legislative process suggests that the context of incorporation, institutional framework, mechanisms for delivering reforms, and sequence of reforms together shape the legislative outcomes of labour reforms at the collective level. While most labour legislation was revised and passed after the preceding sequence of economic transition, the reform of collective labour rights was greatly constrained by the flexible labour-market structure. In order for politicians to form new alliances with labour organizations, legislation of collective labour rights was a strategy to cultivate support during electoral periods. Consequently, the industrial relations changed following the enactment of substantial reform-oriented labour legislation. Theoretically, the historical analysis of legislative procedure unveils evolutionary reform paths for collective labour rights in new democracies. At the same time, empirically, Taiwan demonstrates an alternative reform path in combination with incremental steps and progressive agendas. For new democracies of small economy, a window of opportunity for the progress in collective labour legislation remains open today, albeit with limitations.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: I-lun Tsai, Ming-sho Ho
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In this article, we analyze the process of institutional change in Taiwan's disability field by focusing on the role of social movements. An institutional perspective emphasizes how a particular logic in an organizational field generates formal and informal institutions that define how persons with disabilities are treated in a society. Before the 1990s, the charity model was dominant, and later it came to be challenged by the disability movement, which advocated for the social model. We argue that the transition to a social model was a major achievement by disability organizations, which successfully combined the dual roles of advocate and service provider. By making strategic use of welfare privatization in the 1990s, they were able to mobilize a series of lobbying campaigns. Their efforts culminated in the passing of the Physically and Mentally Disabled Citizens Protection Act in 1997, which marked the beginning of the social model in Taiwan.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Chin-shou Wang
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Judicial independence reform in Taiwan was pioneered by a group of reform-spirited judges from Room 303 of the Taichung ( ৄЁ, Taizhong) District Court, in 1993. Rather than joining the mass movement that was unfolding on the streets, the reformers formed a coalition with other judges to trigger reform from within the judiciary. The re- formers appealed to the rule of law and democracy as a movement strategy for mobilization. As a result, the movement strategy turned out to be a great success, and Room 303 became the chief engine for further judicial reforms in subsequent years. However, the movement strategy in itself also presents some limitations. This paper examines why the movement strategy was successful and how its limitations eventually created problems that hinder further judicial reforms in Taiwan.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Stephen Philion
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article discusses and critiques the four articles that comprise this volume on Taiwan's social movement and democratization. I argue that the four articles suggest that while Taiwan's social movements have made a clear impact on Taiwan's democratization, they remain challenged by the neo-liberal orientation of elected governments, in both KMT and DPP forms. The article provides brief comparison to East Asian NICs and Western experiences with social movements. A strength of the articles is their attention to the complex ways social movements and democratization have impacted each other for the past two decades, with attention to unintended consequences. It concludes with some thoughts on the implications of how nationalism and globalization will continue to shape the potential of social movements in Taiwan.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, East Asia
  • Author: Jason J. Blazevic
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Many Chinese and Japanese authorities believe Taiwan is essential to their respective states' national security due to the island's geographic centrality and beneficial proximity to nearby and distant sea lanes. Of further importance is Taiwan's immediacy to territorial and resource disputes between China and Japan. This article focuses on the security concerns and strategies of both states and applies realism, its tenets of defensive and offensive realism, and neoliberalism in order to better comprehend those concerns and strategies and also provide probable solutions.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Taiwan