Evaluating the Responsiveness of Local Governments in Taiwan: A Case Study of Policies and Public Opinion between 2006 and 2007





Published date: 

June, 2011


Chia-hung Tsai
Eric Chen-hua Yu


Responsiveness is one of the ideal propositions of democracy. Regarding Taiwan’s political studies, scholars have long concentrated on democratization, the unification-independence issue, national identity, and cross-Strait relations. Only a few have paid attention to the relationship between public opinion and policy output. This article evaluates the responsiveness of Taiwan’s local governments by examining the relationship between public opinion and policy output across three policy domains between 2006 and 2007. In addition, to analyze opinion survey data and local governments’ expense records, this research interviews officials of two local governments and councilors to support the empirical findings drawn from the quantitative analysis. Indeed, public opinion has a great impact on determining a local government’s expenditure on environmental policy, and the presidential election result has an effect on the expenditure on transportation policy. This research not only provides empirical evidence of responsiveness, but it also provides an example of a mixed research method.