Theoretical Discourse for Establishing an Ethnic-based Representative Agency





Published date: 

June, 2010


Way Sun


In a democracy that features elections as the main mechanism
for its representative government, the interests and values of minority,
disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups in the pluralistic society
can never be fully pursued and reflected. On the other hand, under the
increasing influence of globalization, the importance and jurisdiction scope
of the agencies which are capitalist in nature inside the executive branch
have specifically crowded out other socially functioning agencies which
aim to mainly serve minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups.
Thus, doubly confined by the representational deficit of representative
government and the institutional imbalance of the executive branch, the
notion and theory of representative bureaucracy has been brought forth
into the contemporary study of public administration. It also facilitates
the representation of various branches in terms of race, ethnic groups and
gender via the personnel composition of bureaucracy. These efforts are to
protect minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups so as to ensure
the core values of democracy. Furthermore, in regard to the protection
of ethnic groups, a modern government shall further institutionalize
representative bureaucracy by establishing representative agencies for
respective ethnic groups in order to ensure their respective interests and
values. However, to avoid bureaucratic partiality and better justify the
representative agencies for ethnic groups, this article further analyzes the
development course of citizenship and the related ideological background
of cultural citizenship. This article then focuses on the functions of representative agencies for ethnic groups in Taiwan in order to explore
the features of the representative agencies for ethnic groups while looking
at Taiwan’s historic development course and social-political context. In
conclusion, this article proposes relevant policy recommendations with a
culturally competent public administration in mind for the executive branch
in order to protect the interests and values of ethnic groups, and foster
harmonious relationships among various ethnic groups.