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Volume #19, Number #1

Published in June, 2015

Policy representation has been one of the foremost topics in political science. The pre-condition is the stability of policy preferences. While individual opinions may be influenced by many sources, scholars have found the macro level of opinion to be stable. The disaggregation of survey data may lead to the problem of a large standard deviation being encountered due to the small number of observations in some counties. Therefore, multilevel regression with post-stratification (MRP) is used to estimate public opinion toward budget spending on social welfare between 2007 and 2013. These MRP estimates are validated. However, this data analysis shows mixed results regarding the stability of public opinion in Taiwan.

Chia-hung Tsai

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the influence of an internationalizing coalition on political leaders is a key mediating variable in the relationship between trade interdependence and international conflict. In the literature, scholars have contradicting theories and empirical conclusions about whether trade interdependence promotes peace or conflict. In this article, I argue that, dyadically, the pacifying effect of trade interdependence is conditional upon the influence of an internationalizing coalition on both political leaders. When the support of internationalizing coalitions is important to both leaders’ political survival, the leaders will be more reluctant to use militarized measures to solve international disputes because the use of force will compromise the internationalizing coalitions’ opportunity to make money. On the other hand, if the support from the internationalizing coalitions is not important to both leaders’ political survival, the leaders will feel less constrained to use militarized measures. The underlying assumption is that internationalizing coalitions always prefer a peaceful and stable commercial environment to a conflictual one, because a conflictual situation hurts their commercial interests. I use a game-theoretical model to demonstrate the logic of this theory and then test it with logit and generalized estimating equations (GEE) models using data from 1962 to 2001. Besides, the game-theoretical model also points to a phenomenon that is worth paying attention to: as the influence of internationalizing coalitions on both political leaders increases, the probability of a militarized interstate dispute decreases, but this does not guarantee a positive peace-under some situations peace is built under the disguise of successful coercions. Based on this finding, a policy implication regarding the Cross-Strait relationship is suggested in the last part of this paper.

Chien-wu Hsueh

While conventional statistical methods usually assume that the error  term in the models are independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.), this assumption is usually violated when observations are interdependent due to the strategic interactions among players. The violation of the i.i.d assumption results in the inefficient estimation of standard errors that can further invalidate the hypothesis testing. This paper discusses the method of statistical backward induction (SBI) developed by Curtis S. Signorino and his coauthors that can be used to analyze different kinds of strategic interactions in politics, such as electoral competitions, party coalitions, and international conflicts. After demonstrating how to derive the SBI estimator, this paper applies SBI to analyze how the U.S. government uses the Special 301 Report to coerce its trade partners into protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of American products. It shows that one country’s trade surplus with the U.S. is a key determinant for the U.S. to nominate this trade partner in the Special 301 Report. Meanwhile, it is the dependence on the U.S. market that affects the nominated country’s decision to ignore or comply with the U.S. threat of trade retaliation implied by the Special 301 Report.

Wen-chin Wu

Brownfield redevelopment is meant to correct environmental injustice but the redevelopment process and benefit distribution could result in injustice again. However, brownfield redevelopment justice has rarely drawn public attention because people wrongly believe that a revitalized brownfield site indicates that justice has been served for pollution victims. To evoke discussions on brownfield redevelopment justice, this paper focuses on justice issues involved in processing brownfield revitalization, including the application of several main justice perceptions, as shaped by Bentham, Nozick, Kant and Rawls, on brownfield practice, and the examination of the justice perceptions held by the authors of the current brownfield redevelopment literature. This paper finds that the justice presented in the current literature can be classified into two categories. There is that literature which believes in utilitarianism and laissez-faire which emphasizes an efficient redevelopment process. There is also other literature that believes in freedom and equality, which emphasizes distributive justice, including the equal distribution of redevelopment opportunities among brownfield communities and the equal distribution of redevelopment benefits among stakeholders. In addition, there is procedural justice, with its focus on meaningful public participation in the decisionmaking process. This paper contends that the justice perceptions that are discussed are not contradictory to each other when applied to brownfield redevelopment and concludes that a human-respecting justice perception should be developed for brownfield redevelopment embedded in a specific Taiwanese social context.

Tsuey-ping Lee

The flows of economic globalization highlight the tensions among marketing logic, sovereignty, and human rights. What this comes to reveal is the fact that a fully enclosed border becomes impractical, that is, the functionality of the sovereign state in terms of controlling the border has met its predicament. Under globalization, how will the new global political community maintain its core values such as freedom, human rights, democracy and justice, as the notion of sovereignty is no longer viewed in terms of a unitary nation? Hence, the need to thoroughly reflect on politics and its relevant concepts has become all the more urgent. We can no longer continue to simplify notions such as a border, democracy or citizenship under the rubric of a nation state. Instead, we have to rethink and recompose these notions in the hope of finding a new way for today’s political problem.

Balibar and Derrida unanimously propose the concepts of “frontier democracy” and “democracy to come” in order to discuss the formation of a nation state and the predicaments that it faces. Then the two concepts are considered in an attempt to respond to the question of the age of globalization and to consider whether there is any space for hospitality for the strangers in the new political community.

The concept of “democracy to come” will go beyond the sovereign notion such as the nation state. However, this does not mean that we need to abrogate the sovereignty of a nation, but to constantly engage in, reform, and create new ways of sharing with the sovereign. As such, we can no longer approach citizenship only from a unitary standpoint. By doing this, the dominated border is opened, and the “strangers” such as refugees, vagabonds, migrant workers, and people without documents (sans papiers) are allowed to enter the system of “citizenship.” This not only provides them with hospitality but also allows them to feel accepted and to know their alterity again.

Deconstructive frontier democracy goes beyond notions such as borders and citizens in the rubric of a sovereign nation, and seeks to decriminalize notions such as being an illegal immigrant, smuggling, and statelessness. This way of approaching the issues drives us to go beyond the notion of a nation state in order to form a sort of citizenship without community (citoyenneté sans communauté). In addition, it enables us to realize the idea/ideal of being a world citizen—that is, being human and in a space reflecting openness and multiplicity—which makes the task of rethinking the border become an existential foundation.

Shih-chian Hung