Regular Issue

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Volume #20, Number #1

Published in June, 2016

Collective interests and private interests are often at odds in political life.  If faced with such a dilemma, what stance would Taiwanese take?  By starting from the problem, we employ cross-Strait exchanges as the case, and examine the choices of the Taiwanese people.  We conduct three cross-sectional surveys to observe the dynamics of their choices both with and without dilemmas.  Our research findings suggest that these people care about both collective and private interests.  If the two are directly at odds with each other, these people will, however, normally be caught in between and could take a clear position on the issue.  However, if they can avoid making the difficult choice, they will generally tend to stand for the collective interests. That is, if they consider cross-Strait exchanges to be good for Taiwan, they will be for such exchanges; if not, they will definitely oppose them.

Ying-nan Chen, Shu Keng, Lu-huei Chen

Power transition theory (PTT) has effectively explained the concept of war among great-power states and has successfully competed with the balance of power theory since Organski proposed it in 1958. PTT’s main argument is as follows: when one state’s power approaches that of another state and it is dissatisfied, it is highly likely that the state will initiate war. Lemke (2002) further applies PTT to regional wars and argues that PTT is powerful in explaining both hegemonic wars and regional wars. This paper follows Lemke’s definition of regional dyads and focuses on Northeast Asia. However, both the statistical and qualitative analyses in this paper reveal results that are distinctly different from PTT’s arguments, in particular on the dyad of China and Japan. To be specific, this paper examines the power ratio and state dissatisfaction of Northeast Asian dyads from 1918-2007 and further induces the conflict behavior of Japan and China by means of Boolean algebra. The results show that the shrinking power gap is not as influential on China’s and Japan’s behavior as PTT argues. Instead, China will initiate war when it has greater power than another state. China will also initiate war when it is highly dissatisfied. As for Japan, although dissatisfaction will lead it to war, the superiority of its military and economic power has more of an influence on its conflictual behavior. A case study on the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894 concurs with the arguments of this paper. Finally, the results of this paper also correspond with the story that China still follows the principle of “tao guang yang hui” proposed by Deng Xiao-ping.

Hsiao-chuan Liao

Grain is an important commodity in developing counties. Fluctuations in grain prices not only influence the process of economic development, but also have an effect on the lives of peasants. A feature of China’s grain price is that it fluctuated dramatically before 2004, and has been stable and has risen gradually since then. This price change pattern is distinct. Food shortages constitute the main agricultural problem in the early stages of economic development. Even if the problem could be avoid, however, it is unlikely that grain would end up in surplus while the economy grows rapidly at the same time. I argue that the fluctuation in China’s grain price can be explained by dual-economy model, the policies of labor mobility control and forced grain production throw both the food market and labor market out of balance, hence making the price unstable.

Chi-hung Huang

Representative bureaucracy is not only a political instrument for enhancing governing legitimacy but also a practical tool to increase organizational performance. This paper examines the passive representation of women civil servants in administrative agencies across all level of governments since 2000, which is one of the most politically attractive issues in Taiwan. The results show that the percentage of women has been continuously increasing to over 60% when excluding law enforcement officers. This level of passive representation is the highest among all other Asian countries and close to the mean of Western nations. Yet, there clearly exists job segregation or a glass wall between genders, on the one hand, and more importantly women have been significantly underrepresented in senior managerial or executive positions, reflecting the problem of a glass ceiling, on the other. This paper discusses some plausible reasons contributing to the trend as well as several implications for personnel policy and the issue of gender mainstreaming. It argues, among other things, that the priority task is to establish a leadership development program and selection plan for women that will enable political executives to appoint more women to higher civil servant positions.

Jay N. Shih

For most cultural cities located in China’s inner regions, not only deficient public finances but also historic heritage sites hinder the process of urbanization and economic development. How could these cities reverse the circumstantial disadvantages and turn them into exclusive merits that can possibly foster economic development? This paper argues that “adaptive local state capitalism” may be the key to understanding this kind of development process. The local state has constantly transformed and rescaled its space and boundary according to new circumstances, through which an interdependence with enterprises can be cultivated to rehabilitate historic heritage sites and promote urban development simultaneously. Based on field work and first-hand documents regarding the Qujiang (曲江) model in Xi’an, three types of adaptive local state capitalism are demonstrated to solve problems such as capital deficiency, departmentalism, and inefficiency. First of all, for its capabilities of effectively collecting funds and innovatively manipulating cultural heritages as symbolic capital, the Qujiang Team was chosen and granted privileges to implement culturally-rendered development projects in Xi’an. Second, Qujiang’s government-enterprise synergy was initiated and the system of human resources management reformed and adapted to become more market-oriented. Third, fiscal interdependence among the local state, developers, and banks was formulated to enable the materialization of Qujiang’s projects. The new version of local state capitalism is therefore recommended as a means to learn how heritage parks have boomed as well as its correlation with the rapid growth of urbanization. As the rise of “adaptive local state capitalism” indicates, it has no longer been a game of money, but a competition involving intelligence and innovation in the new race of nationwide urbanization and economic growth in contemporary China.

Meng-chi Hsueh, Chun-chih Chang