Regular Issue

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Volume #23, Number #2

Published in December, 2019

The concept of the Balance of Power theory in the international relations paradigms is full of theoretical defaults in terms of the concept's definition. The hegemonic transition in the international community exhibits the phenomenon of the failure of the Balance of Power mechanism. The power shifting arguments also constitute theoretical challenges of continuous failure to the Balance of Power mechanism.

After reviewing questions related to the Balance of Power theory in International Relations studies, this paper intends to first go beyond the Euro-American conceptual constraints that have haunted IR studies to understand the dynamics and the images of the Balance of Power mechanism based on a different approach. It furthermore attempts to explore the phenomenon of the Balance of Power failure after observing the formation of alliances in China's Warring States Era and the fact that the Chinese empire had been repeatedly founded in the East Asia
region. The article concludes by stating that there has been both an ignition failure as well as an adjustment failure in relation to the Balance of Power mechanism in the international system. Further exploring this Balance of Power failure will enhance our understanding of the shifting of international power.

Hsin-Chih Chen

There are two approaches used to detect the people's political polarization in the literature. One is to locate people on the spectrum of ideology in order to calculate the distances among them regarding their positions on issues. The other is to measure the people's affective attitude towards parties. Regardless of which approach is adopted, the political polarization undoubtedly has both a positive and negative influence on democracy at the same time. This study argues that the affective polarization of partisanship exists among the people of Taiwan and should negatively influence the evaluation of the working of democracy, and even destabilize the people's democratic beliefs.

In order to verify the above arguments based on the social identity theory, the concept of social distance was used to measure the people's partisan polarization and to detect its influence on political attitudes toward democracy. The findings of the research are as follows. First, the study both reliably and validly measures the affective polarization of partisanship based on the concept of social distance. Second, the majority of the KMT's and DPP's supporters are characterized by affective polarization, especially the KMT's supporters, whose level of polarization is higher than that of the DPP's supporters. Third, partisan polarization negatively influences the working of democracy but does not erode the people's democratic beliefs. To sum up, although this research provides a relatively positive message for the working of democracy in Taiwan, the affective polarization of partisanship among the people should be prevented from rising continually to enable the democratic processes to function smoothly.

Yi-Ching Hsiao

In 2015 three pieces of legislation were passed, which lays down a set of legal foundations for Taiwan's spatial planning. To shed light on the decision making of the relevant legislation, this article focuses on the congressional agenda setting, in which sponsoring and cosponsoring networks among legislators are analyzed to clarify the factors affecting legislators' behaviors and interactions. In response to the policy characteristics of national spatial planning, this paper applies social network analysis with its "actor-relation" concepts to examine four driving factors that most likely underlie the decisions of legislators, including interest, party, cognition and network structure. The results of the study reveal that legislative collaborative actions in "sponsoring-cosponsoring networks" are more likely to occur when an integration of local interests emerges rather than a call for common interest. While a cross-party coalition does not appear in the sponsoring-cosponsoring networks, intraparty cooperation dominates the interactions of bill support. It is founded that the sponsors possess more extended "adaptation" cognition, the seniority system of committee have strengthened legislative professionalism, and "reciprocity" and "transitivity" are both dominant types of subgroups within the networks, which all forge the driving forces toward collective actions for the agenda setting. These research findings deepen our knowledge of the relevant legislative decision-making and are deemed to facilitate future research and practice regarding Taiwanese spatial planning and land use.

Roger Shihjung Chen

As a new but popular donor, China has taken on more responsibilities for development in poor countries, especially in Africa. However, due to the energy shortage and non-traditional aid policies in China, international society believes that such benevolent behavior is just a means of gaining easy access to oil resources in the region. By using a new dataset, AidData's Global Chinese Official Finance Dataset (2000-2014, Version 1.0), this paper examines whether China's aid is related to African countries' oil production using panel data. In addition, the author also argues that the world oil price level affects China's decisions regarding aid because in addition to its national priority of pursuing energy, China's aid is predominantly delivered by dual-role state-owned entrepreneurs (SOEs) that not only implement government policies to maintain national energy security but who also endeavor to maximize their profits. Oil prices matter because high oil prices harm China's energy security and the benefits of its SOEs as well. The author tests these hypotheses among 54 African countries (2000-2014) using binary logit and random effects models and the statistical results show that higher oil prices and oil production encourage more aid decisions, either with regard to the amount of aid or as to whether to provide finance or not. Finally, this paper finds that these countries' economic performances also affect China's decisions regarding the amounts of aid.

Szu-Ning Ping

The concept of the Balance of Power theory in the international relations paradigms is full of theoretical defaults in terms of the concept's definition. The hegemonic transition in the international community exhibits the phenomenon of the failure of the Balance of Power mechanism. The power shifting arguments also constitute theoretical challenges of continuous failure to the Balance of Power mechanism. After reviewing questions related to the Balance of Power theory in International Relations studies, this paper intends to first go beyond the Euro-American conceptual constraints that have haunted IR studies to understand the dynamics and the images of the Balance of Power mechanism based on a different approach. It furthermore attempts to explore the phenomenon of the Balance of Power failure after observing the formation of alliances in China's Warring States Era and the fact that the Chinese empire had been repeatedly founded in the East Asia region. The article concludes by stating that there has been both an ignition failure as well as an adjustment failure in relation to the Balance of Power mechanism in the international system. Further exploring this Balance of Power failure will enhance our understanding of the shifting of international power.

Minju Lee, Eunbong Choi