Regular Issue

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Volume #3, Number #1

Published in December, 1998

This paper tries to uncover the most significant factor determining the outcome of the Taipei Mayoral Election in 1994. The previous research has discovered that the voting decision of the electorate in Taiwan was to a large extent determined by party affiliation. In addition, the ruling KMT has gained a lions share of partisanship among the electorate. This situation did not change much in the election of 1994. This paper tries to answer how the DPPs candidate was able to win the election under this circumstance from the perspective of candidate factor. The candidate factor in elections has seldom been tackled during previous research. The argument of this paper is that candidate factor, particularly the evaluation of candidates, has surpassed the influence of party affiliation. It was the most decisive factor in voting decision among the Taipei electorate in 1994 mayoral election. It was discovered that although the balance of party attachment of Taipei electorate remained unchanged, the super evaluation on the DPPs candidate among a large proportion of the electorate helped the latter win the election.

Fu-ming Yin

The purpose of this article is to address the role and status of policy discourse in policy change. Basically, policy change is assumed to be the interactive effects of three streams of force: deconstruction, construction and strengthened original structure. These three streams of force are expressed by policy actors through policy discourses during the policy making process. Hence, the approach of policy discourse is "a feasible way to observe and analyze the complexity of policy change.

Another focus of this paper is to construct four basic types of policy change: policy evolution, policy succession, policy termination and policy growth. Then we turn the direction of analysis to the definition of each type of policy change and the impact of different streams on each of them.

However, the analysis of policy discourse not only needs to focus on the content of discourse texts, it also needs to identify its embedded social structure, available texts, the position of discourser in policy networks, the policy itself and its contextual evolution. These five factors will determine discourse ownership and leading status and the magnitude of discourse acceptance. Moreover, they lead the possibilities, direction and implication of policy change.

Shoei-po Lin, Ching-pin Wang

To elaborate the dynamics of the general mass attitudes in Taiwan toward the Unification-Independence issue, we explore both aggregate group behavior and individual level heterogeneity by converting consecutive cross-sectional data into a time-dependence structure. Apart from the current static models, these pseudo-panel analyses identify the relations between Elites' Rhetoric and the formation of mass choices on Taiwan's future. Of modeling efforts, education and ethnicity variables are included in both static and dynamic models to statistically estimate their respective significance, their political impacts, and changing pace. In particular, declining significance of ethnicity in dynamic behavior tends to signal the emerging importance of political knowledge in understanding political learning game. In light of rational Bayesian updating, preference revelation is defined as political processes through which mass learn to adjust with competing messages as well as limited information transmissions. In addition to unraveling underlying historical dynamics, we argue that individual uncertainty on this issue not only determines the results of reporting preference, but also reshapes the rationality of political persuasion in this newly democratic polity.

Yung-ming Hsu, Ming-tong Chen

Three perspectives have been prevalent in explaining the rapid growth of rural industry in China: producer cooperative, local government ownership, and market transition. This article contends that the first two approaches do not hold empirically. Instead, the market transition can better interpret the dynamics of the Chinese development. However, it lacks a comprehensive framework for the analysis of property rights across regions. A concept of local property rights regime is proposed to explore the processes of informal privatization in China. This research finds that the strategy of informal privatization, on the one hand, provided enterprises with incentives for rapid growth; but on the other hand, it brought about complicated webs of pseudo-ownership arrangements. The pseudo-ownership enabled rural cadres to manipulate property rights. Farmland were re concentrated in the hands of village leadership; and collective assets were transferred into private coffers. The peasants, deprived under this pattern of privatization, staged collective protests in response to the collusion between cadres and local governments. Whether to overhaul the vague property rights or not has become a dilemma for the central government. It is predicted that if this issue is not resolved properly, the rising rural conflict could dampen the rural development and threaten the Communist power.

Jieh-min Wu

How is social order possible? We can find that the Bunun of Taketonpu effectively used the principle of mabeedasan (consensus without dissidence) to select their Lisigadan Ius-an and Lavian so as to maintain their politico-social order under Japanese colonial rule. Everybody could obtain three kinds of power respectively through different kinds of exchange: isipawuvaif, isipsaif, and ishnoo. The first one is based on the direct competition among people with individual hanido power which is quite similar to the power of utilitarianism in a capitalist society. The second is derived from the sharing of hanido. It was the most dominant power in the Bunun society. The third is based on imitation which is quite popular among the aboriginal peoples in Southeast Asia. The second and the third are to form the special features of the Bunun society. Furthermore, the meaning of the power is illuminated through their concepts of the person and hanido. At the same time, under Japanese colonial rule, a new concept of seizin or politics had gradually emerged among the Bunun which refers to events in connection to the external government. This concept has been strengthened by the rule of Nationalist government after World War II. It has established new political order along with the set-up of local administration via formal and informal organizations. And new economic order is formed in the development of capitalist economy, new cultural order under the formation of new classification systems. Moreover, by means of Han immigrants and Presbyterian Churches as agencies, the establishment of these new orders with different kinds of power are not aware of local Bunun. However, it seems that these new orders reassure them of their "Concept of politics referring to events with the external government and distinguish their original politico-social order from the external political order. They also regard various governments as powerfully dominant with strong hanido power that they have the obligation to take care of the subordinate. Just like their understanding of civil society by which they emphasize different social groups with different capabilities can reach the stage of equality under the necessary guarantee for their respective welfare, these unique visions are derived from their original concept of the person. So, it is the native culture that shapes their visions of social order and politics which in turn influence the pattern of their reaction. In this way, we also manifest the contribution of new tendency of cultural studies in political anthropology.

Ying–Kuei Huang