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Volume #5, Number #1

Published in December, 2001

As policy problems have become more complex. policy researchers have tried their best to result in thoughtful policy decisions and valuable policy knowledge. To promote the capacity of state’s competitiveness, this policy knowledge should be used and diffused.

Regardless a growth in the volume of policy knowledge in the past decades, most research indicate that governmental policy-makers did not make direct use of policy knowledge. To an extent, policy knowledge only changes policy-makers' conceptualization of policy problems.

The purpose of this paper is to explore why policy-makers are unlikely to use policy knowledge, and under what conditions policy-­makers will use it. To do so, the policy context needs be examined in understanding the extent and types of policy knowledge use. In other words, policy-makers'behavior in the decision-making settings must be incorporated into the policy knowledge utilization literature.
In addition, the policy capacity of government is closely related to policy-makers'attitude to policy knowledge. However, the relationship between policy-makers and policy knowledge has always been difficulty to define. In contrast to conventional conceptualizations of policy knowledge utilization, this paper tries to examine the differences among policy-makers, expecting they do not view their responsibility or attempt to use policy knowledge the same way.

The main content of this paper is fourfold: first of all, through a review and integration of these theories (knowledge-specific theory, policy-maker's constraint theory, and the two communities theories), this paper puts forward another synthesis model. Secondly, it identifies four main influential factors (including the policy-making types, the features of policy-makers, the decision-making context, and the features of decision-making setting) for policy-makers in using policy knowledge utilization are presented. Finally, it makes some conclusions and suggestions for future research.

Hen-Chin Chen

Democratization in Taiwan has demanded a more delicate governance system Traditionally isolated administrative body is now encountered pluralistic interference that usually politicizes the policy process essentially. Public administrators, rather than simply rule the public, are now required to design institutions to work with the public in offering public goods. In this paper, I argue that traditional supply-side policies of waste management--mainly governmental provision of incinerators and landfills--have encountered considerable challenges of NIMBY (not in my back yard) syndrome. The governments eventually recognized that demand-side policies, thought administratively sophisticate and costly, are politically more feasible. Different levels of governments have therefore engaged in designing germane institutions to change citizens'behaviors in consumption and disposal of wastes. After briefly discussion on the possible public-private synergy in such recycling policies, this paper examines citizens' incentives of participating in such collective action in co-producing public goods (of managing the wastes), and explains why some townships might have performed better in recycling materials than others. In conclusion, this paper suggests that the government should remain such market mechanisms as deposit system even under energetic rent-seeking pressure from the business, because these mechanisms contribute to a successful application of all major incentives for public goods coproduction.

Ching-Ping Tang

Why do people need political identity, and what effect does individual learning have on forming her identity preference? Relatively little research has tried to answer these two questions. We address this issue by analyzing the relationship between individual's life cycle and identity preference change. In a formal model of Bayesian updating, we establish that the aging process and external political changes both lead the individual to the acquisition of a new identity (Taiwanese). We test these hypotheses by analyzing the effects of age and education on weighting new information and previous identity choice. The results of this analysis accord with our image of identity politics in Taiwan: democratic evolu­tion acts as a self-selection or learning process aggregating the possible paths of further political developments. In this way of analysis, static scheme-led explanation is replaced by political learning in an uncertain setting.

Yung-ming Hsu, Yun Fan

Few concepts have played more central roles in the study of political science than ‘power' and ‘causation'. But students of the subject have fallen into serious ambiguities in recent decades. Some scholars claim that the concepts of power and causation the better.

In view of the present state of affairs in the research area, this article seeks to accomplish three tasks in order to provide a firmer foundation for future research. First, to review Robert Dahl's papers on power and causality in order to explicitly identify and elaborate the causation implication of power definition. Second, to examine systematically the connection between causal conditionals and causality. Third, to discuss the relationship between path coefficients in path analysis and 'amount of power' in Dahl's power definition.

Chiu-Yeoung Kuo