Theoretical Discourse for Establishing an Ethnic-based Representative Agency





Published date: 

June, 2010


Way Sun


In a democracy that features elections as the main mechanism for its representative government, the interests and values of minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups in the pluralistic society can never be fully pursued and reflected. On the other hand, under the increasing influence of globalization, the importance and jurisdiction scope of the agencies which are capitalist in nature inside the executive branch have specifically crowded out other socially functioning agencies which aim to mainly serve minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups. Thus, doubly confined by the representational deficit of representative government and the institutional imbalance of the executive branch, the notion and theory of representative bureaucracy has been brought forth into the contemporary study of public administration. It also facilitates the representation of various branches in terms of race, ethnic groups and gender via the personnel composition of bureaucracy. These efforts are to protect minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups so as to ensure the core values of democracy. Furthermore, in regard to the protection of ethnic groups, a modern government shall further institutionalize representative bureaucracy by establishing representative agencies for respective ethnic groups in order to ensure their respective interests and values. However, to avoid bureaucratic partiality and better justify the representative agencies for ethnic groups, this article further analyzes the development course of citizenship and the related ideological background of cultural citizenship. This article then focuses on the functions of representative agencies for ethnic groups in Taiwan in order to explore the features of the representative agencies for ethnic groups while looking at Taiwan’s historic development course and social-political context. In conclusion, this article proposes relevant policy recommendations with a culturally competent public administration in mind for the executive branch in order to protect the interests and values of ethnic groups, and foster harmonious relationships among various ethnic groups.