Regular Issue

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Volume #14, Number #2

Published in December, 2010

This paper seeks to examine why some countries have abolished the death penalty while others choose to keep it, given their popular opinions overwhelmingly favoring this tool to pursue justice. Taking Taiwan and Singapore as cases, this study demonstrates different approaches toward this controversial issue. In contrast to Singapore’s self-confidence on exercising its sovereignty, Taiwan has been isolated from international society and thus has stronger incentives to use this issue as a means to attract attention and acknowledgement. Since bluntly abolishing the death penalty might encounter strong political opposition, the Taiwanese government has pursued this goal using a silent approach, i.e. by such administrative means as stopping approval of executions, rather than going through formal, symbolic legislation. By doing so the politicians and ruling party also benefit from gaining a reputation for good human rights records without triggering heated debates on this issue.

Helen Murphy

For the government, indicator measurements are a major means of demonstrating the legitimacy of policy. To provide a reason as to why a policy continues to exist, the government must utilize the indicator to justify its actions in carrying out its policy. Although indicator measurements are sophisticated, they may provide policy-makers with means to keep on monitoring and modifying their policy goals.

In doing so, the main purpose of this paper is to measure the quality of the water of the Taipei Water Source Domain by comparison. The main point of discussion concerns whether is it a good way by means of land-use regulations to maintain the quality of water supply. The analysis proceeds as follows. First of all, the people who live in the Taipei Water Source Domain are interviewed. Secondly, by combining the results of the interview with the watershed sustainability indicator, this paper includes a set of indicators, including society, the environment, and the economy. Finally, a well-developed methodology, the Analytic Network Process, is employed to analyze the managerial performance of the Taipei Water Source Domain.

By comparing four water conservation areas, the results show that the Taipei Water Source Domain has relatively better performance. The result also shows that land management, which integrates water, soil, and forest management, influences the performance of the water conservation area the most, and in turn outlines the importance of the special characteristic of the Taipei Water Source Domain as it is the only water conservation area in Taiwan designated by the Urban Plan Act. Although the Urban Plan Act in particular gives the Taipei Water Management Office the capacity of land management, the paper finally provides some suggestions for the Taipei Water Source Domain to improve the existing problems.

Hen-chin Chen, Hun-feng Huang

Campaign expenditure has been the most direct and efficient resource for candidates, since it provides the medium for the voters to know the candidates and their policy platforms. The previous literature also shows that the election result is profoundly influenced by the campaign spending. Unfortunately, there have been few related empirical studies in Taiwan prior to the passage of the Political Contribution Act. In this paper, we collect and analyze the campaign spending for the 2008 legislative election from the Control Yuan. Because of reciprocal causality between spending and the election outcome, two-stage least squares (2SLS) is adopted to capture the unbiased relationship between them. The results show that, in addition to the party nomination and the incumbency advantage, the campaign spending influences the election result in three different ways. First, regardless of whether he/she is an incumbent or a challenger, as long as the candidate spends more money, he/she may receive more votes. Second, the spending by the opponents in the same district has a negative impact on others’ votes. Third, the marginal return on the incumbent’s spending is less than that on the challenger’s. In general, the results confirm the traditional campaign expenditure theory based on Jacobson (1978)’s seminal work.

Ding-ming Wang, En-peng Fan

Regional conflicts, civil wars and ethnic antagonisms in the 1990s induced many instances of humanitarian crises. Massacres and ethnic cleansings seriously violated human rights and brought about reproachable humanitarian miseries and losses of thousands of lives. The legitimacy of humanitarian intervention has attracted much attention among international theorists, lawyers and philosophers. This paper examines the strengths and limits of solidarist arguments with reference to moral and legal rights/duties.

Man-to Leung

This article intends to provide a selected but cogent depiction of how theories of contemporary hermeneutics have influenced research in political philosophy based on a critical scrutiny of Richard Rorty’s hermeneutic theory and a discussion of the new-developing “interpretive political philosophy,” put forth by another American philosopher Georgia Warnke. Two important concepts, “Conversation” and “Bildung”, borrowed from German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, play pivotal roles in Rorty’s and Warnke’s respective hermeneutic versions when they discuss how to deal with society’s controversy over its basic primary values and goods. This new hermeneutic approach to political philosophy is apparently only in its beginning stages and must both face and try to wrestle with some traditionally important hermeneutical problems on its road to maturity, as, for example, in the questioning of relativism and the criteria for adequacy. However, to the best of our belief, to learn and incessantly mix new elements from other approaches is one way for any discipline to survive as its faces various challenges over time.

Chung-ping Wei