Regular Issue

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Volume #15, Number #1

Published in June, 2011

This study explores the nature of community forestry and provides a discussion of its development in Taiwan that was initiated in 2002 with a view to including a cooperative approach to forest resources management with local communities. By the end of 2008, the Forestry Bureau had sponsored more than 1,000 community forestry projects, which promoted the public image of the Bureau. However, it is argued that their contributions to forest management and conservation works are rather limited, due to the lack of clear policies, proper institutional arrangements, local empowerment and participation. It is also argued that the rigidly centralized forest management approach is the constraint of the program. This study suggests that to effect better cooperative forest resources management, the program has to consider more local community participation, to deregulate and simplify bureaucratic processes, to diversify institutional arrangements, and to be embedded in the Bureau’s routine business.

Dau-jye Lu, Ho-chia Chueh, Su-jenung Huang, Hong-chung Lin, Chung-ren Wang

Responsiveness is one of the ideal propositions of democracy. Regarding Taiwan’s political studies, scholars have long concentrated on democratization, the unification-independence issue, national identity, and cross-Strait relations. Only a few have paid attention to the relationship between public opinion and policy output. This article evaluates the responsiveness of Taiwan’s local governments by examining the relationship between public opinion and policy output across three policy domains between 2006 and 2007. In addition, to analyze opinion survey data and local governments’ expense records, this research interviews officials of two local governments and councilors to support the empirical findings drawn from the quantitative analysis. Indeed, public opinion has a great impact on determining a local government’s expenditure on environmental policy, and the presidential election result has an effect on the expenditure on transportation policy. This research not only provides empirical evidence of responsiveness, but it also provides an example of a mixed research method.

Chia-hung Tsai, Eric Chen-hua Yu

This article deals with the political thought of Yin Wen Zi. We leave open the question of the academic school to which this text belongs as well as the question of when this text had been written down.

We find the core thesis of Yin Wen Zi is to make clear boundaries in all dimensions of public affairs. We also realize that the understanding above dwells on the epistemological concern of Yin Wen Zi. Taoism, accompanied by Confucianism and Legalism, has been taken as the basic foundation of this text. Yin Wen Zi argued that adequate dialogue and correct interaction between the name (Ming 名) and reality (Shi 實) formed good governance. By emphasizing the fusion of Taoist philosophy with legal philosophy, Yin Wen Zi constructed a natural political ruling system within the ruling system of the monarchy for emperors that were searching for a good (or even ideal) political order.

Chun-hung Lin

In the process of Taiwan’s democratization, scholars assert that ethnic identity, national identity, and party identity are closely linked with each other. In this paper, in addition to carefully examining the relationships among the three identities from the historical, political and sociological perspectives, we provide our hypotheses after investigating the political competition among political parties. We assert that to maximize their political benefit, political actors manipulate the definition and the content of the ethnic identity. Therefore, the ethnic identity has different meanings in different eras. Based on this assertion, we hypothesize that the relationship between the national identity and the ethnic identity is not primordially bound together, but is linked via the political competitions among parties and their engaging in negative campaigning. In order to provide empirical support for out theoretical hypotheses, we incorporate structural equation modeling with survey data. The analytical result shows that controlling for the influence of party identity, there is no significant causality between national identity and ethnic identity. In addition, after controlling for the continuity of the three identities, the pan-blue identity only causally connects with ethnic identity and the pan-green identity only connects with national identity.

Alex C. H. Chang, Chi Huang

The following paper examines the case of strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) and, more specifically, the case of Canada’s decision to forego an SPR, which goes against the norm of International Energy Agency (IEA) members, but more specifically goes against the choices of the other net-export IEA countries. The first section of this paper will outline the puzzle as to why Canada is going against the grain in regards to an SPR, and then the second section will take a look at this puzzle from a rational choice/game theory theoretical perspective. This section will also discuss the findings and interaction between the theoretical framework and the evidence. The evidence for this paper was mainly conducted through various interviews. The final section will summarize the results, including limits and suggestions for further research along with practical implications and policy recommendations.

David G. R. Hann