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Volume #18, Number #1

Published in June, 2014

Taiwan’s electoral system was in June 2005 reformed from a mixedsystem of a multi-member district single non-transferable vote (SNTV)plus a closed-listed proportional representation system to a mixed systemof a single member district plural system plus a closed-listed PR system.Do legislators’ representative styles and behavior change because ofthe electoral reform? In this article, I focus on the bills introduced bylegislators from the Fifth to the Seventh Legislative Yuan (from February2002 to January 2012) to explore whether legislators change or continuetheir behavior of bill introduction. Several research findings are worthhighlighting. First, legislators under the new electoral system introduceeven more bills than those under the old system. The number of billsis about three times that of before. This shows that the new system has reinforced the tendency for the legislators to have the incentive to pursue a personal vote. Second, legislators under the new system have a greater incentive to introduce general interest bills. This reflects the fact thatlegislators under the new system have a motive for attracting more than50 percent of the voters so that they are motivated to propose generalinterest bills. This finding supports the median voter theorem: under a twocompetitorrace in a single member district plural system, competitors havethe incentive to take the position of the median voter. However, most billsintroduced by legislators have only 1 to 2 articles and most of them aresmall-scale amendments so that legislators do not have to spend too muchtime and resources. Therefore, the increasing number of bills proposed bylegislators does not mean that legislators are directing more efforts towardslegislation, nor does it mean that the quality of legislation is enhanced.

Shing-yuan Sheng

The quality of survey research is the researcher’s main concern andhe always tries to reduce the refusal rate and item nonresponse rate. Theinterviewer, respondent and survey environment are the most importantfactors affecting the result of a face-to-face interview. This article analyzesthe characteristics of these factors and their interaction in deciding theresult of a face-to-face interview.

Using the multilevel model, the analysis reveals that the interviewerwho had TEDS interview experience was significantly more successfulin persuading the respondent to accept the interview, compared to thosewho had no experience at all. The difference is more significant whenthe respondent is coming from a highly-urbanized area. The experienced interviewer has a lower item nonresponse rate than one without experience,when the respondent has less education or the respondent is from an areawith a low degree of urbanization. Compared to the female interviewers,the male interviewers are more likely to be refused, especially when theymeet female respondents. Besides, male respondents have both a lower unitnonresponse rate and item nonresponse rate. A respondent from a highlyurbanized area is more likely to refuse the interview, but a respondentfrom a less urbanized area has a higher item nonresponse rate. Finally,this paper suggests that those researchers who engage in survey researchshould obtain as much information about the interviewer, respondent andenvironment as they can.

Kah-yew Lim

Faced with the current misery of world poverty, a group of scholarshave recently argued that global distributive justice should aim atimproving the condition of the poor up to a threshold of sufficiency, insteadof eliminating the unequal distribution of goods and resources between thepoor and the rich or giving priority to alleviating the predicament of theworse-off. In this paper, by analyzing the justification of the state system,I develop an account of sufficientarianism that highlights basic needs asthe sufficiency threshold because of their importance to people’s privateand political lives. In addition, I suggest three further standards (empirical necessity, moral justifiability, and urgency) to determine the appropriatelength of the list of basic needs for the practical project of global justice.Compared to other theories of global sufficientarianism, my account notonly provides a more precise method to define the sufficiency threshold,but also proposes a morally significant threshold of sufficiency that can beendorsed by other sufficientarians such as Nussbaum.

Yu-chun Kuo

There is a new trend in the Taiwanese environmental movements:using litigation to achieve their goals. There are several factors whichhave facilitated the new trend. They include the crisis of the legality of anEnvironmental Impact Assessment, the decline in the mobilization of socialmovements, judicial independence, and the appearance of environmentallawyers. Although environmental lawyers and social movementorganizations have won several lawsuits, the impacts of victories in courtsare limited. The major obstacle faced by the judiciary as a dynamic ofsocial reform is the resistance from the executive.

Chin-shou Wang

By way of re-examining J. S. Mill’s thoughts on liberal imperialismthat consist of a theory of non-intervention and a theory of state-building,this article is meant to offer a re-interpretation of his political theory, so as,on the one hand, to challenge Michael Walzer’s communitarian readingand, on the other, to meet some recent criticisms made from those whointerpret Mill either as a an originator of democratic peace or as a liberalimperialist.It reads Mill’s autobiography in the light of the doctrine of“experiments in living” highlighted by Isaiah Berlin and the ensuingnew wave of attempts that try to reconcile Mill’s utilitarianism withliberalism. Furthermore, the resulting interpretation presents Mill’s liberalimperialism as a theory which is of a piece with his defence of individualliberty and support for utilitarianism, with the latter two understood as twologically as well as practically related doctrines linked by his concept of a “progressive being” which in turn is derived from Mill’s reflection on hisown experiments in living.

Hao Yeh