Regular Issue

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Volume #9, Number #2

Published in December, 2005

The conflict of national identities has surfaced as the most salient issue in Taiwan’s politics since the country became a full-fledged democracy in the late 1980’s. The studies on nationalism in Taiwan have also been mushrooming in the recent years. Many previous studies have found a steady trend of identity change in the past decade among the general populace: the rise of Taiwanese identity with the decline of Chinese identity. Using the data collected in a panel study of interview surveys conducted in 1998 and 2000, this paper however finds the high volatility of national identity among the general public. Significant portions in all three major nationalist groups, namely the Taiwanese nationalists, the Chinese nationalists, and the pragmatists, had changed their identities in the period of two years. This paper also weighs the effects of material interests and affection as two contrary factors on the change of national identity. While the former, coming from the economic inducement of China, drags people away from the position of Taiwan independence, the latter, based on the cultural-ethnic identity with Taiwan, consolidates this position. This paper finds that in the particular period when the surveys were conducted, the consolidating effect of the ethnic-cultural identity on Taiwanese national identity seemed surpassing the straying effect of rational calculation of material interests.

Naiteh Wu

This article tries to unfold the political perspectives hidden in the works of Ruan Ji and Ji kang who are the important philosophers of the Mysticism School in Wei-Jing epoch. We may find the coral concerns that dwelled in the sphere of literature through reading and analyzing the articles and poetry of these two philosophers.

We shall analyze the academic position of these two philosophers and discuss the epistemological with ontological understanding found in their Mysticism texts. We shall also deal with several important issues such as “the relationship between individuals and society,” “being and non-being,” ”nature and norms,” “non-action and ideal political leader” and “how and why to get immortal “in this article by attentively reviewing the works of Ruan Ji and Ji Kang. The inside struggles revealed in the poetry and articles of Ruan Ji and Ji kang are definitely indicator of the situations that intellectuals in Wei-Jing had to face with. And we may also figure out what will be the true relation when the individual body interacts with the collective or the regime building. This is no doubt the reason why the philosophers have to seek for personal immortality that is one of the twin options decided by different political perspectives and attitudes.

Chung-Horng Lin

Singapore has developed a new surveillance society strategy to keep authoritarian politics compatible with knowledge economy in the globalization era. The surveillance society control is not only workable in the highly risk society, it also shapes a special development mode that can integrate the authoritarian politics, knowledge economy and surveillance society into an incorporated whole. Indeed, the post-modern surveillance power explanation does not deny those accounts of modern authoritarian political operations in the civil society. The more recent explanation is to increase our understanding of how Singapore government maintains authoritarian politics through surveillance control in the digital network. The surveillance society study may overemphasize the impacts of surveillance technologies upon the present society. Although this emphasis could provide evidence for the convergence argument of global surveillance society, however; it requires a more profound research of the specific historical formation of Singapore’s surveillance society. The author argues that the restrictions of surveillance society research can be improved by using the historical-context analysis. That is, with the framing of surveillance society theories, the researcher can further link the surveillance society control with Singapore’s existing establishments under a historical-dynamics examination. It will enhance our understanding of surveillance society development in Singapore.

Chuan-Chuan Tung

In the field of International Relations, very few scholars engaged in integrating “security” and “governance” eithe theoretically or empirically. This paper proposes to construct the theoretical concept of “security governance.” Empirically, this paper tends o elucidate the evolution of regional “security governance” in contemporary Southeast Asia. It attempts to discuss the significance of “ASEAN Security Community” proposed in the 9th ASEAN Summit of 2003 and analyze its implication to Southeast Asian security.

Accordingly, this paper scrutinizes the governance of Southeast Asian security. Three portions are included: (1) conceptualization: the literature of “governance” and “security” respectively, the concept of “security governance,” and its implication to regional security are proposed; (2) empirical illustration: the evolution of Southeast Asian security governance is examined; (3) theoretical reflection: the contribution of this theoretical framework is further discussed.

Hao Yang

How does one explore and explain the interactions of Chinese top elites at a crucial juncture, such as the fourth plenum of the 16th CCP Central Committee in September 2004, with limited information? The purpose of this paper is to show the primary sources of information regarding the interactions of Chinese top leaders, and to illustrate the process of deconstructing and reconstructing available information. This paper claims that researchers can dig out valuable information from dry news reports in official Chinese mass media. Official documents, top leaders’ open speeches, and even photos indirectly reveal Chinese leaders’ attitude in policy debates and their power relationships.

Once available information is collected, researchers may adopt content analysis to filter out Chinese leaders’ position on several specific crucial issues. The results will demonstrate whether the leaders have formed a stable alignment. Additionally, researchers should develop their interpretation of history on Chinese elite politics of past decades. Once researchers identify the evolutional track of Chinese elite politics and its dynamics, they can better illustrate the implications of the leaders’ behavior in a specific conjuncture. However, due to the fact that available information is always limited, researchers must not exaggerate the conclusions.

Chien-Wen Kou