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A Study of Taiwan Local Self-Government Democratization from the Perspective of Historical Institutionalism
Chu, Chao-Hsiang Ph. D.
Taiwan local self-government democratization
After being defeated in civil war, the KMT government retreated in 1949 to Taiwan, promulgated the "Order of Martial Law", and ruled by the law for more than 38 years. At that time, non-Party democrat kept fighting for Taiwan democratization, the martial law was finally lifted by the President Chiang Ching-kuo on July 15, 1987 under the pressure imposed by America, and the following were a series of deregulations which included lifting the ban on newspaper publications, political parties and allowing people to visit relatives on the mainland. On January 13, 1988, the President Chiang Ching-kuo died at the age of 78, Lee Teng-hui succeeded as president. Due to the non-reelection Congress intended to extend power by amending the constitution, students from universities gathered at Memorial Square to sought direct elections of president and vice president and new popular elections for all representatives in the National Assembly, which was called “Wild Lily student movement”. The demonstration altered the direction of “Taiwan democratization” and “institutional choice”. During the term of office, in order to condense the common sense of reform, Lee Teng-hui invited the ruling and opposition party leaders to participate the “National Affairs Conference” and “National Development Conference”. Through the approach from "political consultations outside the system," to "constitutional amendment to amend the law in the system" , Lee sequentially completed some index of democratization, such as "termination of Communist Rebellion", "enactment of the Amendment of the Constitution ", " complete re-election of national legislature," " direct election of president and vice president, "and so on. Local self-government is one of the ways to organize local governments. To implement local self-government should meet the following conditions: being authorized by constitution and law to delimit territory; electing the representatives in the National Assembly under the control and supervision from higher level of governments; using local resources to deal with local affairs; accepting the delegation coming from higher level of governments. “Taiwan local self-government democratization” was gradually carried out in the perfecting process of “Taiwan democratization”. Legalization on local self-government, popular election of province governor and mayor, streamlining the province to rebuild government, uploading of “quasi-direct-controlled municipality” clause, “administration division” clause, and “reorganization of counties upgraded as special municipalities” are the accomplishments. Hence, the “institutional choice” about “Taiwan democratization” decided the “institution change” about “Taiwan local self-government democratization”. This thesis will use the perspective of historical institutionalism to analyze the effects of the “Taiwan democratization” imposed to “Taiwan local self-government democratization”, and try to answer the following questions: 1. What are the power and types of “Taiwan democratization”？ 2. To analyze the effects of thinking of the main decision makers in “Taiwan democratization” progress. 3. What are the effects of the “Taiwan democratization” imposed to “Taiwan local self-government democratization”？ The answers of above questions through research are that the “Taiwan democratization” is not “perfect tense” but “perfect tense”. We had made the constitutional democracy and periodical re-election institutions. We effort to create “good governance” and “key performance indicators”now. The “Taiwan local self-government democratization” is not “perfect tense” but “perfect tense”, too. We had made the rule of law, institutionalized, periodical re-election, check and balance institutions. We effort to create “across boundary governance” and “regional cooperation”.
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