Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Factionalism & democratisation in Taiwan
Author: Chow, W. C. E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
Taiwan is rapidly democratising. Previous research suggests that the factional/clientelist system plays a major role in Taiwanese politics. This system has been changing in response to the political shift. Most scholars perceive factions as obstacles facing democracy. However, Taiwan continues to democratise, both with its previous and new factionalism. This research, adopting the transitional approach, aims to examine the characteristics of the interaction between factionalism and democratisation in Taiwan, and endeavours to provide a theoretical explanation for it. Its analysis relies on documentary sources, literature and interviews. The result shows that Taiwanese factionalism served as a kind of decision-making mechanism, a source for crisis management and a base for political negotiation at the beginning stages of democratisation. Through negotiations, the formal (institutional) and informal (factional) resources complemented each other, and compromise was reached more easily. This situation was especially to the incumbent's advantage. It utilised the pressure from the opposition to initiate political reforms while creating new networks to adjust itself to the changing social structure. Meanwhile, opposition factionalism also enlarged its supporting base. As the Taiwanese political system becomes more institutionalised, its political factionalism is also institutionalising. Through frequent negotiations (co-operation) between political groups, the opposition has started to augment political resources and empower itself, and political parties have gradually been converging on ideological stands. This has posed a threat to the incumbent. Many incumbent supporters have shifted their loyalty when dissatisfied since they have had similar alternatives. The opposition finally became the incumbent without social commotion in 2000. Factionalism thus brought about a rather smooth democratic transition in Taiwan. The Taiwan case moreover shows that democratisation tends to minimise the negative effects of factionalism. Nevertheless, as democracy becomes more consolidated, co-operations between political groups on larger reforms will decrease. Factionalism is expected to change again in nature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available