Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

This book began at a conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on March 24, 2013. The Election Study Center of National Chengchi University hosted all the authors for an intense discussion of how a book about the Taiwan voter might be written. (A few contributors were “virtual attendees” via an Internet link.) Preliminary versions of chapters were presented and thoroughly discussed. After additional reviews and revisions, this book was accepted for publication by the University of Michigan Press....

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Chapter 1. The Taiwan Voter: An Introduction

Christopher H. Achen and T. Y. Wang

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pp. 11-35

Taiwan’s recent history is a remarkable saga. During the two decades from 1970 to 1990, Taiwan underwent dramatic economic change, as its gross domestic product grew at an average rate of 9 percent per year.1 The economic success rapidly propelled Taiwan into the ranks of the newly industrialized countries. Democratization arrived in the late 1980s, too, with robust electoral competition between the two principal parties. The long-ruling, formerly authoritarian party was beaten at the polls in 2000 and handed over...

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Chapter 2. Who Is the Taiwan Voter?

Chia-hung Tsai

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pp. 36-54

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of recent Taiwan elections for readers who may not be familiar with them. The growing importance of the north-south divide in Taiwan’s politics is emphasized. The chapter also explores how the supporters of the two party camps differ from each other. In particular, standard variables that are important for differentiating party supporters in many other countries, such as income and occupation, turn out to have only modest effects in Taiwan. Instead, ethnicity plays the...

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Chapter 3. Changing Boundaries: The Development of the Taiwan Voters’ Identity

T. Y. Wang

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pp. 55-80

The ubiquitous effect of identity in contemporary politics has been widely recognized in the scholarship of the social sciences. Political instability within societies or bitter conflicts between nations has frequently been attributed to differences in identity politics (Horowitz 2000; Isaacs 1975), and Taiwan is no exception to this pattern. Indeed, the issue of identity has important implications not only for the island country’s domestic politics but also for its relationship with China; hence, Taiwan’s identity politics may...

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Chapter 4. Parties, Partisans, and Independents in Taiwan

Ching-hsin Yu

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pp. 81-107

Taiwan is a new democracy in which elections have played a significant role in citizen political participation in the past decades. Mainstream electoral studies have paid much attention to voters’ decision-making processes in elections. Factors that influence voters’ electoral choices, such as partisanship, economic evaluation, candidate qualifications, and policy preferences, are often included in the discussions of voter behavior. Among those factors, citizen partisanship, or party identification, is often cited by scholars as the...

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Chapter 5. Issues, Political Cleavages, and Party Competition in Taiwan

Shing-yuan Sheng and Hsiao-chuan (Mandy) Liao

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pp. 108-148

Taiwan experienced rapid socioeconomic and political changes in the 1960s and 1970s and evolved from an authoritarian to a democratic political system beginning in the mid-1980s.1 Since the early 1980s, many issues have emerged in Taiwan’s political arena. Some of them quickly disappeared, some temporarily attracted the attention of Taiwan citizens but gradually declined in importance, and still others evolved into highly salient ones and have had deterministic impacts on party competition and, hence, party turnover....

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Chapter 6. Economic Voting in Taiwan: Micro- and Macro-Level Analysis

Chia-hung Tsai

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pp. 149-167

In chapter 5, Sheng and Liao find that the Taiwan voters consider economic prosperity as the most important problem facing the country, especially when Taiwan’s economy was in a downturn. It is, therefore, important to examine the Taiwan voter in this light. Economic voting theory posits that voters tend to cast their votes in elections based on their assessment of government performance in regard to the economy. That is, if voters perceive that the current government is doing a good job in handling the economy,...

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Chapter 7. Cross-Strait Relations and the Taiwan Voter

Alexander C. Tan and Karl Ho

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pp. 168-179

The saying “politics stop at the water’s edge” probably is not applicable to the case of Taiwan because “high” international politics and “low” domestic politics converge at the island state. The most prominent of the factors is Taiwan’s relations with China, which seem to penetrate to the core of Taiwan’s domestic politics and especially its electoral politics. While elsewhere, electoral politics tend to be defined by the prominence of national or domestic concerns, we learn from earlier chapters, chapter 3 in particular, that the...

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Chapter 8. Evaluation of Presidential Candidates’ Personal Traits

Hung-chung Wang and Lu-huei Chen

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pp. 180-207

In the study of political behavior, which factors affect an individual’s voting behavior attract the most scholarly attention, and political scientists have expended much effort searching for the answer. Using a sociopsychological approach, the authors of The American Voter proposed a model called the funnel of causality to explain American voters’ decision making. That model makes a distinction between the short-term factors—issue and candidate— and the long-term factor—party identification—on voting. The authors...

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Chapter 9. Political Left and Right in Taiwan

Yi-ching Hsiao, Su-feng Cheng, and Christopher H. Achen

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pp. 208-232

The left-right ideological dimension is an important conceptual tool for understanding most European democratic countries and their former colonies, such as those in North and South America. Party competition, the electorate’s voting decisions, and governmental policy making can all be described in that framework (for example, Barnes 1971; Bartle 1998; Dalton 2008; Dalton and Tanaka 2007; Erikson, Wright, and Mclver 1993; Norris 2004, 97–125; Potrafke 2009).1 In its mathematical form, the “spatial model” of left-right voting has been a favorite of theorists since Hotelling (1929) and...

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Chapter 10. Electoral System Change and Its Effects on the Party System in Taiwan

Chi Huang

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pp. 233-261

On June 7, 2005, the ad hoc National Assembly of Taiwan ratified a constitutional amendment to change the electoral rules of the Legislative Yuan (the parliament) by halving the number of seats from 225 to 113, extending legislators’ terms of office from three years to four, and adopting the mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) system1 to replace the half-century-old single nontransferable vote (SNTV) system for legislative elections. The new mixed-member system in Taiwan consists of one tier of single-member...

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Chapter 11. Political Participation in Taiwan

Chung-li Wu with Tzu-ping Liu

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pp. 262-282

Political participation by ordinary citizens is the essence of democracy. Verba and Nie (1972, 3–4) stress that political participation is at the heart of democratic theory and has “a particularly crucial relationship to all other social and political goals.” Dahl (1971, 1) also posits a strong link between the two: “A key characteristic of a democracy is the continuing responsiveness of the government to the preferences of its citizens, considered as political equals.” To this end, a democracy must provide its citizens with equal opportunities...

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Chapter 12. Conclusion: The Power of Identity in Taiwan

Christopher H. Achen and T. Y. Wang

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pp. 283-302

Most countries are politically divided along lines that reflect their internal cleavages. Those cleavages may be religious, linguistic, ethnic/racial, regional, or class-based. Most countries contain several politically relevant divisions. In multiparty systems, particularly those with proportional representation and a low threshold for gaining parliamentary seats, some minor cleavages (farmers, small ethnic or linguistic minorities) may have their own party in the legislature. Larger parties usually represent coalitions. In...

Contributors

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pp. 303-308

Index

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pp. 309-324