Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Taiwan Independence Movement in power: The dilemmas of a movement government
by Qi, Dongtao, Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009, 189; 3382956
Abstract (Summary)

The 20th century has witnessed many movement governments in former authoritarian states such as those in Taiwan, South Korea, Iran, and South Africa. This study is the first attempt in the literature of states and movements to conceptually distinguish movement governments from conventional democratic governments. It proposes an analytical framework of movement governments and then applies the framework to develop an alternative explanation about the lower social support for the DPP government in Taiwan at the end of its second administrative term in 2008. The movement government usually plays the dual roles of government and movement simultaneously, which often imposes significant strategic constraints on the government and damages its electoral performance because of the inherent tension between the two roles in electoral politics. Based on this framework and after analyzing the survey data of 2000, 2004, and 2008, this study finds that: (1) During 2000–2008, while the popular support for the DPP government had been stagnated and then declining, the support for the Taiwan Independence Movement had been generally increasing and then remained stable. Furthermore, at the individual level, although individuals' dissatisfaction with the DPP government's performance significantly reduced their support for the DPP, it had no net effect on their support for the Taiwan Independence Movement in 2008. (2) During 2000–2008, the DPP government changed its strategy on important movement issues from concession to confrontation in its first term and finally to radicalization in its second term. The radical movement strategy successfully reduced the negative impact of the government's poor performance and President Chen's family corruption scandals on the movement fundamentalists' support for the DPP and President Chen. These fundamentalists were mostly elders, less educated, south Taiwan residents, and farmers. (3) However, the same radical movement strategy alienated many more moderates due to its highly contentious, ethnically divisive, illiberal, and undemocratic characteristics. These moderates mainly included younger, better educated, middle class, north and middle Taiwan residents. It was the withdrawing support of these moderates that finally reduced the overall popular support for the DPP in 2008.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walder, Andrew G.
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: History, Political science, Social structure
Keywords: China, Cross-Strait relations, Democratic Progressive Party, Ethnic conflicts, Movement government, Social movement, States and movements, Taiwan
Publication Number: 3382956
ISBN: 978-1-109-45042-2
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