The five essays in this volume resonate well with the theme of "Taiwan at a Turning Point." John Copper examines the implications of the CHEN Shiu-bian and MA Ying-jeou presidencies for Taiwan's democratization, focusing on elections, corruption, and ethnic relations. Overall, he concludes that recent events have strengthened democracy in Taiwan. Dennis Hickey analyzes President Ma's responses to the central challenges facing Taiwan. He finds that Ma has stabilized relations with Beijing and Washington, although there is room for substantial improvements. in contrast, there has been little change in the political polarization on fundamental identity issues. John Hsieh charts the changes in the party system: from the two-party competition to the multi-party competition, and now back to the two-party competition He develops an explanatory model for this evolution based on social cleavages and electoral institutions in Taiwan. Steven Chan explains the growing economic integration between China and Taiwan, in the face of several important inhibiting factors. He argues that the rising influence of Taiwanese businesses in the key for Taiwan's decision making and analyzes the implications of intense cross-strait commerce from the perspective of a signaling and committment mechaniscm. Cal Clark argues that the effective leadership of the state played a major role in Taiwan's successful economic development and democratization, but that now the effects of this very successful strategy have undermined the government's ability to promote economic upgrading for the next developmental stage.


These articles were orginally presented at the conference on "The Future of US-Taiwan-China Relations" held at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University on April 16-17, 2009.

Available for download on Saturday, January 01, 2800