Taiwan's Political Evolution from Authoritarianism to Democracy and the Development of Cross-Strait Relations

  • Gunter Schubert


Taiwan’s political development since the late 1980s is considered a showcase for successful political change from authoritarianism to liberal democracy in the post- world war era. The Taiwan case is also taken as evidence that there is no contradiction between a so-called Confucian culture and a democratic system. Although far from perfect, Taiwan’s democracy stands out against other democracies in East Asia, with its political institutions sound, its legal system functional, its media free and self-confident, and its civil society brisk and buoyant. Since the end of the authoritarian era, a Taiwanese national identity has been established which today is civic in nature, based on a unique historical experience and on the institutions of the democratic state. The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) persistent claim to sovereignty over Taiwan is certainly the greatest challenge to the island republic’s democracy. However, as the drive for economic and social integration becomes stronger across the Taiwan Strait, hope is also growing for a peaceful settlement of the Sino-Taiwanese conflict.


Presidential Election Democratic Progressive Party China Policy Legislative Yuan Taiwan Independence 
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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

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  • Gunter Schubert

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