The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation

  • Chu Yun-han
Part of the St Antony’s book series


In mid-summer 1990, less than seven weeks after his inauguration as president, Lee Teng-hui honoured his campaign pledge and convened a National Affairs Conference (Kuo-shih hui-i) (NAC) to foster a national consensus on a blueprint for constitutional reform. Six years later, in December 1996, after he became the first democratically elected President, Lee convened another major conference. The proclaimed purpose of this conference on national development (Kuo-fa hui-i) was to put a conclusive end to the constitutional conundrum and lay a solid constitutional foundation for Taiwan’s new democracy to consolidate itself. Both conferences are watershed events in the course of Taiwan’ s democratic consolidation.


Democratic Progressive Party Major Party Opposition Parti Constitutional Amendment Constitutional Reform 
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  1. 1.
    Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, ‘Toward Consolidated Democracies’, Journal of Democracy 7, 2 (April 1996), 14–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    On the concept of democratic consolidation, see Richard Gunther, Hans-Jogen Puhle and P. Nikiforos Diamandouros (eds), The Politics of Democratic Consolidation: Southern Europe in Comparative Perspective (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995);Google Scholar
  3. Linz and Stepan, ‘Toward Consolidated Democracies’ and Guillermo O’Donnell, ‘Illusions about Consolidation’, Journal of Democracy 7, 2(April 1996), 34–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    For the background and achievement of the National Affairs Conference, see Harvey J. Feldman (ed.), Constitutional Reform and the Future of the Republic of China (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    For more on the significance of the conference, see Yun-han Chu, Crafting Democracy in Taiwan (Taipei: Institute for National Policy Research, 1992), Chapter 2.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Tien, Hung-mao and Yun-han Chu, ‘Taiwan’s Domestic Political Reforms: Institutional Change and Power Realignment’, in Gary Klintworth (ed.), Taiwan in the Asia-Pacific in the 1990s (Sidney: Allen & Unwin, 1994).Google Scholar
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    Another unsettling issue is the national identity crisis, for which see Yun-han Chu, ‘Taiwan’s Unique Challenge’, Journal of Democracy 7, 3 (July 1996) 69–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Joseph Bosco, ‘Taiwan Factions: Guanxi, Patronage and the State in Local Politics’, in Murray Rubinstein (ed.), The Other Taiwan: 1945 to the Present (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1994).Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    See Yun-han Chu, ‘The Political Economy of Taiwan’s Mainland Policy’, Journal of Contemporary China 6, 15 (1997), 229–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • Chu Yun-han

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