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Factional conflict and militant nationalism in democratizing states : a reassessment of Mansfield and… Birch, Derek Andrew 2001

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Factional Conflict and Militant Nationalism i n Democratizing States: A Reassessment o f Mansfield and Snyder's "Democratization and the Danger o f War."  by DEREK A N D R E W BIRCH B.A.(Hons.), The University o f Saskatchewan, 2000  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department o f Political Science) W e accept this thesis as conforming to the quired standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A October 2001 © Derek Andrew Birch, 2001  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the  requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or by his  or  her  representatives.  It is  understood  that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  Vol ,"4i^-J  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  OcA.  ? ,  Q^POl  CAc-e  ABSTRACT  Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder argue that democratizing states typically go through a "rocky transition period, where democratic control over foreign policy is partial, where mass politics mixes i n a volatile way with authoritarian elite politics, and where democratization suffers reversals." In this phase, states become "more aggressive and war-prone, not less, and they do fight wars with democratic states." Their theory is, however, based on a deterministic conception o f democratization which emphasizes material "preconditions" rather than political actions; contains flawed assumptions about the role o f nationalism in the state formation process; and is not generalizable in the manner which they claim. A n approach to democratization which examines the political dynamics among the individuals and groups involved reveals a number o f insights not contained i n Mansfield and Snyder's analysis which challenge their conclusions about nationalism and war. Taking these political dynamics into account the democratic transition on Taiwan reveals how, even i n a tense and highly militarized security environment, rather than forcing politicians to play the "nationalist card" in order to illicit popular support, democratization actually weakened the power and influence o f extreme nationalist factions on both the Chinese nationalist (reunification) and Taiwanese nationalist (independence) sides o f the political spectrum. This phenomenon eventually caused a broad consensus to emerge on issues o f independence and national identity, to which all major parties now adhere. Contrary to Mansfield and Snyder's theory, the process o f democratization on Taiwan directly corresponded with an increase in both the authority and the legitimacy o f the central government as well as an increase i n the predictability o f relations with the Chinese mainland. A similar pattern can likely be detected i n other states, a situation which strongly calls into question the applicability o f Mansfield and Snyder's theory to contemporary democratic transitions. 1  1  Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1995. "Democratization and the Danger of War."  Security 20, 1:5.  International  T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S  Abstract  ii  Table o f Contents  iii  Introduction CHAPTER I  C H A P T E R II  C H A P T E R III  C H A P T E R IV  Bibliography  .  1  Mansfield and Snyder and their Critics  4  1.1  A Theory o f Democratization and War  6  1.2  Criticisms in the Literature  14  Democratic Dynamics  25  2.1 Modernization and Democratization 2.2 Nationalism and Democracy  26 28  2.3  30  Political Dynamics and Democratization  The Democratic Dynamic on Taiwan  35  3.1  Elections as a Catalyst for Democratization  49  3.2 Liberalization 3.3 Regime Disunity: Factional Politics in the R O C 3.4 Pacts and Negotiation Conclusions: Democratization, Nationalism and War  55 63 68 71  4.1 Nationalism in the Taiwanese Context  71  4.2  82  Assessing Mansfield and Snyder's Argument  99  1  INTRODUCTION  The debate as to whether a democratizing state is more likely to be involved in war than a state which experiences no regime change has, in recent times, become closely associated with Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder's 1995 article "Democratization and the Danger o f War." Mansfield and Snyder challenge the 1  Clinton-era U . S . foreign policy which argued that the promotion o f democracy throughout the world is an effective means o f promoting regional stability ones own security. Instead Mansfield and Snyder argue that, although a world made up o f a 2  greater number o f stable and mature democracies would likely have fewer incidences o f war, in order to become democratic a state must typically go through a "rocky transition period, where democratic control over foreign policy is partial, where mass politics mixes in a volatile way with authoritarian elite politics, and where democratization suffers reversals." Because o f this, they argue, in the transitional 3  phase, "countries become more aggressive and war-prone, not less, and they do fight wars with democratic states."  1  2  3  4  4  Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1995. "Democratization and the Danger of War." International Security 20, 1: 3-49. See also Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1995. "Democratization And War," Foreign Affairs 14: 79-97. The sources Mansfield and Snyder cite which present this position are "Transcript of Clinton's Address," New York Times, January 26, 1994, p. A17; Anthony Lake, "The Reach of Democracy: Tying Power to Diplomacy," New York Times, September 23, 1994, p. A35. Ibid., 5. Ibid.  2  The notion that regime change is linked to political instability has been pervasive in the literature. Mansfield and Snyder's argument is essentially building on a theme which goes back at least as far as de Tocqueville but which was popularized in the 5  comparative politics literature more than 30 years ago by Samuel Huntington.  6  Huntington argued that there exists a very dangerous possibility o f disorder as a society enters a transitional phase on route to modernity. Mansfield and Snyder simply put forward a more specific form o f the argument - namely that a state undergoing a transition to democracy greatly increases its chances o f becoming involved in war. Their claim rests on the assumption that a move toward a democratic political system w i l l result in a situation in which no leader or faction holds a preponderance o f power and where different factions compete in an uncertain political environment, each group being forced to play the "nationalist card" in order to position itself as the best defender o f the "national interest" and therefore gain enough popular support to control the institutions o f the state. The assumption that this pattern w i l l necessarily be played out over a variety o f historical, regional, and social settings, and that the possibility o f war w i l l increase as a result, does not follow i n any obvious way nor is it borne out by the empirical evidence. Several contemporary case studies show that states which move toward a democratic system o f government are in fact much less likely, ceteris parebis, to become involved in war. Mansfield and Snyder have taken certain elements which  5  See Havard Hegre, Tanja Ellingsen, Scott Gates and Nils Petter Gleditsch. 2001. "Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy, political change and civil war, 1816-1992." American  Political Science Review 95 (1): 34.  they have found to be common to a select group o f democratic transitions (weak government legitimacy, increasing nationalist sentiment), and generalized this pattern to all cases in order to develop a new theory which argues that the danger o f war is increased in all democratic transitions. The case o f the democratic transition in the Republic of China on Taiwan provides valuable insight into many o f the ideas discussed by Mansfield and Snyder while at the same time challenging many o f their central assumptions as well as their conclusions. The Taiwanese example makes a strong argument that nothing inherent in the process o f democratization or any o f its side effects (i.e. factional competition), necessarily leads to an increase in the kind o f militant nationalist sentiment which Mansfield and Snyder see as the root cause o f an increased danger o f war. In fact, the Taiwanese example shows that requiring politicians to seek a mandate from voters can potentially force political parties to come down from nationalist positions and converge on a moderate middle ground which is acceptable to a broad majority o f voters. These voters, contrary to Mansfield and Snyder, are not easily manipulated and do not simply seek to vote for candidates who are most adept at playing the "nationalist card."  6  Samuel P. Huntington. 1968.  Political Order in Changing Societies.  N e w Haven: Y a l e University  4  CHAPTER 1 MANSFIELD AND SNYDER AND THEIR CRITICS  In their article Mansfield and Snyder make a series o f claims based on their analysis o f Small and Singer's Correlates of War ( C O W ) data covering interstate and civil conflicts between 1816 and 1980, Ted Robert Gurr's Polity II data on regime 7  t y p e , and Bruce Russett's regime classification system. Mansfield and Snyder arrive 8  9  at a three part classification system where states are labeled as either "democracy", "autocracy" or "anocracy" (a regime type defined as a political system " i n which democratic and autocratic features are mixed, or in which very little power is concentrated in the hands o f public authorities." ). A state is consider a state to be 10  "democratizing" i f it moves from autocracy to either anocracy or democracy, or from anocracy to democracy. Mansfield and Snyder also explore four case studies in order 11  to develop a theoretical explanation of their findings. The cases are all pre-WWII "Great Powers" which became involved in war during their transition to democracy, cases  Press. Melvin Small and J. David Singer. 1982. Resort To Arms: International and Civil Wars, 1816-1980. (Beverly Hills, C A : Sage Publications) Ted Robert Gurr. 1990. Polity II: Political Change, 1800-1986. Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research No. 9263. Bruce Russett. 1993. Grasping the Democratic Peace. (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 77. Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger of War", 9. " Ibid.  7  8  9  10  which Mansfield and Snyder believe reveal a pattern o f behaviour among democratizing states which is generalizable to other states across wide variations in time and space.  12  Mansfield and Snyder's principle claim is that democratizing states are more likely to fight wars than mature democracies or even stable autocracies.  13  Specifically,  they argue that: (1.) states which make the largest jump toward democratization (i.e. from autocracy to democracy) are "about twice as likely to fight wars in the decade after democratization as are states that remain autocracies;" (2.) that reversing the 14  process does not eliminate the risk, as states which experience reversals o f democratization are still more likely to fight wars than those whose regime remained unchanged; (3.) that virtually every Great Power became involved in a war during the 15  period when it entered into democratic politics;  16  and (4.) that the root o f this  phenomenon lies in the nature o f the domestic political competition that occurs after the breakup of an autocratic regime.  17  Their analysis o f the data leads them to conclude that states which are undergoing democratization are on average "about one-third more likely to go to war than states experiencing no regime change."  18  They found this to be particularly true  when looking at a ten year time-span from the initial point o f democratization rather than a five year time-span. They also found that the greater the shift in regime type the  12  13  14  15  1 6  1 7  Edward D . Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1997. " A Reply to Thompson and Tucker." Journal Conflict Resolution 41 (3): 457-461. Ibid., 6. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid., 7.  of  6  greater the danger o f war. A change from autocracy to democracy "increased the probability o f any type o f war by approximately 30 to 105 percent, and o f interstate war by approximately 50 to 135 percent, compared to a state that remained autocratic." The smallest increases in the probability o f war among democratizing 19  states were for those states which made the transition from autocracy to anocracy.  20  Conversely, "automatization" was also observed to be dangerous. States moving from democracy to anocracy or autocracy, or from anocracy to autocracy, were found to be more likely to go to war than states experiencing no regime change, although not as likely as those experiencing a move toward democracy.  21  1.1 A Theory of Democratization and War In order to explain these findings, and to identity what they believe to be the causal lines behind their analysis o f the data, Mansfield and Snyder cite four case studies from the 19th and early 20th centuries where democratizing Great Powers became involved in war. They argue that Britain's partial democracy between the First Reform B i l l of 1832 and the full-fledged democracy o f the Gladstone era (from 1868 on) was the key factor which led it into the Crimean War in 1853; that France's series o f wars in the 1850s under Napoleon III were directly linked to its drift toward parliamentary rule during the same period; that the rising levels o f nationalist sentiment in Whilhelmine Germany leading up to the First World War were linked to  18  19  2 0  21  Ibid., 14. Ibid., 17. Ibid. Ibid., 18.  7  democratization, and that Japan's "Taisho democracy" o f the 1920s led to the adoption of an imperial ideology and, ultimately, war.  22  A s they write, "In each case, the  combination o f incipient democratization and the material resources o f a great power produced nationalism, truculence abroad, and major war."  23  The principle force which links democratization to war, they argue, is the rise o f extreme forms of nationalism. Extreme nationalism is the result o f a competition among elites, both old and new, for popular support and legitimacy in a new and uncertain political environment. In the absence o f other forms o f legitimacy (i.e. performance based), elites quickly become forced to utilize all the resources available to them in order to shore up their weak regimes or make a bid for power. This includes playing the "nationalist card," a tactic whereby leaders each attempt to present themselves as the most capable defenders o f the national interest, leading to a vicious circle o f ever more extreme forms o f nationalism as factions compete for public support. Nationalist legitimacy strategies may include the use o f propaganda which emphasizes the regional primacy, uniqueness, superiority or the (possibly wounded) prestige o f the nation. Nationalism is related to war in several different ways. Firstly, nationalist strategies are inherently risky. A s Mansfield and Snyder write, "like the sorcerer's apprentice, these elites typically find that their mass allies, once mobilized, are difficult to control." Nationalist strategies may also force the new regime into provoking or 24  challenging neighboring states over a variety o f issues, including historical legacies or the  22  Ibid., 6-7.  8  demarcation o f boundaries, which would otherwise not be sufficient reasons for war. When nationalist sentiment has been enflamed among the population it may become difficult i f not impossible for the democratizing state to back down or even to make small concessions in order to avert war. Diversionary conflicts may also become possible as the new regime seeks to focus popular attention on something other than its own (likely extensive) domestic difficulties. This argument is not a reversal of the traditional Kantian democratic peace position which argues that the public is generally opposed to frivolous political wars. Mansfield and Snyder argue that the public in these cases w i l l generally  will be against  war, it is simply that elites are able to "exploit their power in the imperfect institutions of partial democracies to create faits  aeomplis, control political agendas, and shape the  content o f information media in ways that promote belligerent pressure-group lobbies or upwellings o f militancy in the populace as a whole." The accompanying danger for 25  democratizing states is that once this connection based on extreme nationalism has been made between the elites and the population at large, the elites may simply dispense with any remaining pretense of electoral democracy and concentrate solely on nationalist and populist rhetoric as the basis o f their legitimacy. Mansfield and Snyder argue that it is this stage, where democracy collapses, that the danger o f war is  Ibid. Ibid., 7. Ibid., 7.  particularly acute - as demonstrated by the aftermath o f democratic collapse in Weimar Germany and Taisho Japan.  26  The likelihood of war in a democratizing state increases or decreases depending on several factors: how entrenched the interests o f the elite groups are, how effectively propaganda can be utilized to increase nationalist sentiment, what incentives and risks there are for weak leaders to resort to prestige strategies in foreign affairs, and how effectively nationalist formulas w i l l enable the regime to cloak itself in an aura o f populist legitimacy. The volatility o f this transitional stage is characterized by the 27  inability o f the new regime to adequately deal with the demands put on it. Mansfield and Snyder accept Huntington's argument that, "the typical problem o f political development is the gap between high levels o f political participation and weak integrative institutions to reconcile the multiplicity o f contending claims."  28  Many  democratizing states lack the essential elements o f a stable democracy - strong political parties, independent courts, a free press, and untainted electoral procedures - making the government only "haphazardly accountable to the electorate."  29  They argue that  without such institutions, "there is no reason to expect that mass politics w i l l produce the same impact on foreign policy as it does in mature democracies."  30  It is also the case that not everyone benefits, or at least not everyone perceives the benefits, from democratization. Political, economic and military elites may see a  2 6  2 7  2 8  2 9  Ibid. Ibid., 20. Ibid., 22. Ibid., 23.  10  more open and accountable version o f democracy as a threat to their privileged positions and, as Mansfield and Snyder argue, "even the elites who are doing well in the transition have a stake in making sure the transition is a controlled, partial one, where profiteering is not fettered by democratic scrutiny or rule o f l a w . "  31  The combination o f  these factors, social and political uncertainty, institutional weakness, and threatened interests, tends to lead the democratization process to a political impasse as it becomes difficult (if not impossible) to form a stable political coalition able to remain in power. It is this impasse which Mansfield and Snyder believe breeds the kind o f short-term thinking and reckless policymaking that lead to war.  32  The conditions leading to this  impasse can be summarized as four factors: 1. Widening the Political Spectrum - democratization creates a "wider spectrum o f politically significant groups with diverse, incompatible interests."  33  2. Inflexible Interests and Short Time Horizons - "Groups threatened by social change and democratization, including still-powerful elites, are often compelled to take a very inflexible view o f their own interests, especially when their assets cannot be readily adapted to changing political and economic conditions." 34  3. Competitive Mass Mobilization - "In a period o f democratization, threatened elite groups have an overwhelming incentive to mobilize allies among the mass o f people, but only on their own terms, using whatever special resources they still retain."  35  4. The Weakening of Central Authority - "Autocratic power is in decline vis-a-vis both the elite interest groups and mass groups, but democratic institutions lack the strength to integrate these contending interests and views. Parties are weak and lack mass loyalty. Elections are rigged or intermittent. Institutions o f public political  i U  31  3 2  3 3  3 4  3 5  Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid, Ibid, Ibid,  22. 25. 26. 26. 27-28 28.  11  participation are distrusted, because they are subject to manipulation by elites and to arbitrary constraints imposed by the state, which fears the outcome o f unfettered competition."  36  Some examples o f the special resources elites use to manipulate voters include: strategic "expertise," propaganda skills and assets, ability to distribute patronage, wealth, organizational skills and networks, ability to use control o f political institutions to shape the political agenda and structure the terms o f political bargains. Ideology is 37  another important tool which elites may use to mobilized mass allies. A s Mansfield and Snyder write, " N e w participants in the political process may be uncertain o f where their political interests lie, because they lack established habits and good information, and are thus fertile ground for ideological appeals. Ideology can yield particularly big payoffs, moreover, when there is no efficient free marketplace o f ideas to counter false claims with reliable facts."  3 8  Although traditional political ideologies such as capitalism  and socialism may be employed, they tend to be used in a nationalist sense (Socialist Motherland, etc.) as nationalism is the dominant characteristic o f any kind o f ideological appeal for mass allies. A s Mansfield and Snyder write, " A nearly universal element on these ideological appeals is nationalism, which has the advantage of positing a community o f interest that unites elites and masses, this distracting attention from class cleavages."  Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,  30. 28. 29. 29.  39  12  According to Mansfield and Snyder, political leaders tend to rely on a few tried and true means for dealing with these four problems in an effort to remain in control o f the democratizing state. The most common being:  1. Logrolling - something which tends to take place among elite groups only, since the power o f the mass groups is not yet institutionalized since, "...logrolling works by giving each groups what it wants most, so that even i f only some o f the groups in the coalition favored policies leading to war and expansion, that would be enough to make their adoption l i k e l y . " 40  2.  Squaring the Circle, Integrating Opposites - "Since democratizing states typically compromise such a broad spectrum o f social interests, would-be ruling coalitions must often be cobbled together from diverse or even contradictory bases of support. For this reason, one o f the characteristic problems o f the leadership o f transitional, democratizing states is explaining away the self-contradictory aspects of a coalition or policy that must integrate antithetical elements." 41  3.  Prestige Strategies - "One o f the simplest but most risky strategies for a hardpressed regime in a democratizing country is to shore up its prestige at home by seeking victories abroad." 42  In the contemporary era a prestige strategy may not mean military victories so much as seeking military concessions from other states. This strategy is, however, fraught with difficulties. A s Mansfield and Snyder write, "Prestige strategies make the country hypersensitive to slights to its reputation. A s the Kaiser found out in the First and Second Moroccan Crises, stiff foreign resistance can produce not cheap victories but embarrassing defeats, which further complicate domestic governance."  43  Other examples  include the prestige strategy employed by Argentina toward the Falkland Islands, a strategy which ultimately led to the collapse o f the Argentine military regime.  4 U  41  4 2  Ibid., 31-32. Ibid., 32. Ibid., 33.  13  Mansfield and Snyder conclude by arguing that, because democratization involves such serious dangers, the international community needs to adopt a strategy, " . . .not so much for promoting or reversing democratization as for managing the process in ways that minimize its risks and facilitate smooth transitions."  44  To this end they  suggest a number o f policies based on their analysis, including providing "golden parachutes" for members o f the old regime, giving the old regime a stake in the privatization process, keeping the old elites happy but also keeping them weak, ensuring that pacts do not serve to prop up the remnants o f the old regime, and not allowing the ideas or propaganda o f the old regime to go unchallenged. A s they write, 45  "Mythmaking should be held up to the utmost scrutiny by aggressive journalists who maintain their credibility by scrupulously distinguishing fact from opinion and tirelessly verifying their sources. Promoting this kind of journalistic infrastructure is probably the most highly leveraged investment that the West can make in a peaceful transition."  46  They also argue that the success o f the new democratic regime, and hence the character o f the regime, depends greatly on the incentives created by the international community. Citing the examples o f Germany and Japan they argue that, "when the international supports for free trade and democracy were yanked out in the late 1920s, their liberal coalitions collapsed."  Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,  33-34. 36. 36-37. 37.  47  14  1.2 Criticisms in the Literature Research Design M u c h criticism o f the Mansfield and Snyder piece has focused on the design o f their statistical model rather than their theoretical argument. Eric Weede takes issue with the fact that, although the case studies used by Mansfield and Snyder deal with interstate war, their statistical data includes two categories o f war: "interstate wars" and "all wars" - the second category referring to "extrasystemic" (civil) and colonial wars. A s Weede writes, "Mansfield and Snyder's relationship between regime change and war looks  much weaker for interstate war than for all wars." Mansfield and Snyder are 48  able to report three out o f four statistically significant relationships for interstate wars only at the weaker .10 threshold for significance, whereas a similar number o f significant relationships can be had at the .5 level when data for all wars are used, leading Weede to conclude that, "for interstate wars at least, empirical support for the Mansfield and Snyder proposition is at best borderline."  49  Weede also points out that no information is provided as to why there is a differing degree o f war-proneness found for democratization versus autocratization. He asks whether this says anything that might challenge the simpler hypothesis that all types o f regime change lead to an increase the danger of war. A s he states,  4 7  4 8  4 9  Ibid., 38. Reinhard W o l f , E r i c h Weede, A n d r e w J. Enterline, E d w a r d D . Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1996. "Correspondence: Democratization and the Danger o f W a r . " International Security 20 (4): 181. Ibid.  15  "Theoretically and politically, it makes some difference whether any regime change or rather the process o f democratization is the culprit in increasing war-proneness."  50  Enterline also believes Mansfield and Snyder's research design to be flawed, accounting for what he sees as inconsistent results.  51  He redesigns the project using the  same Polity II and C O W data (although making some important changes, such as excluding data for intra-state wars and choosing to identify the independent variable 52  (regime change) in a more "efficient" w a y ) . Using this redesigned approach, Enterline 53  reaches a conclusion which is the direct opposite o f the one reached by Mansfield and Snyder, stating that, "democratization has a statistically significant, negative impact on the likelihood o f a state being on the initiating side o f a dispute."  54  Thompson and T u c k e r also take issue with Mansfield and Snyder over the 55  latter's choice o f M a o z and Russet's i n d e x for identifying regime type. They point to 56  serious anomalies in the scoring for countries which arises in utilizing the M a o z and Russet index and propose a propose their own "modified continuous index" as an alternative.  57  Further, Thompson and Tucker believe the entire research design to be  rife with problems. While the issue o f classifying regimes is contentious, the issue o f  5 0  51  5 2  5 3  5 4  5 5  Ibid., 182. Andrew J. Enterline. 1996. "Driving While Democratizing (DWD)." International Security 20 (4): 183-196. Ibid., 186. see footnote 4. see Ibid., 187-91. Ibid, 196. William R. Thompson and Richard M . Tucker. 1997a. "A Tale of Two Democratic Peace Critiques."  Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (3): 428-454. 5 6  Zeev Maoz and Bruce Russet. 1993. "Normative and Structural Causes of Democratic Peace, 194686." American Political Science Review 87: 624-38. See also Russett. 1993. Grasping the  Democratic Peace, 11.  16  whether or not regimes are actually even in transition is even more complicated. A s they argue, although the data may appear to reveal a pattern which would allow us to infer that there is a positive correlation between regime change and war, " . . . it is not really clear whether we are capturing autocratizing [democratizing] states at war or semistable autocracies [democracies] at war." They conclude that their re- analysis o f Mansfield 58  and Snyder's results indicates that, "neither democratization nor autocratization increases the probability or war involvement within a 1-. 5-. or 10-year window. W e conclude that regime change and war involvement are independent o f one another."  59  Regime Type W o l f argues that because their statistical research only uses data from the period before 1980 it excludes much o f the so-called "Third Wave" of democratization, including the democratization o f military regimes in Latin America and the communist regimes o f Eastern Europe, a factor which may have important effects on results.  60  W o l f argues that this focus on earlier transitions weakens the argument for two reasons: Firstly, the pattern they describe does not seem to apply to events in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, where none o f the nine Central and Eastern European states which became "free" between 1988 and 1993 were involved in interstate conflict but eight o f the thirteen states which remained non-democratic did become involved in war. Secondly, 61  5 7  William R. Thompson and Richard M . Tucker. 1997b. "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered."  5 8  Ibid, 473. Thompson and Tucker, "A Tale of Two Democratic Peace Critiques," 450. Wolf, Weede, Enterline, Mansfield and Snyder. "Correspondence," 177.  Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (3): 467. 5 9  6 0  17  Mansfield and Snyder's approach does not account for different social starting points in analyzing the phenomenon, i.e. the transition o f a communist state may have a very different domestic dynamics than the transition o f a largely pre-industrial state such as those which Mansfield and Snyder discuss. A s W o l f notes, "Compared to, say, a 62  Latin American landholder whose wealth and prestige are threatened by the reformist policies o f a new liberal government, high-ranking party officials in Eastern Europe were in a much poorer position to impede the new developments."  63  These varying degrees o f power and entrenched interest are likely to have substantial impact on the volatility o f the transition process, casting doubt on the generalizability o f a theoretical explanation based solely on pre-WWII case studies. Mansfield and Snyder mention Serbia and Croatia, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan, as states which "have found themselves at war while experimenting with varying degrees o f partial electoral democracy." However, these select cases do not explain 64  why a large number of former communist states in the region, all o f whom were experimenting with "varying degrees of partial electoral democracy," did not find themselves at war during this period. Thompson and Tucker are also critical o f Mansfield and Snyder's apparent willingness to accept any type o f regime change as compatible with their theory. A s they write, "Their theory is about the dangers o f democratization, but autocratization is found to be dangerous as well. This raises the question o f whether it is regime change  6 2  Ibid., 178-79.  18  overall, certain types o f regime change, or simply regime instability that alters the probability o f war involvement." It may be the case that these are questions which 65  cannot be answered statistically. Even so, Thompson and Tucker argue that the research design laid out by Mansfield and Snyder is unable to shed light on these questions since, " A significant outcome indicated only that their three "variables" (democratization, autocratization, and no change) together are related to war. However, it does not suggest which o f the three groups are more or less war prone. Thus, none o f their analysis serves as a direct test o f whether democratization (or for that matter, autocratization) makes war more l i k e l y . "  66  Thompson and Tucker are also critical o f what they see as a strong major power bias in Mansfield and Snyder's theoretical analysis, particularly since their statistical findings are primarily based on data from non-major power states. The four case studies they use (Great Britain, France, Germany and Japan) were all imperialistic great powers during their initial period o f democratization, is it reasonable to expect that the same domestic dynamics exist w i l l exist in the democratizing states o f the late 20 Century? th  Thompson and Tucker argue that, " T o expect observations about a small elite group o f states to encompass all states would be fallacious."  67  Mansfield and Snyder, however,  don't agree that this is what they are doing, arguing that,  Ibid, 179. Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger of War," 6. Thompson and Tucker, "A Tale of Two Democratic Peace Critiques," 441. Ibid, 442-43. Ibid, 442.  19  Although differences may, o f course, exist between major powers and other states in the process through which democratization increases the likelihood o f war, we and other scholars have conducted research indicating that dynamics similar to those we identified in the major powers are at work in many small democratizing states.  68  [emphasis added]  This seems like a stretch designed to salvage their argument, particularly since their theoretical model, as W o l f noted, doesn't allow for different regime types as starting points. W i l l the dynamics o f democratization be similar in the case o f a former communist client state, an underdeveloped feudal-style former colony, and a 19  th  Century European great power? Mansfield and Snyder seem to think so, citing Snyder and Ballentine's w o r k on Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and several other cases as proof that 69  dynamics similar to their four case studies exist in a variety o f transitional situations.  70  Geo-politics and "Neighbourhoods" Thompson and Tucker also raise the possibility that Mansfield and Snyder may not have the causal arrow pointing in the right direction, i.e., they don't consider that changes in foreign policy may be related to changes in the foreign political environment rather than to changes in the domestic arena. This argument is closely related to some o f Thompson's earlier work on democracy and peace.  71  A s they point out, is just as easy to link their subsequent foreign policy adventures to a combination o f continuities in French, German, and Japanese foreign policy and changes in the regional balances o f power as it is to bestow blame solely on domestic institutional instability. A t the very least, it is difficult to exclude the 6 8  Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1997. "A Reply to Thompson and Tucker."  Journal of  Conflict Resolution 41 (3): 458. 6 9  Jack Snyder and Karen Ballentine. 1996. "Nationalism and the Marketplace of Ideas."  International  Security 21: 5-40. 7 0  71  Mansfield and Snyder. "A Reply to Thompson and Tucker," 458. William R. Thompson. 1996. "Democracy and Peace: Putting the cart before the horse?"  Organization 50 (1): 141-174.  International  20  external factors facilitating war proneness while stressing only the internal factors. Domestic actors interact with changing environments; they do not simply project their preferred strategies on a featureless external environment. The causal arrows are more likely to be reciprocal than unidirectional - from either the inside out or outside i n .  72  Thompson's earlier work argued that "scholars have given too much credit to regime attributes when other important factors deserve acknowledgement," arguing that "geopolitics must be given its due."  73  The link between regime type and foreign policy  behaviour is, he argues, actually the function o f a third variable - regional military expansion (arms build-up, war preparation, etc.) In regions where states are involved in aggressively making and preparing for war, the political composition o f the region w i l l most likely be autocratic, as elites attempt to mobilize national resources toward survival and/or expansion. It is only once these militaristic strategies fade and war 74  becomes more or less absent from the region that conditions w i l l allow for the emergence o f more liberal political regimes - democracy follows peace and not the other way around. He also argues that increases in war in a regional system tend to stimulate power concentration (i.e. autocratization) in the region's political units. Conversely, decreases in the level o f war are more likely to be followed by the liberalization o f these political systems.  75  Thompson is especially interesting for our purposes as he discusses the case o f "Taisho Japan" in these terms, arguing that, although there were profound changes in  7 2  73  7 4  7 5  Thompson and Tucker, " A Tale o f T w o Democratic Peace Critiques," 442. Thompson, "Democracy and Peace," 142. Ibid., 143. I b i d , 148.  21  Japan's foreign policy behaviour during the 1920s and 30s, "...the formal regime never really changed. Japan's constitution in 1941 was the same Meiji one o f had since 1889." He argues that, "the Taisho Japanese case illustrates how dependent domestic 76  liberalizing movements are on facilitative geopolitical environments. Once the environment changed, the Taisho experimentation was impelled toward much more brutal domestic political strategies as well as toward more aggressive external maneuvers."  77  A s the Japanese case shows, domestic political change can be compelled  by external factors in a wide variety o f ways. There does not have to be an actual outbreak o f war in the region. Even the impending threat o f war can cause an increase in the autocratization o f the regions polities. A s he writes, "Whether relatively authoritarian or democratic at the outset, political systems are quite likely to become more authoritarian as they become engaged in crises o f national security." This climate 78  o f fear and autocratization affects the international behaviour o f states in that they must "choose to pursue foreign polices of expansion or find themselves forced to defend themselves constantly against the threats o f proximate states."  79  L i k e Thompson, Gleditsch and Hegre argue that the war participation o f a given country is very much dependant on external factors - specifically the political mix o f the surrounding countries, a factor often referred to as "neighborhoods" in the literature. They argue that, "For a nondemocracy, increasing the number o f democracies increases  7 6  7 7  7 8  7 9  Ibid., 165. Ibid. Ibid., 144. Ibid, 144.  22  war participation. For a democracy, the effect is the opposite."  They also argue that  "The studies done to date are underspecified and fail to distinguish two different effects o f democratization: the effect o f the process o f change for the country itself and the effect of a changing political environment."  81  This has important implications for  Mansfield and Snyder's argument as their approach focuses solely on this first effect and ignores the later aspect of the larger political environment. Even assuming that democratization is in fact responsible for the war involvement o f their British, French, German and Japanese case studies, without taking into account the differences in political composition o f neighborhoods it seems difficult to generalize about the behaviour o f democratizing states. Democratic Reversals Ward and Gleditsch present a new research design which seeks to gain more information about the question o f democratization and war by focusing on the direction, intensity and nature o f the regime change and how these factors relate to the probability o f interstate war involvement. They found that, On the one hand, as countries become more democratic, other things being equal, they become more peaceful. O n the other hand, i f they experience setbacks as well as progress on the "road to democracy," then they are more likely to be involved in warfare along the way. A t issue, apparently is not the rapidity o f change toward democracy but the linearity o f the process. Smooth monotonic transitions are associated with the least risk and greatest benefit. Reversals, even  0  Nils Petter Gleditsch and Havard Hegre. 1997. "Peace and Democracy - Three levels of analysis."  Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (2): 303.  ' Ibid, 303-304.  23  in the short term, have the greatest risk. Prior analyses that did not focus on the process o f transition could not discover these nuances.  82  This argument is markedly different from previous studies as it does not so much come down in favor or against the dangerous democratization hypothesis but instead argues that there is "a heightened propensity for war involvement in certain patterns o f democratization and a diminished likelihood in others."  83  Their analysis still tends to be  opposed to Mansfield and Snyder, however, since they argue that, "...there is little statistical evidence to suggest that the movement toward more democratic practices renders the state more dangerous to international peace unless the transition is rocky and involves reversals along the w a y . " The only general principle that can be taken 84  from their study is that "democratic reversals increase the likelihood of warfare."  85  They also found that larger changes toward democracy are associated with smaller probabilities o f war involvement, a result that is also inconsistent with Mansfield and Snyder.  86  This study is particularly interesting in that it focuses on the linearity o f the process rather than the actual level o f democracy or autocracy. They argue that, "changes toward autocracy and reversals of democratization are accompanied by increased risks o f war involvement" and that, "These risks are proportionally greater than the decline or benefits o f further democratization. Thus, there is strong evidence  8 2  M i c h a e l D . W a r d and Kristain S. Gleditsch. 1998. "Democratizing for Peace."  Science Review 92 (1): 59. 8 3  8 4  Ibid. Ibid., 60.  American Political  24  that democratization has a monadic effect: It reduces the probability that a country w i l l be involved in a war."  87  They also found that, "reversals are riskier than progress"  88  and  that, "moving toward stronger executive constraints results in a visible reduction in the risk o f w a r .  89  Ward and Gleditsch believe that their results show, although Mansfield and Snyder may not have the story completely right, they also have "not completely missed the boat."  90  Rocky changes toward democracy (or any rocky regime changes)  appear to be linked to a greater likelihood o f war involvement, but changes toward increased levels o f democracy, particularly forms o f democracy which involve increase levels o f executive constraints, appear to reduce the likelihood o f war involvement overall.  91  They believe that these results shed light on, "precisely what aspect o f  democratization may reduce the probability o f war: shared power between the executive and legislature, each largely staffed by officials pressured by public opinion. To the extent that changes toward democracy bring with them constraints on the executive branch o f government, the attendant reduction in the risk o f war appears quite robust."  92  Ibid, 57. Ibid, 58. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid, 59. Ibid. Ibid.  25  CHAPTER 2 DEMOCRATIC DYNAMICS  To date, the literature on the dangers o f democratization has been dominated by efforts to redesign a more suitable research program based on the same kind o f C O W and Polity II/III data originally used by Mansfield and Snyder. Various studies have used slightly different case selection, variable definition, statistical methods, and in some cases have arrived at different conclusions. Unfortunately, as researchers have sought to improve upon Mansfield and Snyder's original model they have also inched toward an almost unmanageable level o f complexity in their statistical designs. Researchers o f democratization and the danger o f war are now not only attempting to correlate the basic variables (regime change and war involvement), but also to include such diverse factors as the extent o f democratization, speed o f transition, reversals, specific aspects o f democracy (i.e. executive constraints), "neighborhoods," region, number o f states in a region, number o f contiguous states, great power involvement in the region, war/peace context in which democratization occurs, war/peace history o f the region, prevailing norms o f governance in the era/in the region, etc. A t yet at the same time the literature has almost universally failed to critically examine many o f the fundamental assumptions about democratization built into Mansfield and Snyder's argument.  26  Given the difficulty we have seen in turning even a simple idea like regime type into quantifiable data, and given the increasingly rare phenomenon of interstate war, it is almost certain that any statistical results will be inconclusive and therefore easily challenged by other studies using different data, methods, or in which variables are defined in a different way. Seeking to gain a better understanding o f the phenomenon by introducing a greater number o f independent variables w i l l lead only to greater confusion unless there is a better understanding o f the actual dynamics at work in the democratization process itself. If Mansfield and Snyder's theory is to be regarded as generalizable and relevant then a case study analysis o f a contemporary democratic transition is necessary in order to determine whether or not the dynamics they found present in their 19  2.1  th  and early 2 0 Century case studies remain applicable. th  Modernization and Democratization M u c h o f the problem with Mansfield and Snyder's theoretical argument lies in  that it appears to be rooted in a particular conception o f social and political change, sometimes referred to as "modernization theory." Past studies o f democratization have focused a great deal of attention on the presence or absence o f certain "preconditions" (economic development, rising living standards, education, industrialization, urbanization, etc.) as being crucial to the success o f a democratic movement or even to its inception. A s in modernization theory, Mansfield and Snyder seem to conceive o f 93  While this structural/deterministic approach to democratization goes back as far as Marx, Durkheim and Weber, one of the best known examples of the argument can be found in: Seymour Martin Lipset. 1959. "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy,"  9 3  27  a democratic transition as a process whereby a complex array o f social forces have been radically changing a society for an extended period of time before the dam finally breaks and political leaders are suddenly forced to deal with these new realities. A n equally unprepared population is left to fumble its way through the confusion and uncertainty, at which point politicians and other elites seize the opportunity to manipulate nationalist sentiment in order to retain power, thereby leading to a greatly increased chance o f war. A closer examination o f the notion o f democratic preconditions reveals the extremely limited usefulness o f this concept in understanding democratization. For example, in The Third Wave Huntington lists a number o f independent variables (such as those mentioned above) which have been advanced to explain democratization. He 94  writes that, while all seeming to be plausible, each is likely to be relevant only in a few cases and none can be considered deterministic. He states that, In the half century after 1940, democratization occurred in India and Costa Rica, Venezuela and Turkey, Brazil and Botswana, Greece and Japan. The search for a common, universally present independent variable that might play a significant role in explaining political development in such different countries is almost certain to be unsuccessful i f it is not tautological.  95  For Huntington, "Economic development makes democracy possible, political leadership makes it real." It is this kind o f realization which has caused the study o f 96  American Political Science Review 53 (March): 69-105. See also Seymour Martin Lipsett. 1960. Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. (New York: Doubleday), Ch.2. Samuel P. Huntington. 1991. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. 9 4  9 5  9 6  (Norman, O K : University o f O k l a h o m a Press), 37-38. Ibid., 38. Ibid., 316.  28  democratization to largely shift away from an analysis o f material preconditions and toward an analysis o f the political actions o f those involved. 2.2  Nationalism and Democracy A l o n g with an ill-conceived notion o f democratization, Mansfield and Snyder  also appear to have placed nationalism in an improbably location on the path to state development. A s Ghia Nodia writes, there is a tendency in Western social science toward economic determinism, When it is presumed that social developments cannot be explained in a really "scientific" way unless they can be traced to economic conditions, it is only a small step to the modern instrumentalist doctrine according to which nations and nationalism emerge as a result o f 1) industrialization and 2) mass manipulation undertaken by elites pursuing their own (ultimately economic) interests. 97  This is essentially what Mansfield and Snyder are arguing: modernization produces the conditions necessary for a modern state; elite manipulation produce the nationalism necessary to initially hold the nation-state together; but in order to sustain their own rule or even state survival itself, elites must produce more and more virulent forms o f nationalism, ultimately leading to war. Democratization is incidental to the entire process. This pattern o f events may take place in the context o f what Mansfield and Snyder call "democratization" in early 20 Century Germany, but democracy can hardly be seen as th  the driving factor behind any state action in this situation, whether it be the decision to wage war or otherwise.  29  There are at least two issues to be addressed: Firstly, nationalism is not the product o f regime transition, and second, nationalism does not necessarily take a militaristic form. Nationalism exists in all states, even where there is no democracy, no stunted democratic transition, or even any attempt at democratic government. To say that democracy creates nationalism is to put the cart several miles before the horse for, unless the entire world population simultaneously moved toward democracy as a single polity, it is only through nationalism that democracy can actually emerge, for democracy has always emerged in the context o f the nation-state, for which nationalism is a necessary feature. A s Nodia writes, "Whether we like it or not, nationalism is the historical force that has provided the political units for democratic government."  98  Secondly, it is also untrue despite the negative connotations given to nationalism in the 2 0 Century, that nationalism necessarily takes an aggressive and militaristic th  form. A s Fukuyama writes, The terrible experiences o f the 1930s and World War II seem to have implanted in us a tendency to think that nationalism must inevitably degenerate into fascism, but that is simply not the case. Nationalism can coexist quite well with liberalism as long as the former becomes tolerant. That is to say, national identity has to be pushed off into the realm o f private life and culture, rather than being politicized and made the basis o f legal rights. 99  Mansfield and Snyder could conceivably argue that democratization is merely one factor which allows issues o f nationalism and national identity to leave the private realm and  9 7  G h i a N o d i a . 1994. "Nationalism and Democracy" in Larry D i a m o n d and M a r c F . Plattner, eds. Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Democracy. (Baltimore: Johns H o p k i n s University Press), 4.  30  enter into the political discourse of the state, enflaming nationalist and militaristic passions but, as the case o f the Republic o f China on Taiwan shows, this theory is no more generalizable than the larger issue o f democratization and war.  2.3 Political Dynamics of Democratization There are several recent works which seek to provide a theoretical explanation o f democratization based on an analysis o f the political actors i n v o l v e d .  100  One o f the  most complete examinations o f the subject is contained in The Dynamics of Democratization  by Graeme G i l l .  1 0 1  G i l l outlines a number o f factors which he sees as  being essential to a modern democratic transitions: liberalization, regime disunity, pacts with the opposition, and the emergence o f a civil society movement.  102  Other factors  include such things as international influences and the role of exceptional individuals.  103  Shelley Rigger uses a similar 'pacted democratization' approach in her study o f democratization in the Republic o f China on T a i w a n .  104  While taking into account its  unique historical circumstances, the pre-existing credible chance of war with Mainland China and the unique scenario o f competing nationalisms and conceptions o f national identity makes the study o f democratization in the R O C regime an interesting case  Francis Fukuyama. 1994. "Comments on Nationalism and Democracy" in Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds. Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Democracy. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 26. ' The ground breaking study in this area is: Guillermo O'Donnell, Phillippe C . Schmitter and Laurence Whitehead, eds. 1986. Transitions From Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press). ' Graeme Gill. 2000. The Dynamics of Democratization: elites, civil society and the transition  process. (London: Macmillan). Ibid, 46-62. Ibid, 62-67. ' Shelley Rigger. 1999. 1  !  Politics in Taiwan: voting for democracy.  (New York: Routledge).  31  study with which to examine some o f the more difficult questions of nationalism and war and their relationship to democracy and democratization. Liberalization is the gradual reduction o f state control over certain aspects o f life in an authoritarian state - a move which increases the opportunity for autonomous political action on the part o f the population. Regimes may begin the process o f liberalization for a number of reasons, primarily the existence of internal or external pressures, but the response tends to uniformly be the proliferation o f autonomous organizations in society, or what are commonly known as " c i v i l society" groups. C i v i l society, "exists when there is a sphere o f activity outside direct state control, in which the citizenry may organize to pursue their own interests and concerns in their own way (within l i m i t s ) . "  105  The initial stages o f liberalization tend to take the form o f such  things as the legalization o f political parties and labour unions, permission for strikes or rallies to take place and the lifting o f press censorship - all things which involve an expansion o f political participation and therefore the boundaries o f civil society.  106  What is clear from all this however is that, although "liberalization does not necessarily lead to democratization, democratization cannot occur without liberalization, except where it comes from a rapid and probably violent rupture o f the political process."  107  In  cases where the regime's reaction to mounting pressure is to continue clamping down on dissent with its coercive powers indefinitely, regime change is likely to only take place  Ibid, 59. Ibid, 60. Ibid, 49.  32  through military means, thereby greatly reducing i f not eliminating any chance o f a new democratic regime taking shape. Regime disunity is another critical element o f a successful democratic transition. A regime which is unified and faces little opposition or crisis is unlikely to embark on a program o f liberalization. A regime which is divided between moderate and hardline elements, and is facing an organized opposition and a serious legitimacy crisis, is much more likely to respond to the situation by attempting to appease opposition forces through a gradual (and initially minimal) program o f liberalization, particularly i f the moderates are currently in control o f the regime. This is closely tied to the idea o f pacts and negotiation. I f there does not exist at least some minimal willingness to negotiate on the part o f all parties involved, a democratic transition is very unlikely. G i l l characterizes this as a four actor pact - where the regime is divided into hardliners and softliners (I w i l l use the term reformers) and the opposition into moderates and radicals. The pact is, .. .an agreement between the softliners and the moderates whereby they try to work out some o f the details o f the transition, but each must be careful not to antagonize and provoke the other part o f their sides; softliners must not compromise so much that they upset the hardliners and push them into acting while the moderates must ensure that they so not give away so much that the radicals seek to upset the process.  108  The transition process then is essentially a balancing act where moderate elements on both sides o f the equation must work together to avoid having the entire process breakdown or be taken over by their respective hardline counterparts.  33  While it is critical that the moderates be in control of the regime during the emergence o f this initial negotiating period, the existence o f a moderate element among opposition forces is equally important, preferably the dominant faction which holds the support o f a majority o f all those opposed to the regime, someone with whom the government can negotiate. For this reason the most important civil society group is a moderate opposition party, or groups which support such a party, willing to engage the regime in a negotiated democratic solution to the legitimacy crisis which it faces. In the absence o f sufficient political space for such moderate parties to take shape (created through liberalization), opposition groups w i l l be forced to resort to violent means to advance their cause and, lacking any suitable party to negotiate with, the government w i l l be forced to respond at the same level. Another aspect o f a democratic transition is the role played by specific individuals in the process. This approach is rather straightforward, essentially being summed up by the statement "had it been someone else, things might have been different." This kind o f thinking is commonly employed in analyzing Spain's unexpected but rapid and successful transition from military dictatorship to parliamentary democracy in the 1970s. The role o f K i n g Juan Carlos as well as several reformers within the Franco regime are seen as being key to understanding the process, a process which structural analysts were unable to account for, as they were "inadequately prepared for the intervening role o f political actors  to perceive the  34  extent to which innovative political action can contribute to democratic evolution."  109  This idea can also be seen as part o f a generational shift in which members o f a new younger generation, free o f the bitterness endemic to their predecessors (in this case the legacy of the Spanish C i v i l War) in both government and opposition alike, are able to present themselves as forward looking and move past the stumbling blocks which hampered previous attempts at reconciliation. The clear implication here is that, depending on the character o f the key figures, democratization could conceivable be successful even where other factors would suggest otherwise. Ironically though, the very idea o f contingencies such as the role o f individuals lends credibility to the idea o f a regularized pattern of democratization - as contingencies can only have meaning when seen in opposition to some other established m o t i f .  110  The framework put forward by G i l l outlines the possibility o f a democratic transition which is very different from the one outlined by Mansfield and Snyder. But, an analysis o f the democratic transition on Taiwan shows that, while G i l l ' s approach at first appears to be, like Mansfield and Snyder, an overgeneralization from a few select cases, in this situation the theory rings true, shedding light on why the extremely volatile nature o f Taiwan's international situation did not mean that democratization would result in the kind o f outcome Mansfield and Snyder refer to.  Guiseppe D i Palma. 1990. To Craft Democracies: An Essay on Democratic Transitions. (Berkeley: University o f California Press), 8. M i c h e a l Bratton and Nicolas V a n De Walle 1997. Democratic Experiments in Africa. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 26.  35  C H A P T E R  T H E D E M O C R A T I C  3  D Y N A M I C  O N  TAIWAN  The origins o f the contemporary political situation on Taiwan are rooted in the island's Japanese colonial history and the Chinese civil war. After suffering a disastrous military defeat, the Qing Dynasty ceded the island to Japan as part o f the Treaty o f Shimonoseki in 1895. A s Japan's first colony, Taiwan provided Tokyo with the opportunity to, "prove that the Japanese could out colonized those who might dream of colonizing Japan."  111  Many Taiwanese actually saw the colonial era as an  improvement over the inept and often corrupt Qing rule. Japanese planners were able to rapidly modernize Taiwanese infrastructure and cities, eventually bringing the island's economy up to near Japanese standards.  112  Taiwan quickly began to outpace mainland  China in nearly every measure o f development, creating an economic and cultural gap that would only widen as the mainland was continually engulfed by civil war and foreign conquest during the first half o f the 2 0 Century. th  Chiang Kai-shek's Republic o f China (ROC) issued a formal claim to Taiwan in 1942, a claim which was recognized by the 1943 Cairo Declaration, and with the Japanese surrender to A l l i e d forces in October o f 1945 Taiwan was returned to  " ' Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 34. Bernice Lee. 1999. "The Security Implications of the N e w T a i w a n . " Institute for Strategic Studies, 15. 1 1 2  Adelphi Paper  331, International  36  mainland Chinese control.  113  B y 1949 Chaing's Nationalist Kuomintang ( K M T ) forces  were facing imminent defeat at the hands o f M a o Zedong's Communists, prompting Chiang and over 2 million o f his K M T supporters to retreat to their new "provisional" capital at Taipei. M a o proclaimed the People's Republic o f China ( P R C ) on October 1, 1949 and the de facto "two Chinas" system has been in place ever since. Upon their arrival in Taiwan the weary and demoralized Nationalist forces began preparing for what most believed would be the inevitable advance o f the People's Liberation A r m y ( P L A ) across the Taiwan Strait." B y 1949 the U . S . had withdrawn 4  its support from Chiang, disgusted by the corruption and incompetence they believed had "cost" them C h i n a .  115  O n 27 June 1950, three days after the North Korean invasion  of South Korea, U . S . President Truman reversed his policy, stating that, "The occupation o f Taiwan by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security o f the Pacific area and to the U . S . forces performing their lawful and necessary functions i n the area."  116  Accordingly, he ordered the U . S . Seventh Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to  prevent attacks by either side. The Chinese C i v i l War may have moved into a stalemate but, as Meconis and Wallace write, "the stalemate was often a bloody one" and that "many contemporary western analysts underreport the frequency and ferocity o f the  "  3  1 1 4  1 1 5  1 1 6  Ibid., 16.. Steve Tsang. 1997. "Transforming a Party State into a Democracy." In Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press), 2. Lee, "The Security Implications of the New Taiwan," 16. Quoted in David G . Muller Jr. 1983. China as a Maritime Power. (Boulder, C O : Westview Press), 17.  37  naval and air engagements in and over the Taiwan Strait" during this p e r i o d . " Chiang 7  himself reportedly admitted that the U . S . "neutralization" o f the Taiwan Straits was the key to the survival o f the R O C regime during these early years on T a i w a n . "  8  The Taiwanese/Mainlander Split Since its arrival on Taiwan, the K M T was first and last a mainlander party and an instrument o f mainlander control over the native Taiwanese population. A l l high level government positions were filled by mainlanders. Taiwanese candidates were permitted to complete in local elections only as individuals since the "Temporary Provisions" (a series o f constitutional amendments adopted i n 1948) outlawed all opposition parties. N o serious attempt was made to broaden the K M T ' s membership to include native Taiwanese in the party. A majority o f seats in the National Assembly and the Legislative Yuan were filled by mainlanders who had been elected to represent mainland districts before 1949 but were then allowed to hold the seats indefinitely once it became clear that regaining control of the mainland was not imminent. This discriminatory arrangement was premised on the idea that Taiwan was merely a province o f China and that the R O C was the legitimate government o f all China, albeit a government in exile. The regime justified its authoritarian stance by arguing that these were unfortunate but necessary measures given the state o f "National Mobilization Against Communist Rebellion" and that eventually the situation would return to a more normal  1 1 7  Charles A . M e c o n i s and M i c h a e l D . Wallace. 2000.  East Asian Naval Weapons Acquisitions in the  38  state o f affairs. Understandably many Taiwanese were unconvinced, seeing the K M T as (what even President Lee Teng-hui would later refer to as) "an alien regime,"  119  a regime  which was not acting in the interests o f Taiwan but instead was using Taiwan to serve its own interests. A Rigger writes, "Under Japanese colonialism, few Taiwanese thought o f themselves as different from other Han Chinese. But once the R O C government was established on the island, differences between the two groups appeared..."  120  Relations between the native Taiwanese and their new mainland masters quickly became strained. Many Taiwanese had fond memories o f the Japanese colonial era and, like the Qing administrators before them, saw their new mainland rulers as incompetent, corrupt and brutal.  121  Even before Chiang's forces retreated to the island, his post-1945  administrators on Taiwan had come into conflict with local interests by pursuing a policy o f exploiting the former colony to help the war effort on the mainland. The Nationalists saw Taiwan's industrial and agricultural wealth as a bonanza for the R O C and they fully expected the Taiwanese to volunteer their economy in the service o f the war against communism. In the post-1945 period Taiwan began shipping raw materials and foodstuffs to the mainland, seizing property and even ordered factories dismantled and shipped across the Strait. A s Rigger writes, " T o the Nationalists, Taiwan was a  1 1 8  1 1 9  1 2 0  121  1990s: Causes, Consequences, and Responses. (Westport, C T . : Praeger), 111. Tsang, "Transformation o f a Party State into s Democracy," 9. Ian B u r u m a . 1996. " T a i w a n ' s N e w Nationalists," Foreign Affairs (74: 4, July/August 1996), 89. Ibid. A n d r e Laliberte. 1997. Taiwan: Between Two Nationalisms. (Vancouver: U B C Institute o f International Relations), 11.  39  sideshow. Their top priority was preventing more territory in mainland China from falling to the Communist Party's Red A r m y . "  1 2 2  Unemployment and inflation reached previously unknown levels and economic difficulties were further exacerbated by the "epidemic o f corruption" which was sapping the K M T ' s strength on the m a i n l a n d .  123  The Taiwanese, accustomed to the  strict but honest and efficient colonial administration, were appalled by the new regime.  124  Tensions boiled over on 28 February 1947 - the so-called "2-28 Incident" -  when Nationalist troops crushed a n t i - K M T demonstrations and embarked on a "White Terror" campaign against students, intellectuals, political activists and anyone else deemed a threat. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people are thought to have been killed, with massacres being particularly brutal in the southern city o f Kaohsiung. The 2-28 Incident resulted in decades o f mistrust between the two groups and convinced many Taiwanese that the K M T was "a conquering power, not a liberator."  125  The influx o f such a huge  number o f mainlanders two years later did nothing to help the situation, while the constant threat o f a Communist invasion made the K M T regime ultra-sensitive to any real or perceived threat to its security. ROC Ideology The Republic o f China was established on 1 January 1912 according to the principles articulated by its founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen. These principles, outlined in  1 2 2  1 2 3  1 2 5  Rigger, Politics Ibid., 57. Ibid. I b i d , 179.  in Taiwan,  56.  40  Sun's  Three Principles of the People (Sanmin Zhuyi), became the ideological basis of not  only the R O C constitution but also the K M T . The principles: nationalism (minzu), popular sovereignty or democracy (minzhu) and economic justice (minsheng), were fashioned into a Western style constitution that contained guarantees o f popular participation and civil liberties. Sun believed that democracy, the rule o f law, separation of powers and other such Western influenced institutional arrangements were the appropriate model for China's long-term development.  126  However, he also, believed  that this goal could only be reached through incremental steps. China would initially need a military government to establish order and provide security from foreign powers. Once this was achieved the nation would enter a period o f "political tutelage" in which a powerful executive would rule though the Kuomintang. Once citizens were ready to take responsibility for their own governance, the period o f constitutional governance would be fully implemented.  127  Unfortunately for the K M T , the period o f political tutelage had already been declared over before 1949, therefore restrictions on the full implementation o f the constitution would require a different justification. This was to be found in the situation on the mainland. A s Chou and Nathan write, "Upon establishing its rule on Taiwan the party justified its restriction o f political and other rights ... not as necessities o f the revolutionary state but as temporary measures arising from the condition o f civil war  I b i d , 16.  41  between the K M T and C C P regimes."  128  Despite the fact that all K M T leaders were  socialized to believe that their mission was to "realize Sun's doctrine in the R O C , "  1 2 9  they largely set that goal aside in favour o f maintaining the political, economic and military stability necessary in preparation for unifying China under R O C rule. This formula o f stability and economic development for the purpose o f eventual mainland recovery would serve as the basis o f K M T legitimacy well into the 1960s. Institutions of the ROC Government Sun Yat-sen's constitutional design for the R O C involves six main elements: a president and five branches (called Yuan): Executive, Legislative, Control, Examination and Judicial. In theory the R O C is a decentralized state in which multiple political parties compete for office in free elections and where democratically elected executives and legislators sit at every level o f government.  130  The system, however, never lived up  to this ideal. Until 1991, the K M T insisted that the "ongoing" civil war made full implementation o f the constitution impossible. In addition to the "Temporary Provisions", martial law was continuously in effect from 1949 until 1987, greatly aiding the regime in its struggle to control an often unruly and unsupportive population. In practice, the R O C has been dominated by its presidents, especially Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo, but also by Lee Teng-hui.  Yangsun C h o u and A n d r e w Nathan. 1987. "Democratizing Transition in T a i w a n , " 27:3, 278. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 9. I b i d , 63.  Asian Survey,  42  The National Assembly is a large body responsible for amending the constitution and, before 1996, electing the president. From 1949 until its renovation in 1991 it acted mainly as a rubber stamp for decisions of the ruling Kuomintang. The Executive Yuan encompasses the cabinet and central government ministries. Its members are appointed by the president and approved by the members o f the Legislative Yuan. Before Chen's election in 2000 nearly all of them were Kuomintang members. The Legislative Yuan is an elected body (since 1992) responsible for holding public officials to account, approving appointments, and debating legislation initiated by the Executive Yuan. Legislative Yuan members began to initiate bills for the first time in 1987. The Judicial Yuan oversees the court system, while the Control Yuan monitors the actions o f civil servants. The Examination Yuan administers the civil service examinations used to select personnel for state agencies.  131  Although the constitution gives broad powers to the members o f the Legislative Yuan, until recently they had little control over policy. The presence o f "senior legislators" elected on the mainland before 1949 was the primary way in which the K M T was able to dominate the institutions o f government. True power rested with the K M T Central Standing Committee, without whose approval legislation could not proceed.  132  The Central Standing Committee, however, is probably too large for  effective decision-making, and throughout most o f its history has been dominated by the K M T party chair (who has generally been the R O C President).  131  Ibid., 61.  43  Additionally, the military could be seen as a virtual sixth branch o f the government in the pre-1990s R O C . Once established in Taiwan, the K M T instituted a political officer system in the military making it, like the People's Liberation A r m y in the P R C , a party institution rather than a national one.  133  The K M T also followed a  policy o f co-opting military leaders by rotating them in a number o f key posts including the Central Committee and the Central Standing Committee on an ex officio basis.  134  In  return, the military's loyalty toward the K M T was strongly reinforced even among its largely Taiwanese enlisted personnel, becoming its most reliable base o f support and often voting as a bloc for K M T candidates.  135  International Support for the ROC The primary ally o f the K M T regime on Taiwan through the 1950s and 60s was the anti-Communist bent o f American Cold War foreign policy. While ambivalent in the immediate post-War period, the United States quickly sought to incorporate Taiwan into its defensive perimeter designed to contain communist expansion in Asia. U . S . policy included arms shipments, economic aid, and the opening o f U . S . markets to goods from Taiwan. This support proved invaluable to the R O C regime as, on 3 September 1954, P R C forces initiated the first "Taiwan Straits Crisis" by shelling the Nationalist-held island o f Quemoy. A s in 1950, the U . S . again ordered the Seventh Fleet  1 3 2  1 3 3  1 3 4  I b i d , 63. Tsang, "Transforming a Party State into a Democracy," 3. Hung-mao T i e n . 1997. " T a i w a n ' s Transformation" in Larry D i a m o n d , M a r c F . Plattner, Y u n - h a n C h u , and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Regional Challenges. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 139.  44  to move into the Taiwan Strait to discourage any invasion plans the P R C may have had. The long-term result o f the crisis was the Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of China, signed on 2 December 1954 in Washington, in which both the U . S . and the R O C pledged to, "maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack and communist subversive activities directed from without against their territorial integrity and political stability."  136  A second Taiwan Straits crisis began in July o f 1958 when the P R C announced that it would begin a campaign to "liberate" Taiwan and by August it had resumed shelling the Nationalist held islands near the mainland once again. Once again the U . S . responded by threatening force, including the use of nuclear weapons i f China did not stop the bombardment. Chinese fears and the lack overt Soviet baking caused the P R C to enter into a series o f meetings with the U . S . in Warsaw in September and October o f 1958, eventually resulting in a cease-fire agreement.  137  The ROC Legitimacy Formula Since the R O C constitution defines the nation as all o f China, the legitimacy o f the K M T regime depended upon its maintaining the notion that the separation o f Taiwan and the mainland was temporary. Long after it had retreated to Taiwan it still maintained that its central mission was to regain control o f all the territory claimed by  1 3 5  1 3 6  Hung-mao Tien and Tun-jen Cheng. 1997. "Crafting Democratic Institutions." In Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press), 31. J.A.S. Grenville. 1975._7Y?e Major International Treaties: 1914-1975. A History and Guide with  Texts. (New York: Stein and Day), 340. 1 3 7  John F. Copper. 1997. "The Origins of Conflict Across the Taiwan Strait: The Problem of Differences in Perception," Journal of Contemporary China 6: 15 (July), 6.  45  the Qing dynasty in the late 19 Century, including Tibet and Outer Mongolia, as well th  as Taiwan. The achievement of this goal would required sacrifices on the part o f all "patriotic Chinese," including the imposition o f "Temporary Measures." In the 1950s and 1960s when the threat o f war with the mainland was strongest, few on Taiwan questioned the plausibility o f the R O C ' s reunification plans and those who did risked harsh punishments including long prison sentences.  138  But as the chances o f recovering  the mainland became increasingly remote, the K M T began to struggle for a way out o f this predicament.  139  Fortunately for the K M T the decision to focus on the economic development o f Taiwan rather than the full implementation o f the constitution was beginning to bear fruit. B y the late 1960s Taiwan found itself in the midst o f an economic miracle brought on by the combination o f cheaply manufactured products for export combined with relatively open access to the U . S . market. The R O C ' s gross national product ( G N P ) per person increased from a mere US$167 in 1953 to US$3,784 by 1996, eventually rising to US$10,566 by 1 9 9 3 . T h i s economic success was, however, tempered by a l40  deteriorating diplomatic situation on the international stage. A Weakening International Position In the early 1970s, U . S . President Richard N i x o n and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger initiated a new policy whereby they sought to improve the U . S . position politically and militarily vis-a-vis the Soviet Union by making overtures  1 3 8  Ibid., 17.  46  toward the P R C . B y this time the P R C and the Soviet Union had developed a deep animosity toward each other and the U . S . sought to exploit this rift. Kissinger held secret talks with Communist officials in Beijing in 1971 wherein he arranged for N i x o n to make an official visit to China in 1972. Taiwan suffered another blow when, on 25 October 1971, the U N voted to give the R O C ' s seat to the P R C by a margin o f 73-35 with 17 abstentions, signaling the beginning o f the R O C ' s long journey into political marginalization in the undefined regions o f international law. N i x o n ' s 1972 visit to Beijing further compromised the R O C ' s position. The Shanghai Communique, issued before the visit, represented a radical shift in SinoAmerican relations. China reaffirmed its longstanding position that the P R C is the sole legal government o f China, that Taiwan is a province o f China, and that the "liberation of Taiwan is an internal affair in which no other country has a right to interfere."  141  The  United States on the other hand made major concessions in acknowledging that .. .all Chinese on either side o f the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part o f China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement o f the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.  142  The U . S . also affirmed their, "...ultimate objective o f the withdrawal o f all U . S . forces and military installations from Taiwan." A n d that in the meantime it would work, to  1 4 0  141  1 4 2  Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 60. Tsang, "Transforming a Party State into a Democracy," 10. 1972 Shanghai Communique cited in John F Copper. 1992. China Taipei-Beijing Triangle. (Boulder: Westview Press), 153. Ibid.  Diplomacy: The Washington-  47  "...progressively reduce its forces and military installations on Taiwan as the tension on the area diminishes."  143  Taiwan's security arrangement with the United States reached an even more ambiguous stage in 1979 when the Carter administration decided to formally recognize the P R C . A second U.S.-China joint communique issued on 1 January 1979 did however note that within this context the U . S . would, "maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people o f T a i w a n . "  144  The Mutual Defense Treaty  with Taiwan (no longer recognized as a sovereign state by the U.S.) was abrogated and official diplomatic links with the R O C were severed, leaving Taiwan in a precarious and undefined defensive relationship with the United States. Beijing proposed talks with Taiwan, based on Deng Xiaoping's "One China, two systems" principle originally envisions for Hong K o n g , in order to end the military confrontation and work toward reunification. Understandably uneasy about their future the R O C sought and received assurances from Washington. Each created a de facto embassy's in the form o f the R O C ' s Coordination Council for North American Affairs and Washington's American Institute in Taiwan, to compensate for the lack o f "formal" diplomatic relations. The United States also sought to fully clarify its new relationship with Taiwan through the Taiwan Relations Act ( T R A ) , signed by President Carter on 10 A p r i l 1979. The act in effect reaffirmed what had been Washington's policy all along, treating Taiwan as a  48  separate entity apart from the P R C . The A c t governs all political, economic and military relations between the U . S . and Taiwan and permits the U . S . to sell arms, lend money, and grant diplomatic immunity to Taiwanese officials. It gives the American Institute in Taiwan the power to conduct normal consular functions and treats Taiwan as a separate entity apart from the mainland in matters o f immigration and nuclear energy.  145  While the T R A does not explicitly declare a U . S . commitment to defend  Taiwan from attack it does state that it is the policy o f the United States to "provide Taiwan with arms o f a defensive character" and, more ominously, that "any effort to determine the future o f Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including boycotts or embargoes..." is " . . .a threat to the peace and security o f the Western Pacific area and o f grave concern to the United States."  146  This drastically weakened position o f the R O C forced the K M T leadership to rethink the basis o f its claim to govern. Instead o f focusing on mainland recovery, they shifted their rhetoric in the direction o f "reunification" under Sun Yat-sen's three principles, meaning a reunified capitalist, democratic China. This remains the stated goal o f the R O C , although as Rigger notes, "the likelihood o f such a convergence strikes most Taiwanese as exceedingly remote, and many are convinced that even i f the P R C and Taiwan were to converge, Taiwan would stand to lose a great deal more than it would gain by wedding itself to such a vast political, economic and demographic  144  145  1979 U.S.-China Joint Communique cited in John F Copper. 1992. China Diplomacy: The Washington-Taipei-Beijing Triangle. (Boulder: Westview Press), 157. 1979 Taiwan Relations Act cited in John F Copper. 1992. China Diplomacy: The WashingtonTaipei-Beijing Triangle. (Boulder: Westview Press), 159.  49  entity."  147  This change in rhetoric failed to strike many Taiwanese as legitimate grounds  to further delay the full implementation o f the R O C constitution.  148  The issue o f  mainland recovery and the civil war could no longer justify absolute K M T rule. The party could conceivably have resorted to repression but this was quickly fading as a viable option. A s Rigger writes, "The ruling party, for its part, was forced to choose between ceding more power to the society (i.e., democratizing) or seizing back its dominant position by force. A n d the K M T had learned in 1947 that force would not work."  149  B y the 1960s it was becoming increasingly difficult for the K M T to hold  together both party and state, and to convey a convincing argument that it was the legitimate government o f that state.  3.1 Elections as a Catalyst for Democratization One o f the legacies the R O C administration in Taiwan inherited from the Japanese was the tradition o f popular participation in the form o f limited elections. These elections took the unusual form of "single nontransferable voting in multimember districts." While the K M T could have discontinued the tradition upon its arrival in 1945, it would have seemed excessive and run counter to R O C ideological prescriptions. It was also acutely aware that elections could be used as a tool which could allow their regime to become institutionalized i n a "foreign" land. Maintaining the "Free China" label also required at least token gestures o f democracy. Additionally,  2 1 4 9  -  lbid  Rigger, Politics Ibid. I b i d , 182.  in Taiwan,  18.  50  elections were an effective way o f keeping liberal critics'at bay, as well as drawing dissident groups into the system without handing power over to t h e m .  150  In 1946 the R O C introduced grassroots elections in the form o f open contests for township representative positions. In 1950, elections expanded to include contests for township head, municipal executive, and council members in Taiwan's counties and cities. In 1951, Taiwanese elected the first Taiwan Provincial Assembly, a "provincial" government which happened to be coterminous with the extent o f the "National" government's effective jurisdiction. Starting in 1969, a few supplementary seats in the Legislative Y u a n and the National Assembly were opened up to elections. It is common to see elections in authoritarian states as little more than a rubber stamp. But as Rigger notes, "a major function o f elections was to facilitate mobilization; that is, participation that was controlled and channeled by the ruling party."  151  For this  reason she characterizes the pre-liberalization system in Taiwan as "mobilization authoritarianism", a system in which popular participation was encouraged but where a firewall existed between popular opinion and government policy. But despite these limitations, elections in these situations have sometimes been known to "set down roots that grow in unexpected directions."  152  Or as W u argues, "Sun's revolution and the  democratic ideas advocated by him formed a legacy that people could utilize to  Ibid., 81. Ibid, 3. Ibid..  51  challenge the authoritarian rule o f the K M T government and which contributed to the rise o f the democracy movements of the 1980s."  153  Chiang Ching-kuo and "Taiwanization" B y the late 1960s R O C leaders began to have some sense that the regime was in trouble. International opinion was shifting toward the P R C , senior legislators were dying off and the Taiwanese business community had become a powerful force in its own right. The regime also began to find it more difficult to suppress dissent. The most serious threat was now coming not from protests or publications but from the exiled dissidents who had fled Taiwan during the "White Terror" years. These dissidents formed the Taiwan Independence Movement (TIM), a group which was willing to use violence to achieve its political objectives. In 1970, T I M supporters attempted to assassinate deputy premier Chiang Ching-kuo in N e w York. T I M also conducted a series o f bombings in Taiwan in the 1970s, in one instance seriously injuring the R O C vice president.  154  The K M T ' s response was a combination o f repression and reform,  shutting down publications and jailing dissidents, but also attempting to co-opt more popular Taiwanese leaders into the party and increase the number o f supplementary seats available in elections. The appointment o f Chiang Ching-kuo as premier in 1972, and later president in 1975 after the death o f his father, led to a critical change in K M T direction. Although the party continued to advocate its goals o f mainland recovery and unification, it began  1 5 3  Jaushieh Joseph W u . 1995.  Taiwan's Democratization: Forces Behind the New Momentum.  (Hong  52  placing greater emphasis on policies aimed at improving the status and security o f Taiwan. Originally a staunch K M T hard-liner, beginning in the early 1970s Chiang Ching-kuo and a new generation of leaders began to realize that the mainlanders could not rule Taiwan alone, or at least not forever.  155  The only way to ensure the R O C ' s  survival was to "set down roots in Taiwanese s o i l . "  156  K M T leaders realized that the rapprochement between the U . S . and China could potentially lead to a situation where the R O C was both weakened from within and threatened from without. This heightened sense o f insecurity led the K M T to adopt a dual policy o f both clamping down on internal dissent as well as exploring possible alternative arrangements to reliance on the U . S .  1 5 7  But, as C l i f f writes, " N o substitute  for the United States existed, and it was unclear for how long domestic opposition could be suppressed."  158  A s Laliberte writes, " A greater integration o f the Taiwanese  population in the political structure up to the highest levels emerged as a necessity for regime survival."  159  To do so, Chiang adopted a policy o f "Taiwanization," encouraging  the recruitment o f native Taiwanese for elected office, taking a more active role in the nominating process, and seeking to stack K M T leadership positions with his own reform minded supporters. Chiang chose native Taiwanese for the positions o f provincial governor, deputy premier and also increased their representation on the  1 5 4  1 5 5  1 5 6  1 5 7  1 5 8  K o n g : Oxford University Press), 12-13. Ibid., 108-109. Buruma. " T a i w a n ' s N e w Nationalists", 88. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 111. Roger Cliff. 1998. Taiwan: In the Dragon's  Shadow. In M u t i a h Alagappa, ed. Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences. (Stanford: Stanford University Press), 293.  Ibid., 293.  53  party's Central Standing Committee.  160  Notably, it was Chiang who put Taiwanese  born Lee Teng-hui in charge o f agriculture in 1972, named him mayor o f Taipei in 1978, and eventually vice-president in 1985. Taiwanization o f the party and the civil service was designed to widen the base o f support for the regime, primarily by co-opting Taiwanese elites, giving them "a vested interest in the preservation o f the ruling party's supremacy."  161  Although Chao and Myers attribute the democratic transition, "mainly to Chiang Ching-Kuo's decision to liberalize the "inhibited" political center..."  162  their  argument remains unconvincing. A s Rigger notes, Chao and Meyers also argue that Chiang believed in a "Chinese-style democracy in which only the virtuous elite could represent the people and govern t h e m " "messy, unfettered p l u r a l i s m "  164  163  and he was not an advocate o f the kind o f  that democracy in Taiwan has become. Additionally,  by the end o f the century politics in Taiwan had become an arena in which, "Non-stop revelations o f political corruption had long since put to rest any illusions that a virtuous elite was governing the island." It is therefore reasonable to conclude that, " . . .even i f Chiang Chiang-kuo and the K M T regime were devoted to a particular kind o f democratization, they eventually lost control o f the process.  1 6 0  161  1 6 2  1 6 3  1 6 4  165  Laliberte, "Between Two Nationalisms", 11. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 111. Laliberte, "Between Two Nationalisms", 11 Linda Chao and Ramon H . Myers. 1998. The First Chinese Democracy: Political Life in Republic of China on Taiwan. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 326. Ibid., 124. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 24.  the  54  Elections and Democratization Two Taiwanese political scientists, H u F u and C h u Yun-han, have suggested that elections should be seen as the independent variable in the study o f Taiwan's democratic transition. A s they write, "Elections for national lawmakers not only have increasingly acquired the normal function o f popular accountability and system legitimation in a representative democracy, but in the transition they actually functioned as a catalyst o f democratization in T a i w a n . "  166  This can be achieved in several ways.  Firstly, elections can be used by the population to send messages to the regime, what Bolivar Lamounier calls "plebiscitary" elections.  167  Even i f elections are only used to  select a limited number o f government officials with a limited range o f responsibilities, they can still serve as an avenue for the public to send a message to the regime as gains and losses tend to be measured not in absolute terms but relative to previous performances. Elections act as tools o f political socialization, creating expectations o f involvement in the political process, building party identification and organization, and by making it extremely risky for the regime to cancel or significantly alter the electoral calendar. Most importantly, as w i l l be explored later, elections also tend to have the effect o f strengthening reform factions within an authoritarian regime while weakening hardline elements.  168  I b i d , 24. Fu H u and Y u n - h a n C h u cited in Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 11. B o l i v a r Lamounier, cited in Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 14. I b i d , 14-15.  55  3.2 Liberalization Institutions of Control in the ROC Regime Before the process o f liberalization was begun in Taiwan in the 1970s, there was very little space in which political activity could take place apart from what was officially sanctioned by the regime. The Temporary Provisions all but eliminated any opposition by restricting public gatherings, the dissemination o f information, and all forms o f protest a c t i v i t y .  169  Martial law gave the government broad powers o f arrest,  banned political parties, and the mass media was strictly under the control o f the regime. Rigger refers to the R O C system as "mobilizational authoritarianism" because the government did encourage public participation by citizens but sought to control and channel it ways which favored the regime. The K M T ' s "corporatist" structure, a system where, "state structuring, state subsidy and state control" describe the nature o f most organizations,  170  meant that state-created or state-dominated bodies represented  state-designated interests, such as workers, farmers, students, women, etc.  171  For  example, the government encouraged workers to join labor unions but the unions themselves were established, funded and "guided" by the party.  172  Perhaps the most important check on dissent was the strict controls imposed on the media. H a l f o f all newspapers on the island were shut down after the February 28  1 6 9  1 7 0  171  1 7 2  Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 71. Ibid., 75. Thomas B . G o l d . 1997. " T a i w a n : Still Defying the Odds", In Larry D i a m o n d and M a r c F . Plattner, Yun-han C h u , and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Consolidating the Third wave democracies: Regional Challenges. (Baltimore: Johns H o p k i n s University Press), 170. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 8.  56  incident. In 1951 the regime issued strict regulations on newspapers, forcing them to register with the state, placing limits on their length and limiting the number o f licenses to thirty-one.  173  The K M T owned about one third o f the licenses directly and strictly  controlled the others. The major news conglomerates, United Daily Group and the China Times Group, both cooperated extensively with the regime and were rewarded with patronage appointments to government committees. Editors and reporters were also closely monitored sometimes being required to attended K M T "work conferences" at which party cadres instructed them about how their publications could better serve the nation. K M T agents also made it clear how they wanted stories to be reported and discouraged reporters from covering the o p p o s i t i o n .  174  While K M T control over newspapers tended to be indirect, control o f television and radio was generally direct. Taiwan Television ( T T V ) is controlled by the Taiwan provincial government; China Television ( C T V ) is run by the K M T ; and Chinese Television Services (CTS) is operated by the Ministries o f Defense and Education.  175  A  fourth broadcast station, Formosa Television, has links to the D P P but was not allowed on the air until mid-1997. The K M T regime also controlled all radio broadcasting frequencies until 1993, most being owned by either the government, the K M T , or the military.  Ibid, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid,  176  73. 73. 73. 74.  57  Government ownership and cooperation by media conglomerates gave the regime effective control over the mass media but regulating the print media required more active enforcement. Martial law powers gave the police the ability to censor and control would-be independent media outlets such as magazines. Journalists were sometimes given lengthy prison sentences for anything regarded as "treasonous," a charge which usually translated into criticism o f the regime.  177  B y the 1970s, censors  began changing their tactics to concentrate more on revoking licenses, suspending publications, pressuring printers to turn away dissident publications and seizing magazines before they hit the newsstands.  178  Control o f the media was also used by the  K M T to limit competition in elections as candidates were not allowed to advertise for their campaigns. Emergence of a Civil Society Movement / Opposition Parties One o f the first signs o f liberalization in Taiwan was the K M T party reform o f 1972 when the party attempted to recruit more native Taiwanese candidates in order to shed its image as a mainlander party and increase its electoral appeal. President Chiang Chiang-kuo also sought to improve the quality o f elected local officials by taking a more active role in cultivating and nominating "good government" candidates to replace local party bosses. This increased emphasis on elections indicates the extent to which the K M T was attempting to use elections as a means o f bolstering their legitimacy. The party was, however, still more concerned with winning elections than with responding  58  to citizens or opposition demands, as evidenced by a number o f party organizers who were fired over their inability to deliver seats.  179  Some o f the first autonomous political activity not immediately suppressed by the regime included things like the consumer, environmental and women's movements which emerged in the early 1980s. B y calling attention to issues which affected people's health and well being they quickly grew in size, although making sure not to challenge the regime. Some o f these groups eventually formed the organizations which became the foundations o f modern civil society in T a i w a n .  180  The first attempt at establishing an  opposition party came i n 1960 when mainlander intellectual L e i Chan tried to establish the Democratic Party and was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison for his efforts. Despite the harshness o f the precedent, throughout the 1970s opposition to the regime slowly began forming into a unified movement. In the 1977 provincial and local elections, opposition leaders were not prohibited when they began forming loosely based "camps" o f dissidents, liberal politicians and former K M T members who now opposed the party. These politicians were know as tang-wai (outside the party), but unlike the independent "opposition" candidates o f the 1950s and 1960s, these politicians represented a new generation o f Taiwanese intelligentsia - lawyers, students and university professors.  1 7 8  1 7 9  1 8 0  181  181  To the great embarrassment o f the K M T this new "party"  Ibid. Ibid., 25. G o l d , " T a i w a n : Still Defying the Odds," 172-73. Lee. "The Security Implications o f the N e w T a i w a n , " 28.  59  succeeded in winning 35 percent o f the seats in the provincial legislature, becoming an important and growing political force.  182  The opposition, however, was deeply divided from the start between radicals and moderates. This division only became worse after the "Kaohsiung Incident" where, in December o f 1979, the government conducted mass arrests o f opposition politicians and pro-independence activists following a riot which erupted during a march by opposition groups protesting what they believed was an election fraud designed to deny a tang-wai candidate a municipal executiveship. In a remarkable turn o f events, many o f the relatives and lawyers o f the detained persons were elected in the subsequent round o f elections as a statement o f sympathy for the defendants and as a protest against the repressive actions o f the regime. A s Laliberte writes, "Following that incident, the regime came to the conclusion that it was futile to clamp down on the opposition," leading to a new policy o f "tacit tolerance."  183  B y 1980, the K M T government was finding it increasingly difficult to suppress dissent and ignore calls for further liberalization. When it did take strong action, as in the Kaohsiung Incident, it incurred a heavy cost as revealed in the 1980 election results. Repression also cost the R O C dearly in increasingly precious international support. Elections drove up the cost o f repression further because once an opposition activist had been elected to office, he or she not only enjoyed elevated public stature but also had the benefit o f legislative immunity. Suppressing popular opposition politicians  1 8 2  Stephen Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman. 1995.  The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions.  60  backed by large followings was no easy matter. A s H u F u puts its, "it became increasingly costly for the ruling elite to use repressive measures against popularly elected opposition leaders. To do this the K M T regime had to pay a considerable price, at the cost o f its own legitimacy."  184  The existence o f an electoral calendar was also a  significant factor in limiting the regime's ability to control the pace o f reform. Canceling elections was too risky and likely would have drawn protests even from within the K M T itself.  185  B y the mid-1980s the R O C also began to come under direct external pressure to enact reforms. U . S . President Ronald Reagan began personally pressuring the Taiwanese to begin democratic reform and on 1 August 1986, the U . S . House o f Representatives Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution urging the K M T to lift its ban on political parties, warning that i f martial law was not lifted Taiwan's relationship with the U . S . would suffer.  186  The actual effect o f this was not so much to cause democratic  reforms, but to weaken and split the right wing o f the K M T . Religious groups also played a role in the development o f civil society in Taiwan. Organized Buddhism represents great moral, political and financial force in Taiwan.  187  In addition to their traditional charitable and social work, some sects in the  1980s began popularizing a more rigid and centralized form o f Buddhism which placed a  183  1 8 4  (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 293. Laliberte, "Between Two Nationalisms", 10. Hu Fu. 1993. "The Electoral Mechanism and Political Change in Taiwan," in Steve Tsang, ed. In the  Shadow of China: Political Developments in Taiwan since 1949. (Honolulu: University of 185  1 8 6  Hawaii Press), 149 Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 26. Lee, "The Security Implications of the New Taiwan", 29.  61  greater emphasis on discipline, charity and contemplation. Chen Li-an's 1995 presidential bid attempted to tap this force, criticizing the "dirtiness" o f R O C politics and emphasizing "clean government" proposals.  188  Chen's bid fared badly though,  receiving less than 10% o f the popular vote. There are also at least 57 Protestant Sects in Taiwan. The Presbyterians, o f which Lee Teng-hui is a devout member, is the largest and one o f the few to oppose the pre-1987 K M T regime. In 1986 Chiang announced that vice-president Lee Teng-hui would succeed him. He also announced the creation o f a committee to study political reform in which a wide range o f issues (including restructuring o f the National Assembly, local autonomy, ending martial law, reform o f the Party, etc.) would be on the table. O n 28 September 1986 about 130 opposition activists and tang-wai politicians announced the formation o f a new political party to be known as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The party released a draft o f its charter and political platform which included: establishing the R O C as a sovereign, independent state; creating a free and democratic political order; instituting educational, social and cultural reforms; and pursuing peaceful and independent defense and foreign p o l i c i e s .  189  Since the D P P began as a coalition o f a n t i - K M T activists its membership included a diverse range o f interests, from urban middle-class professions to traditional local factions. Not surpassingly then, the party was highly fractured from the beginning. The primary division was between the older and more moderate Formosa (Mei-li-tao)  G o l d , " T a i w a n : Still Defying the Odds", 173.  62  faction, whose roots were primarily in the tang-wai opposition movement o f the 1970s, and the more radical N e w Tide (hsin ch 'ao-liu) faction, largely made up of young intellectuals, radicalized in the wake of the Kaohsiung Incident. While the Formosa faction took a more moderate position on issues o f national identity and independence, the goal o f the N e w Tide faction was to hold a plebiscite on the establishment o f a "Republic o f Taiwan" as soon as the party came to p o w e r .  190  Despite the fact that this action was strictly illegal, Chiang decided not to suppress the new party, the rationale being that, " B y allowing the opposition to participate in the political process, the K M T diminished the likelihood o f a violent conflict at some point in the future."  191  Two months later on July 15, 1987 Chiang  lifted martial law, ending most restrictions on political organizations (in effect retroactively legalizing the D P P ) and passed a National Security B i l l designed to institutionalize the supervision, management and depoliticization o f the military as well as setting out ground rules for the opposition - again on the condition that the opposition did not advocate communism, Taiwan independence or the overthrow i f the constitution.  192  D P P organizers did not officially accept these conditions but abided by  them in practice. Significantly, in October o f 1987 Chiang also lifted the ban on travel to mainland China.  1 8 8  1 8 9  1 9 0  191  1 9 2  Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 175. Lee, "The Security Implications of the New Taiwan", 29. Laliberte, "Between Two Nationalisms", 21. Cliff, "Taiwan: In the Dragon's Shadow", 294. Timothy Ka-ying Wong. 1997. "The Impact of State Development in Taiwan on Cross-Straits  Relations." Asian Perspective 21:1 (Spring-Summer), 188.  63  3.3  Regime Disunity: Factional Politics in the R O C On January 14,1988 Chiang Ching-kuo died and Lee Teng-hui was named  president, the first native Taiwanese to hold the position. Observers wondered i f Lee, who was perceived as politically weak and without a strong power base, would be able to survive without his longtime benefactor.  193  Lee was initially endorsed by the military  and Chief o f Staff General Hau Pei-tsung, although tensions quickly became apparent.  194  In the campaign leading up to the 1989 elections, the first contested by the  D P P , the K M T reiterated its longstanding claims as a provider o f stability, economic development and experienced government. The D P P , on the other hand, touched a nerve with the public, arguing that even i f it won every supplementary seat available, the K M T would still enjoy a large majority in both the National Assembly and the Legislative Yuan, due to the continued presence o f the "senior legislators."  195  The D P P  ridiculed this "ten thousand year legislature" and the "old bandits" who still commanded a majority. The K M T knew it was vulnerable on this issue and even its top leaders could not defend the institution. Unfortunately for reformers like Lee, forcing the seniors out would fracture the party. Factional Divisions in the KMT The 1989 elections resulted in the best showing to date for the opposition. The results also succeeded in highlighting the distinction between Lee Teng-hui's (increasingly Taiwanese) Mainstream faction o f the K M T and the (almost exclusively  1 9 3  Hung-mao Tien, " T a i w a n ' s Transformation", 121.  64  mainlander) conservative "Nonmainstream" faction, unofficially led by Hau. The Mainstream faction knew its most potent weapon in the coming power struggle would be its popular support in elections and that abandoning the "ten thousand year legislature" would ultimately be to its advantage. The issue was how to do so while continuing to maintain a semblance o f party unity and a majority in the National Assembly and Legislative Yuan. Conflicts between the Mainstream and Nonmainstream factions came to a head in a struggle over Lee's nomination for a second term as president and his choice for vice-president. Lee's decision, following Chiang Ching-kuo, to establish civilian control over the military had also antagonized General Hau Pei-tsung, who viewed military affairs as nearly his private d o m a i n .  196  In 1989, Hau was reluctantly persuaded to retire from the  military and become Lee's Minister o f defence. Lee sought to break the hold o f Hau and his "Hau family army" on the reigns o f the military. Hau's departure enabled Lee to begin exerting civilian control over the armed forces. A s commander in chief, Lee held the constitutional authority to appoint and remove major military and security figures. Many o f Hau's protege's were replaced with "new" K M T "defectors" and Hau's longtime rivals. Lee also ordered that the military be trimmed and the focus shifted from the A r m y over to the Navy and the A i r Force. Strategic doctrine was also to be shifted from the ability to retake the mainland to protecting Taiwan, its airspace and its sea lanes, as  Ibid, 140-41. Ibid, 132. Ibid, 140-41.  65  well as the ability to prevent an amphibious landing on its shores,  197  a change which  represented a profound threat to the K M T ' s traditional claim to legitimacy. B y mid1995, Lee had established civilian control over the armed forces,  198  but he later admitted  that "during the power struggle with Hau there has been a real danger o f a military coup against h i m . "  199  Conservatives in the K M T also threatened to jeopardize Lee's reelection bid in the National Assembly by introducing the use o f the secret ballot in the Central Committee's nomination process.  200  Two Nonmainstream politicians, L i n Yang-kang  and Chiang Wai-kuo, announced that they would challenge Lee and his running mate o f the R O C presidency when it came time for the National Assembly to reelect a president. L i n and Chiang were eventually convinced by party insiders to withdraw their bid but only upon receiving a major concession in having Lee appoint Hau Pei-tsun as Premier. A s he consolidated his leadership over the party, Lee also began to implement his own program o f reform. O n 25 December 1990, Lee announce that the state o f civil war with China (the "Period of Mobilization against Communist Rebellion") would end on 1 M a y 1991. Lee also proposed a National Affairs Conference ( N A C ) at which representatives o f all political stripes could meet, along with business leaders, scholars  1 9 7  1 9 8  C . L . Chiou. 1999. Taiwan: a Democratizing Strategic Culture. In Ken Booth and Russell Trood, eds. Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific Region. (London: Macmillan Press), 57. Hung-mao Tien, "Taiwan's Transformation", 140-41.  Z Ibid  201  Tun-jen Cheng. 1993. "Democracy and Taiwan-Mainland China Ties: A Critique of Three Dominant Views." Journal of Northeast Asian Studies 12:1 (Spring), 73. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 151.  66  and others to decide on a plan o f action for the next phase in the R O C ' s democratization, preferably one that would be acceptable to all parties i n v o l v e d .  202  The  issue o f the senior legislators was ultimately addressed by the suggestion that it be put to a Council o f Grand Justices. The justices ordered all life-tenure legislators to step down by 31 December 1991. For its part the D P P , not satisfied with the changes, continued to push the K M T to move more quickly and to enact farther ranging objectives including direct popular election o f the president. The D P P also began promoting the idea that Taiwan should rejoin the United Nations. These positions enjoyed strong support and the K M T was eventually forced to adopt them in order to remain competitive. The K M T Nonmainstream faction, on the other hand, believed that Lee's concessions to the opposition were an abandonment o f the party's traditional commitment to political stability and Chinese nationalism and that he was moving the R O C toward an independent Taiwan. Unhappy with Lee's accelerated pace o f reform, a conservative faction calling itself the N e w K M T Alliance ( N K A ) demanded that the party align itself more closely with a pro-unification stance and punish the D P P for openly advocating independence. Lee, however, recognizing that most Taiwanese did not approve o f strong unificationist language and that they would oppose attempts to  I b i d , 153. I b i d , 153.  67  crack down on the opposition. Accommodating the N K A ' s demands "would run the risk o f alienating the majority o f native Taiwanese voters."  204  Lee's faction eventually came to see Hau and his conservative followers as an electoral liability. In M a y o f 1993 Lee sacked Hau as premier. In response, N e w K M T Alliance and K M T Nonmainstream supporters announced their intention to form the Chinese N e w Party (NP), with a platform calling for, among other things, greater economic integration with China and fealty to Sun Yat-sen's ideology. Although downplaying their support for unification, N e w Party members were well known as among the islands strongest supporters o f unification.  205  Although the loss o f the N e w  Party members reduced the K M T ' s majorities in the National Assembly and the Legislative Yuan, it also cleared the way for the Mainstream faction to begin addressing the final step toward democratization, direct election o f the president.  206  Another key aspect o f President Lee's approach was the entrenchment o f members o f his "Taiwanese faction" into positions o f power within the Party and the government, reflecting a shift in the composition o f the Party as a whole. A s Laliberte writes, "In 1969, 60.6% o f K M T members were mainlanders, by 1992, 69.2% o f party members were Taiwanese, including the President, Prime Minister and Chairman o f the  Tun-jen C h e n g and Y u n g - m i n g H s u . 1996. "Issue Structure, the D P P ' s Factionalism and Party Realignment," in Hung-mao Tien, ed. Taiwan's Electoral Politics and Democratic Transition: Riding the Third Wave. ( A r m o n k , M . E . : Sharpe), 152. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 167. I b i d , 182.  68  Legislative Y u a n . "  207  Institutions in general began reflecting an ethnic breakdown closer  to that o f the actual population.  3.4 Pacts and Negotiation Following G i l l , we should at this point expect the regime to seek a compromise or pact with the opposition in order to regain control over the democratization process. Indeed this is what occurred in Taiwan. But in order to understand the notion o f a pacted transition we must have an understanding o f what each side brings to the table and what incentives or disincentives they have compromise with their opponent. For the K M T , a relative lack o f upheaval during the key periods o f the reform process allowed it to proceed at an orderly pace rather than simply opening the flood gates and hoping for the best. The party therefore saw elections and incremental liberalization as a way to improve its own legitimacy while at the same time retaining control o f the process, bringing the opposition into the political process, and reducing the threat o f insurgency. For the opposition, the primary asset they brought to the table was, "popular support, expressed through elections."  208  Elections provided a relatively safe way to  spread their message o f reform and expand their influence. Even i f the elections were primarily symbolic, " I f the opposition perceives that it has some chance o f gaining a foothold in the power structure through the electoral process, it may well choose to  Laliberte, "Between T w o Nationalisms", 11. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 10.  69  "play the game."  209  A s victories are achieved at the polls, the opposition's commitment  to the electoral process (and hence the legitimacy of the regime) increased. Elections were certainly a safer avenue than the use o f protests and mass demonstrations, as evidenced by the Kaohsiung Incident. Additionally, the public was unlikely to strongly oppose the suppression o f large-scale demonstrations as, "most Taiwanese agreed that these activities threatened public order and stability at a time when Taiwan could ill afford internal weakness."  210  A s Rigger notes, "For all but the most hard-bitten  dissidents, this combination o f carrots and sticks inspired moderation."  211  Elections  were also one area where the K M T could not simply shut the opposition down. Although many forms o f protest and dissent received little sympathy from the Taiwanese people, "elections were a fundamental, institutionalized component o f the R O C political system,"  212  and therefore provided the best opportunity for expressing  displeasure with the regime. The idea o f a "pact" is most explicitly expressed by the fact that, for the K M T , acceptance o f the D P P as a legal opposition party was contingent on three conditions: no use o f violence, no advocacy o f separatism and no support o f communism.  213  The  idea o f a pact can also be seen in the formation o f the N A C in 1990 to resolve important constitutional disagreements and develop an agenda for future reforms, particularly  2 0 9  2 1 0  2 1 1  2 , 2  213  Ibid., 14. I b i d , 113. I b i d , 181. I b i d , 10. Haggard, "The Political E c o n o m y o f Democratic Transitions", 295.  70  issues relating to Taiwan-mainland relations.  214  The N A C held more than 100 meetings  throughout Taiwan in addition to regular sessions in Taipei, resulting in four major points o f agreement: 1.) repealing the Temporary Provisions; 2.) reforming the Legislative Yuan by devising a way to force the "senior legislators" to retire; 3.) apportioning some seats i n the legislative Yuan along party lines to replace the seats held by representatives o f mainland districts; and 4.) to hold a popular election o f the president, although it was not decided i f this would be a direct or indirect election.  2 1 4  Hung-mao Tien, " T a i w a n ' s Transformation", 137.  215  CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSIONS: DEMOCRATIZATION, NATIONALISM AND WAR  Having examined the internal and external dynamics o f a modern democratic transition we are now in a better position to take a more critical look at Mansfield and Snyder's theoretical argument and the conclusions they put forward about the dynamics at play in a democratizing state. In order to examine the idea of nationalism, central to Mansfield and Snyder's argument, we must have a clearer understanding o f what this concept mean in the Taiwanese context.  4.1 Nationalism in the Taiwanese Context Firstly, nationalism in Taiwan does not take a single form but instead takes a variety o f forms, including a variety o f overlapping positions. Central to any discussion of nationalism in Taiwan, however, are the issues o f independence and identity. It is possible, to think o f nationalism in Taiwan as, what Buruma calls, "the clash between Taiwan's new nationalists and China's old Nationalists."  216  However this implies that  the distinction is primarily between the old Chinese Nationalists in the "Nationalist Party" (the K M T ) and the new (Taiwanese) nationalists o f the D P P , a characterization which, partly due to Lee Teng-hui's transformation o f the K M T , no longer applies. A m o n g the reasons why this is no longer the case is the fact that many o f the K M T ' s  2 , 5  2 1 6  I b i d , 137. Buruma, " T a i w a n ' s N e w Nationalists", 79.  72  hardline "Chinese Nationalists" split off to form the Chinese N e w Party in 1993 and, in the wake o f the 1996 presidential elections, the most radical wing o f the D P P split off to form the Taiwanese Independence Party (TAIP) in 1997,  217  making it more difficult  to characterize the D P P as the party o f Taiwanese nationalism (in the sense that Taiwanese nationalism means independence). Secondly, i f we take a Western social science perspective as our starting point in analyzing the political situation in Taiwan we are likely to see it as a "nationalist conflict." A s Rigger writes, Nationalist thinkers look at national identity from the perspective o f ethnicity theory. In essence, they see Taiwan's national identity debate as a struggle between Chinese nationalism (zhonghua minzu zhuyi) and Taiwanese nationalism (Taiwan minzu zhuyi) which must be resolved i f Taiwan is to achieve stability and coherence as a modern nation-state. Resolving the struggle requires choosing between unification, the position advocated by Chinese nationalists, and independence, the Taiwanese nationalist's preference. 218  The essential problem with this approach, is that most Taiwanese are not nationalists, nor do they wish to vote for people who take such positions on issues o f identity and independence, nor do they necessarily want the independence issue "resolved." A s Rigger writes, ...when it comes to geographical identity, in which history plays an important role, Taiwanese are twice as likely to link themselves to the mainland as to assert a separate identity. A n d they are even more likely to view themselves as "Chinese," an ethnic and cultural category. But when it comes to politics, there is a strong consensus that Taiwan should be autonomous  2 1 7  2 1 8  2 1 9  Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 169. Shelley Rigger. 1999. " S o c i a l Science and National Identity: A Critique," 1999-2000), 539-40. Ibid., 549.  2 1 9  Pacific Affairs  72 (Winter  73  So, do people on Taiwan see themselves as Chinese or Taiwanese? Confusingly, "we now know that most Taiwanese believe they are b o t h . "  220  Does this constitute an  "identity crisis"? Not necessarily. Rigger argues that the unification/independence dichotomy is a false one and that most Taiwanese understand this and that this is reflected in their voting. It may be plausible that the way this issue has been constructed on Taiwan is strongly related to the influence o f Western social science on Taiwanese academics and political leaders. Even this, however, has been argued in Western social science terms. For example, Taiwanese social scientist, Chiang I-hua, argues that, ...most Taiwanese support the status quo because most Taiwanese are not nationalists, but liberals. They do not accept the need for correspondence between the nation and the state; on the contrary, they believe that the essence of the state is its ability to protect the rights o f its citizens and facilitate democracy. 221  It may be the case that, rather than being Western-style liberals, most Taiwanese simply believe that "the boundaries o f the state are less important than the nature o f the state. Thus, they can imagine Taiwan as part o f a democratic China, or as a separate democratic country."  222  The goal o f the average Taiwanese voter then is not an  independent Taiwan based on Taiwanese ethnic nationalism, but the perseverance o f Taiwanese autonomy. If improved relations with Beijing " w i l l ease cross-strait tensions and strengthen Taiwan's autonomy, then most Taiwanese w i l l support continued negotiations. If Beijing pushes too hard toward Taiwan's annexation, a majority o f  74  Taiwanese could come to see independence as their best bet for preserving autonomy."  223  Whatever the "true" nature o f Taiwanese political culture, one pattern which can clearly be observed is how Taiwan's electorate has systematically rejected candidates, parties and factions who espouse a nationalistic view (of either type) or a "solution" to the R O C - P R C situation. This electoral reality has resulted in a convergence on issues o f identity and independence by the mainstream factions within both the main parties and a steady reduction i n support for candidates, factions and parties with nationalistic positions and platforms. A s Rigger notes, both the main parties now, "emphasize preserving Taiwan's de facto autonomy and eschew the declaration o f formal (de jure) independence. B y taking this position, the parties have finally brought their policies into line with the preference o f most voters."  224  This pattern can be seen in several  different elections where issues o f independence and identity came to the forefront, particularly the 1991 National Assembly elections, the 1992 Legislative Y u a n elections, the 1994 mayoral election in Taipei and the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. Nationalism and Democracy in Taiwan O n the eve o f the 1991 National Assembly elections, a D P P convention amended the party platform to state that "the formation o f an independent sovereign Republic o f Taiwan with the establishment o f a new constitution must be decided upon  2 2 1  2 2 2  2 2 3  Chiang 1-hua quoted in Rigger, "Social Science and National Identity: A Critique", 548. Rigger, "Social Science and National Identity: A Critique", 548. Ibid, 550-51.  75  by all Taiwan inhabitants through a plebiscite."  225  This bold move immediately  prompted the infamous response from P R C president Yang Shangkun, warning that "those who play with fire w i l l be burned to ashes."  226  Undeterred, the D P P went ahead  with the change. The maneuver could however be considered an act o f intra-party political strategy, rather than blind folly, on the part o f D P P moderates. If the party formally ran a campaign with such an unambiguous position on such a key issue it would, in effect, become a referendum on D P P policy. In this way the issue o f independence within the party could be resolved outside the party, ensuring that future debates on the issue would be argued with clear knowledge by all o f voters reaction to the policy position. A s Rigger writes, " I f the voters rejected independence, D P P moderates would be able to put the debate within the party to rest."  227  In the election, held in December 1991, the K M T won an unqualified victory trouncing the D P P by receiving 67.72 percent o f the votes castand 254 seats. In contrast the D P P received only 22.78 percent o f the vote and 66 seats, a weak performance considering it won nearly 30 percent o f the popular vote in 1989.  228  As  Rigger writes, voters "quickly revealed themselves more frightened than inspired by the D P P ' s bold drive for independence."  2 2 5  2 2 6  2 2 7  2 2 8  2 2 9  229  Within the larger story o f the election lies an  Quoted in Hung-mao tien, "Taiwan's Transformation", 136. Quoted in Hung-mao Tien, "Taiwan's Transformation", 137. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 156-57. Quingguo Jia. 1994. "Toward the Center: Implications of Integration and Democratization for Taiwan's Mainland Policy." Journal of Northeast Asian Studies 13:1 (Spring), 60. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 157.  76  even more nuanced rejection o f nationalism on the part o f the voters. A s Quingguo Jia writes, "Not only did the voters opt for the K M T with unusual enthusiasm despite the fact that it had a pro-unification mainlander as the premier, they also dumped many radical pro-independence D P P candidates. Including L i n Cho-shui who is known as the theoretician o f Taiwan independence within the D P P . "  2 3 0  Moderates in both parties  were bolstered by the results o f the 1991 elections. The vote convincingly demonstrated the need for the D P P to, "shed the image o f an outsider party obsessed with Taiwan independence."  231  A n d instead work harder at proposing, "realistic and responsible  solutions to problems that mattered to ordinary Taiwanese."  232  Never again would the  D P P embrace independence the way it did in 1991, choosing instead to focus on opposing unification and emphasizing the drive for a U N seat. The results o f the 1991 elections cannot, however, be taken as an indication o f strong support for the cause o f Chinese unification. A s Tun-jen Cheng argues, despite the presence o f several prominent conservatives in the K M T campaign, the parties strong showing can primarily be attributed to the popular rejection o f the D P P ' s radical positions and the fact that the K M T election strategy, "was based on their mobilization of voters in the military residential compounds and their smart campaign for public policy, rather than the cause o f national unification, a theme actually downplayed during the campaign."  2 3 0  2 3 1  2 3 2  2 3 3  233  This same pattern o f rejecting extreme nationalistic views was  Quingguo Jia, " T o w a r d the Center", 61. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 160. Ibid. Tun-jen Cheng, "Democracy and T a i w a n - M a i n l a n d C h i n a Ties", 80.  77  repeated in the 1992 Legislative Yuan elections, albeit with the positions reversed. With the radical separatist option having been repudiated in the previous election, the D P P was free to adopt a much more mainstream and electorally appealing platform. The D P P campaigned i n terms o f "gradual development" on the straits issue and was able to put the K M T on the defensive by putting much more emphasis on practical issues such as corruption in government, growing inequality in Taiwan society, environmental problems, and other issues which had a more direct impact on people's everyday lives.  234  The election, held i n December 1992, saw the fortunes o f the two parties  reversed. This time around the K M T managed to receive only 53.03 percent o f popular votes and 94 out o f 161 seats, a 21.71 percent drop in support from the pervious year. The D P P , on the other hand, won 31.03 percent o f the vote and 51 seats, its best result to that p o i n t .  235  The first ever direct presidential election was held on M a r c h 23, 1996. The K M T candidate was popular Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui while the D P P decided to nominate the formerly exiled 1960s independence hero Peng Ming-min. Despite an attempt by the P R C to intimidate voters, the results were a clear and unambiguous show o f support for Lee and his policy o f "pragmatic diplomacy." The relatively unknown and untested Peng was dealt a devastating rebuke, receiving only 21.1 percent of the vote to Lee's landslide 54 percent. The magnitude o f the defeat led both to  2 3 4  2 3 5  Quingguo Jia, " T o w a r d the Center", 61. Jurgen Domes. 1997. "Electoral and Party Politics in Democratization." In Steve Tsang and H u n g -  mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong K o n g : H o n g K o n g University Press), 55.  78  apologies from D P P chairman Shih Ming-te and eventually to the formation o f a new independence-minded party under Peng. A s in the legislative elections, the D P P quickly learned its lesson and returned for the next round o f elections with a new strategy. A s always, the primary disadvantage that the D P P took into the 2000 presidential campaign was the public's perception o f it as "a dangerously radical political force,"  236  due to its historical  association with Taiwan independence. A s Rigger writes, "Given Beijing's repeated promises to use military force to prevent Taiwan's permanent separation from China, Taiwanese voters understandably were reluctant to entrust the D P P with national power."  237  While the D P P appears to have made a significant tactical mistake in  recruiting Peng for the 1996 campaign, the party selected a more moderate candidate for the 2000 contest, former Taipei mayor Chen Shui-bien. In his 1994 mayoral campaign Chen had distinguished himself among D P P politicians by dropping the traditional party slogans o f political reform, corruption and identity and replaced them with the "fresh themes" o f hope, optimism and efficiency.  238  Chen also stood out among D P P  candidates in 1996 when, after a group o f Taiwan Independence extremists nearly torpedoed his campaign with inflammatory separatist rhetoric, he publicly and  Shelley Rigger. 2000. " T a i w a n ' s Turnaround." Current History 99:638 (September), 280. Ibid. Shelley Rigger. 1997. " T a i w a n Rides the Democratic Dragon." Washington Quarterly 23:2 (Spring), 111.  79  vehemently repudiated their p o s i t i o n .  239  This approach proved popular as Chen won  the hard-fought race with 44 percent support. Becoming mayor o f Taipei was one thing but becoming the first ever D P P president o f the R O C would be a much more difficult task. N o matter what position Chen took on any issue, he simply "would not w i n unless he could convince the voters that he was capable o f maintaining peaceful ties with Beijing. Otherwise, even Taiwanese who had chosen D P P candidates for local offices would be unwilling to hand the reins o f national power to a D P P candidate."  240  When attacked by both the K M T  and C C P agitators on the mainland, Chen stressed the D P P position that, because the R O C is already an independent state, there is no need to declare independence or make any changes to the constitution. He also declared that he would only initiate a referendum on independence i f Taiwan came under attack from the P R C . Surprisingly, many o f Chen's proposal's concerning the mainland appeared more moderate and accommodating than those o f K M T candidate L i e n Chan, including a proposal to open direct trade and transportation links to the mainland.  241  Throughout the campaign, Chen made numerous statements aimed at calming fears about cross-strait relations. He summarized these commitments in his inaugural address, enumerating "Five Nos": no declaration of independence, no change in the Republic o f China name, no revision o f the constitution to include any, "special stateto-state" theory, no referendum on independence, and no abolition o f the National  2 3 9  Rigger,  Politics in Taiwan,  172.  Unification Guidelines. A l l five commitments hold as long as the People's Republic o f China does not use force against Taiwan. After the June 2000 summit meeting between North and South Korea's leaders, Chen went even further, inviting Chinese President Jiang Zemin to join him at a similar event.  242  In the end Chen was able to overcome the  doubts o f many o f the soft D P P supporters and on election day received 39 percent o f the popular vote. Due to vote splitting between popular former K M T provincial governor James Soong (who was tainted by a corruption scandel that broke during the campaign) and Lee Teng-hui's preferred successor, former vice-president L i e n Chan (who was perceived by many as ineffective, too conservative and leading the party in a dangerously pro-unification direction ). Chen's 39 percent was enough to elect him 243  president o f the R O C - the first time the D P P had managed to capture a branch o f the government. DPP-KMT Convergence The obvious result o f the electorates consistent rejection o f extreme positions on nationalist issues is that the two parties have increasingly begun to resemble one another in matters of identity, independence and unification. While the mainstream o f both parties were closely associated with Chinese nationalism and Taiwanese nationalism respectively only a decade ago, this is clearly no longer the case. A s Rigger writes, the parties "have begun to converge on a moderate approach to the national  2 4 0  2 4 1  Rigger, "Taiwan's Turnaround", 281. Ibid.  81  identity problem. While the parties continue to pay lip service to polarized positions (the K M T still calls for unification, while the D P P advocates independence), their concrete policy recommendations increasingly support the status q u o . "  244  The  establishment o f the Taiwan Independence Party, and the corresponding movement o f the rest o f the party toward a consensus with the K M T at the National Development Conference in December o f 1996, was seen as a strong indicator that the mainstream wings o f both parties would henceforth attempt to keep the issues o f independence out of electoral politics as much as possible.  245  A s early as 1994, D P P party President Shi Ming-de openly admitted that the K M T ' s views on national defense and foreign affairs had been converging with the DPP's.  2 4 6  There is even evidence to suggest that, during the democratic transition, the  Formosan faction o f the D P P entered into a dialogue with Mainstream K M T reformers to build a broad coalition o f activists to lead the democratic reform.  247  There is also  some indication that, in the era o f president Chen, many K M T legislators whose policy positions are close to those o f former president Lee are unhappy with L i e n Chan and are now being courted by the D P P , as evidenced by the widely bi-partisan make-up o f Chen's cabinet and political appointments. Chen's foreign, cross-strait affairs, and  Shelley Rigger. 2001. "Taiwan's Perilous Transition." Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Notes, June 6, 2001. Rigger, "Social Science and National Identity: A Critique", 538. Christopher R. Hughes. 1997. "Democratization and Beijing's Taiwan Policy." In Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press), 143. Wong, "The Impact of State Development...", 185. Hung-mao Tien, "Taiwan's Transition", 143.  82  defence portfolios - as well as the head o f the Mainland Affairs Council, are all held by officials with strong K M T ties.  248  4.2 Assessing Mansfield and Snyder's Argument Widening the Political Spectrum If we analyze the Taiwanese Case in reference to Mansfield and Snyder's theoretical argument we see many similarities but also several fundamental differences. Democratization in Taiwan very clearly did create a "wider spectrum o f politically significant groups with diverse, incompatible interests."  249  From a regime completely  dominated by the K M T , and particularly its ruling elite in the Central Standing Committee, to a free-wheeling democracy with a wide variety of political actors and interests, including several significant political parties and an array of civil society groups, this aspect o f democratization cannot be denied in the Taiwanese case. O n the issue o f these groups having incompatible interests there is also little doubt that this in fact was the case. I f one party advocates unification with the mainland and another calls for an immediate plebiscite on independence (the early 1990s senario), these are apparently incompatible interests. Inflexible Interests and Short Time Horizons Mansfield and Snyder see inflexible interests as assets which "cannot be readily adapted to changing political and economic conditions."  250  While certain individuals and  interests during Taiwan's transition fit this description, they tended to be peripheral to  2 4 8  Rigger, " T a i w a n ' s Turnaround", 282.  83  the changes that took place and had little ability to halt or manage their progress. Part o f the problem here is that Mansfield and Snyder take a very limited view o f "interests," i.e. property, influence, access to patronage, etc. A l l o f these are interests which almost exclusively affect elites, a group which by definition is very small. While it is true that democratization has been bad for business as far as old-style political corruption goes (particularly now that President Chen has set up a special prosecutors' office to investigate the practices o f Taiwan's "black gold" - politics including bid rigging, bribery, kickback schemes, and vote b u y i n g ) the beneficiaries o f corruption seem to 251  have had an extremely limited ability to slow or halt the pace o f change. Since corruption tends to nearly always be a hot issue with voters successful politicians, particularly those new to the system, w i l l tend to take increasingly tough stands on this issue as democracy continues to be consolidated. A n interest o f the type that Mansfield and Snyder fail to consider, but which had important effects on the progress o f democratic reforms in Taiwan, is contacts across the strait and access to the mainland. A s contacts across the strait expanded through the 1980s, a large number o f Taiwanese developed vested interests in their continued and expanded access to the P R C . These interests are not only business and financial but also concern such things as access to relatives as well as cultural, travel and leisure opportunities becoming increasingly important to Taiwanese, not only in terms of business interests but also family and leisure interests as well. The expansion o f  Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger of War", 5.  84  contacts across the strait means that these interests are now not only "inflexible" on the Taiwanese side but for the P R C as well. A s V a n Kemenade writes, in the wake o f Lee Teng-hui's comments in the summer o f 1999 about "state-to-state" relations between Taiwan and the P R C , Taiwanese businessmen in Fujian province were visited by top provincial officials. To their surprise the officials were not there to issue threats or rebuke Lee's comments but to provide, "assurances that their interests would not be harmed i n any way by a potential fallout from Lee's statehood claim and asking them not to "flee." One businessman was quoted as saying that the provincial officials were more nervous than the Taiwanese themselves, not about imminent war but about the Taiwanese abandoning their investment projects."  252  Fundamental interests like peace  and stability tend to benefit virtually all parties involved. A s Rigger writes, "Preserving peace in the Taiwan Strait is a prerequisite for all o f Taiwan's other goals. Without a peaceful relationship with China, Taiwan's economy w i l l not grow, its people w i l l not feel secure and its international ties w i l l not expand."  253  Peace and stability, like access  to the mainland, is an example o f a vested interest on which voters are very "inflexible" and are not willing to let the extreme views o f politicians on either side o f the nationalist divide set the agenda.  0 1 2  Ibid, 27-28. Rigger, "Taiwan's Turnaround", 283. Willem van Kemenade. 2000. "Taiwan, voting for trouble?" Washington Quarterly 23:2 (Spring), 146.  85  Competitive Mass Mobilization Competitive mobilization is also problematic when looking at the Taiwanese case. While both the K M T and D P P employed election strategies o f mobilizing large numbers o f supporters behind their parties this, strictly speaking, is not strictly what Mansfield and Snyder are referring to. Mansfield and Snyder argue that "In a period o f democratization, threatened elite groups have an overwhelming incentive to mobilize allies among the mass o f people, but only on their own terms, using whatever special resources they still retain."  254  This scenario more closely describes what Rigger calls the  K M T regime's era o f "mobilizational authoritarianism." She characterizes this by stating that, "a major function o f elections was to facilitate mobilization; that is, participation that was controlled by the ruling party."  255  The period o f "mobilizational  authoritarianism" in Taiwan, however, primarily occurred before the democratization process got under way in earnest. The co-opting o f Taiwanese political leaders into the K M T may have been on the party's terms initially, but these same candidates quickly began to transform the party that co-opted them. A Taiwanese politician led the K M T by 1988 and the Taiwanese faction had consolidated its leadership over the party by 1993. Clearly this is not the kind o f elite manipulation o f mass groups that Mansfield and Snyder refer to. Although the party retained many o f its "special resources" (patronage, organizational networks, media control, etc.) well into the 1990s ( i f not the present), the special resource the K M T hardliners did not have was electoral support in  Rigger, " T a i w a n Rides the Democratic Dragon.", 114.  86  large numbers, thus quickly allowing their opponents to gain control o f the party and begin setting the agenda in a way which was inimical to their interests. Weakening Central Authority Mansfield and Snyder describe weakening central authority as a situation where "autocratic power is in decline vis-a-vis both the elite interest groups and mass groups, but democratic institutions lack the strength to integrate these contending interests and views. Parties are weak and lack mass loyalty. Elections are rigged or intermittent."  256  This was clearly not the case in Taiwan. Although autocratic power was in decline, democratic institutions were very successful in bringing a variety o f groups and interests into the political process and allowing them to present their viewed to the public. The two main parties received the overwhelming number o f votes in elections where participation rates routinely exceeded 7 0 % .  257  Additionally, elections were for  the most part free and open and almost never cancelled. A l l o f these factors greatly served to increase the authority o f the central government rather than weaken it. The charge that democratization weakened the authority o f the central government to advance a coherent policy toward the mainland is also unproven. A s Tun-jen Cheng writes, " T o the extent that Taiwan's policy toward the mainland was anarchical, it was probably due to the political elites' preoccupation with regime change and power transfer within the K M T . A s soon as the new leadership under President  2 5 4  255  2 5 6  2 5 7  Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger o f War", 28. •  Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 3. Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger o f War", 40. Rigger, Politics in Taiwan, 148-177.  87  Lee consolidated its power, a three-layer institutional framework dealing with mainland policy was established in late 1 9 9 0 . "  258  Lee's three pronged approach included the  creation o f the National Unification Council ( N U C ) , the Mainland Affairs Commission ( M A C ) , and the Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF). The N U C is a non-partisan advisory organ attached to the office o f the president which provides guidelines, reconciles different views, and regulates the pace o f the development o f relations with the mainland. The M A C is attached to the cabinet and makes mainland policy according to the guidelines set by the N U C . Policies are executed through the S E F , nominally a private association but which is in fact delegated official authority. A s Cheng writes, "overall the institutional capacity in managing the mainland affairs has greatly improved."  259  Squaring the Circle/Integrating Opposites The issue o f weakening central authority is closely related to the ability o f a state's institutions to reconcile competing or contradictory claims in a peaceful way and thus mitigate the open (violent) conflict which would likely otherwise prevail. Although Taiwan's institutional arrangements thus far have little experience in dealing with a situation o f divided government (a D P P president and a K M T legislature), the primary institution for reconciling competing claims, both between parties and within them, is democracy itself (elections). A s Cheng writes, democracy, "...provides a legitimate institutional device, probably the only peaceful method, to attempt to deal with the  2 5 8  Tun-jen Cheng, "Democracy and Taiwan-Mainland C h i n a Ties", 83.  88  most sensitive and volatile issue o f Taiwan's independence versus its unification with the mainland."  260  Democracy in Taiwan has given parties a "...political market to  periodically test their 'products',"  261  and as such, democratic institutions in Taiwan  have meant that it is not necessary to integrate opposites in order for a stable government to be created. Because both parties realize that their ability to form a legitimate government is dependent on the support o f the voters, they have voluntarily converged on a moderate position, while more nationalist factions have consistently seen their vote shares reduced. Prestige Strategies Mansfield and Snyder state that, "One o f the simplest but most risky strategies for a hard-pressed regime in a democratizing country is to shore up its prestige at home by seeking victories abroad."  262  The possibility o f a Chinese invasion or another type  of military conflict with China has virtually eliminated any chance o f the R O C government adopting a prestige strategy (of the type which Mansfield and Snyder refer to) as a way o f dealing with domestic legitimacy issues. Because Taiwan's foreign relations are so dominated by the presence o f the P R C any "prestige" strategy would primarily be concerned with the R O C ' s recognition by other states, international bodies or organizations, possibly against the wishes o f the P R C , a strategy which might be popular domestically but could carry considerable risks.  2 5 9  2 6 0  2 6 1  2 6 2  Ibid. Ibid., 74. Ibid., 85. Mansfield and Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger o f War", 33.  89  Upon coming to power in 1988, Lee Teng-hui began adopting a new pragmatic diplomacy approach to foreign relations. He sent the governor o f the Central Bank to the annual meeting o f the Asian Development Bank ( A D B ) in Manila in 1988 and again sent a delegation to the meeting in Beijing a year later. The R O C developed diplomatic relations with Grenada, Bahamas, Liberia and Belize in 1989 and Nicaragua and Lesotho in 1990. The R O C applied to become a member o f the general Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( G A T T ) and in the summer o f 1993 appealed for a return to the U N . President Lee also visited many foreign states, including the U . S . in 1995, greatly increasing Taiwan's international profile.  263  The P R C response to Lee's pragmatic diplomacy was an all-out effort to block Taiwan's entry into international organization and undercut Taipei's remaining diplomatic ties. In 1996 China convinced both the Association o f South East Asian Nations ( A S E A N ) Regional Forum ( A R F ) and the Asia-Europe Meeting ( A S E M ) to pass membership rules that essentially disqualify Taiwan by requiring sovereignty as a minimum qualification. Despite this, Taiwan continues to actively seek membership 264  in a variety o f international bodies including the U N . A s Rigger writes, "Domestic political considerations make it impossible for the R O C government to abandon pragmatic diplomacy; according to surveys taken in 1997, about 70 percent o f  2 6 3  2 6 4  Chyuan-jeng Shiau. 1997. "Civil Society and Democratization." In Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press), 111. Yun-han Chu. 1997. "The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation." In Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien, eds. Democratization in Taiwan: Implications for China. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press), 155.  Taiwanese want their government to pursue international relations even i f doing so damages cross-straits ties."  265  However, this should not be perceived as an issue which  could potentially put China and Taiwan on a war footing, as evidenced by China's move to reassure investors after Lee's "state-to-state" comments. Actions outside o f a declaration o f independence are unlikely to have military consequences. Democratic Reversals The dominant feature of Taiwan's democratic transition is probably the smoothness and continual forward progression o f the changes being achieved while at same time maintaining relatively low levels o f conflict. Unlike other democratizing states such as South Korea, the R O C did not experience military coups, routine cancellation o f elections, or presidential assassinations. Democratization in Taiwan followed a steady and gradual progression, culminating in the election of an "opposition" candidate as president in 2000. This lack o f reversals may be written off as "lucky," but i f we recall the argument o f Gleditsch and Ward from Chapter 1 we can see that the scenarios they describe as having a significant reduction on the risk o f war ("shared power between the executive and legislature, each largely staffed by officials pressured by public opinion," reforms which "bring with them constraints on the executive branch of government," etc. ), we see a number of parallels to the 266  contemporary Taiwanese situation. These could this be some o f the reasons why the democratic transition in Taiwan was so peaceful relative to many other states but these  2 6 5  Rigger,  Politics in Taiwan,  191.  91  factors alone cannot explain why Mansfield and Snyder's argument is not generalizable to the Taiwanese case. Their primary argument, that introducing democratic competition ultimately increases militant forms o f nationalism, simply does not exist in this case - and likely does not exist in many others as well. Increase in Militant Nationalist Sentiment ? This brings us to the key question o f whether or not democratization in Taiwan led to an increase in the kind o f militant nationalist sentiment which Mansfield and Snyder believe makes democratizing states more likely to be involved in war. One fact that is clear is that, "Democracy broached the issue o f national identity, allowing the D P P to preach Taiwan independence and the non-mainstream to push for unification."  267  Without democracy it is very unlikely that these nationalistic positions  would have been thrown into the center o f public debate in the way that they were. But unlike what Mansfield and Snyder would predict, it is also very unlikely that, were democratic elections not introduced at all levels o f the R O C government, these issues would have been dealt with in the decisive way that they were and moved to the periphery o f public debate. Without democracy, radical nationalist "solutions" o f both types would likely continue to simmer just below the surface, waiting to be exploited by potential demagogues in a moment o f crisis - a situation that is markedly more dangerous then the current one which is both pragmatic and predictable.  Ward and Gleditsch. "Democratizing for peace," 59. Tun-jen Cheng, "Democracy and T a i w a n - M a i n l a n d C h i n a Ties", 82.  92  This predictability is derived primarily from the fact that, "it is now impossible for any deal to be struck with the mainland that does not command the popular support in the i s l a n d . "  268  In any current or future negotiations between the two, policy w i l l not  be able to simply be set by the leadership o f the party in power but w i l l have to take into account the preferences o f the electorate, Cheng, following Robert Putnam, argues that, "when negotiating with authoritarian regimes, the delegate from democratic countries can credibly argue, "I would like to, but I cannot."  269  While China is unlikely  to accept such constraints in the short term, their long-term effect appears to be unavoidable. Some o f the domestic constraints placed on R O C leaders, such as the support for a continuation o f pragmatic diplomacy, may be characterized as "nationalistic" but in no sense is this the nationalistic dynamic outlined by Mansfield and Snyder. Unlike the sorcerer's apprentice, the mass allies o f the K M T and D P P , once mobilized, have not pushed the R O C toward dangerous and provocative foreign policy positions or actions but instead have made it politically impossible for leaders to do anything which is not in line with the views o f the majority o f voters, views which by-and-large have tended to be quite moderate. While this insistence on democratic accountability may outwardly seem to have a negative effect on straits relations, recent evidence shows that  W o n g , "The Impact o f State Development...", 185 Tun-jen Cheng, "Democracy and Taiwan-Mainland C h i n a Ties", 84.  93  President Chen has actually "led Taiwan away from the cliff o f cross-strait relations."  270  A s Rigger writes,  Beijing's failure to follow through on its earlier threats has already enhanced Chen's standing with the Taiwanese people. To an electorate fearful o f war, China's lukewarm reactions so far are a relief; at the same time, Chen is in line with public opinion when he refuses to accept Beijing's terms for beginning negotiations. In short, Chen already has made more "progress" on cross-strait relations than most voters expected. 271  N o w that Taiwan has firmly institutionalized its method o f authorizing cross straits policy, the ball has largely been placed in the P R C ' s court. Conclusions About the Taiwan Straits, War, and Nationalism on the Mainland While we can rest assured that Mansfield and Snyder's argument is not generalizable to a wide variety o f states across time and space, we can be particularly confident that it does not apply to the Republic o f China on Taiwan - a case in which democratic elections appear to have an effect opposite the one described by Mansfield and Snyder. Having established this, what insights can be drawn from this analysis concerning the future o f cross-Strait relations? In 1996 Ian Buruma wrote that, in the wake o f the presidential election on Taiwan, "Beijing in losing political face. Taiwan has a democracy while Beijing has nothing but force."  272  Five years later this is true to an  even greater extent as the R O C presidency has now successfully been transferred from the ruling party to the opposition while China remains trapped in the same political and economic contradictions it has faced since the late 1970s.  2 7 0  2 7 1  2 7 2  Rigger, "Taiwan's Perilous Transition." Rigger, "Taiwan's Turnaround", 284. Buruma, "Taiwan's New Nationalists", 78.  94  Rigger has noted that many o f the politicians in the new D P P administration, "believe that China's domestic political conflicts make it impossible for Beijing to respond favorably to Taiwan's concessions."  273  Those studying the possibilities o f  conflict or peaceful resolution o f the Taiwan Straits issue should now shift their attention to the domestic politics o f the P R C , as it is that state's internal political struggles which w i l l decide the future o f the Taiwan Straits dilemma. Taking a theoretical approach similar to the one outlined by G i l l , we should only expect to see significant movement on the Straits issue for China i f moderate reformers are able to wrest power from the current generation of P R C leaders. While elements o f regime disunity may be apparent in China, substantial liberalization and the development o f a civil society seem unlikely at this point. A s Chen writes, although, "The locus for decision-making in the post-Mao era has shifted from the politburo and its standing committee to the party secretariat and the inner circle o f the state council, supported by increasingly professionalized technocrats and research institutions,"  274  there is still no institutional framework able to successfully "integrate opposites." A s he writes, "while authoritarian regimes can suppress internal dissent, democracy is a device for consensus to emerge form b e l o w . "  275  This ability for consensus to emerge  from below is the primary factor which allowed for a relatively peaceful democratic transition on Taiwan. The lack o f such mechanisms in China mean that any future liberalization of the political system could have much less peaceful results.  2 7 3  Rigger, "Taiwan's Turnaround", 284.  95  This inability for consensus to emerge under the current institutional arrangements in the P R C therefore presents a potentially volatile and extremely dangerous situation. This situation would however, contrary to Mansfield and Snyder, would likely be improved rather than worsened by democratic reforms, providing that stable democratic institutions could be established or built out o f the preexisting authoritarian institutions as happened on Taiwan. A lack o f institutional avenues for citizens to make their preferences know and clear to their government as well as the military elites could have a profound effect on government policy and on divisions within the regime. It appears that at least some substantial differences o f opinion exist between the civilian and military leadership at this point, particularly over sensitive nationalist issues like Taiwan. A s V a n Kemanade writes, "The assumption is that Jiang, after the death o f Deng Xiaoping in 1997, had consolidated his authority over the military and has persuaded the generals to refrain from any military intimidation."  276  But despite the current show o f restraint, circumstantial evidence suggests also shows that although, "For the time being, the civilian leadership has the final say,"  277  it is  widely believed that "the Chinese military still favors a hardline approach towards Taiwan and considers war inevitable in the mid to long t e r m . "  278  In the event o f a power  struggle for leadership in the P R C it is conceivable that a hardline nationalist approach to Taiwan could be a powerful card that more than one faction might seek to play.  2 7 4  2 7 5  2 7 6  2 7 7  Tun-jen Cheng, "Democracy and T a i w a n - M a i n l a n d C h i n a Ties", 85. Ibid. V a n Kemenade, " T a i w a n , voting for trouble?", 137 Ibid., 135  96  There is also some evidence that a sorcerer's apprentice may be struggling to become free of it's master in mainland China. Recent evidence shows that decades o f nationalist oriented propaganda in China appears to have created a large and enthusiastic audience for militant nationalistic messages. When the state-run China Business Times News Weekly bragged on 11 August 2000 in a two-paged spread that, "war could break out any day and that Taiwan's resistance would not last longer than five d a y s "  279  sales  of the newspaper immediately quadrupled to over 400,000. It appears that, "this kind of drumbeating is genuinely popular in the upsurge o f post-Kosovo, anti-western nationalism that prevails in C h i n a . "  280  But in the wake o f the A p r i l 2001 U . S . "Spy  Plane" incident, the nationalist drumbeating may have reached an uncomfortable levels for the C C P elite, as evidenced by their decision to discourage and subdue displays o f anti-American nationalism, rather than encouraging them as they did in the wake of the bombing o f the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.  281  A n open political power  struggle or another such political crisis could potentially provide the necessary scenario in which competing factions within the P R C would seek to employ the kind o f nationalist strategies that Mansfield and Snyder refer to in their effort to quickly gain the support o f mass allies. Although it is unclear whether this situation is at all likely in China at this time, the preceding analysis o f the R O C clearly shows its impossibility in democratic Taiwan.  2 7 8  2 7 9  2 8 0  2 8 1  Ibid. Ibid., 143. Ibid. " W h i t e House Says it Sees Some Hope to E n d Standoff,"  New York Times,  A p r i l 6, 2001, p . A l .  97  Ironically, Mansfield and Snyder's theoretical argument seems much more applicable to the P R C , a state which is not generally perceived as having moved very far in the direction o f democratic governance, than a democratizing state such as the R O C . This leads one to suspect that a revised version o f their article ought to be given a new title, perhaps, "Weak Legitimacy and the Danger o f War," or some similar claim. While a claim such as this is not likely to drum up the same kind o f controversy and attention as the original article, it would likely be much more reflective o f the actual dynamics at work. In order to more properly examine the relationships between democratization, nationalism and war in contemporary A s i a it is clearly insufficient to study the democratic transition on Taiwan alone. Taiwan has often been referred to a sui generis among states and few generalizations can be made from its experience, especially where international issues are concerned. The Republic o f Korea ( R O K ) presents an interesting counterpart to the R O C for studying questions o f democratization, nationalism and war. Both states have a longtime hostile rival rooted in the legacy o f their respective civil wars, both have a long history o f U . S . involvement in their internal and external politics, and both have been involved in long and arduous struggles to achieve a democratic form o f government. 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