"How East Asians Understand Democracy"

"How East Asians Understand Democracy"

Friday, 14 March 2014 - 5:00pm
Venue: 
Pavilion Room, Fourth Floor, Gateway Building, St. Antony's College
Speaker(s): 
Professor Yun-han Chu (National Taiwan University and Aacdemia Sinica)
Convenor: 
Dr. Ming-Chin Monique Chu
Series: 
Taiwan Studies Seminar Series

Abstract: I try to resolve the anomaly that in East Asia the diffuse regime support for third-wave democracies are much lower than that of non-democratic regimes. Based on Asian Barometer Survey, I offer three possible explanations – conception of democracy, regime performance, and competing national priorities – and present preliminary empirical evidences to substantiate these explanatory claims. Our empirical data also suggest that East Asians support democracy overwhelming only as an ideal, but not democracy in practice. There exists a big gap between the promises and the realities of democracy in the eyes of the citizens.

About the speaker: Yun-han Chu is a Distinguished Research Fellow of Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica and Professor of Political Science at National Taiwan University. He serves concurrently as president of Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. Professor Chu received his Ph. D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and joined the faculty of National Taiwan University in 1987. He was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University in 1990-1991. He served as Director of Programs of the Institute for National Policy Research, Taiwan’s leading independent think tank, from 1989 to 1999. Professor Chu specializes in politics of Greater China, East Asian political economy and democratization. He has been the Coordinator of Asian Barometer Survey, a regional network of survey on democracy, governance and development covering more than seventeen Asian countries. Prof. Chu was former president of Chinese Association of Political Science (Taipei) in 2002-2004, a member of the International Council of the Asia Society between 2001 and 2007, and a member of the Council of American Political Science Association (2009-2011). He was recently elected an Academician of Academia Sinica, the country’s highest academic honor, in July 2012. He currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Democracy, China Review, Journal of Contemporary China, International Studies Perspectives, and Journal of East Asian Studies. He is the author, co-author, editor or co- editor of fifteen books. Among his recent English publications are How East Asians View Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008), Citizens, Elections and Parties in East Asia (Lynne Reinner, 2008), Dynamics of Local Governance in China During the Reform Era (Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc, 2010), and Democracy in East Asia: A New Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).