Revisiting Taiwan's semi-presidentialism at a critical juncture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Semi-presidentialism has become a popular constitutional choice of nascent democracies since the early 1990's. The core features of the system are a directly elected president and a prime minister who leads the cabinet and answers to the parliament. Taiwan fulfilled the requirements of semi-presidentialism by 1997 and joined this constitutional club of more than fifty countries. However, as there are a wide range of operational possibilities that semi-presidentialism demonstrates in different countries, one could not be sure of what subtype of the system Taiwan would end up with when it first adopted it. A semi-presidential country is forced to choose a subtype when it faces incongruence, i.e., when the presidential party fails to control the parliament and the inherent tension in the system erupts. This study concentrates on the president's appointing power as the most important indicator of the sub-system of semi-presidentialism in which the country finds itself. He may be a broker in quasi-parliamentariamism, a partner in alternation, an imposer in compromise, or a commander in presidential supremacy. This chapter applies this model to Taiwan and finds that "presidential supremacy" has been the primary system. It then concludes by considering possible reform to counteract the tensions in this form of government.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaiwan
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironmental, Political and Social Issues
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781536198713
ISBN (Print)9781536198379
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2021


  • Legislative Yuan
  • Premier
  • President
  • Presidential supremacy
  • Semi-presidential
  • Taiwan


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