The development of civil society organizations in post-authoritarian Taiwan (1988-2014)

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This chapter focuses on the specific features and social significance of the “welfare service/philanthropic” non-profit organizations (NPOs) in contemporary Taiwan. The development of civil society, in terms of increasing numbers of non-governmental organizations and NPOs pursuing objectives of philanthropy/service, advocacy/reform, and community development, took off during that time. The historic breakthrough from civil society formation to the challenging of the authoritarian Kuomintang (KMT) party state on various social reform issues was unthinkable during the previous three decades from the 1950s to the 1970s. Under political authoritarianism and martial law rule, Taiwan had no real autonomous civil society sector that could engage in any legitimate or genuine state-civil society dialogue or exchange. The visible mobilization of civil society as represented by the rise of organized social movements and civil protests, many of them contentious in nature, forced the KMT authoritarian state to relax tight political control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Contemporary Taiwan
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781317669708
ISBN (Print)9781138781870
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


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