The tripartite links of middle class, civil society and democracy in Taiwan: 1980-2016

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

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This chapter first points out the importance to move beyond the two separate conventional yet popular bilateral links of middle class-democracy and civil society-democracy connections to look into the integrative tripartite links of middle class-civil society-democracy to study Taiwan’s democratization experiences before and after the 1980s. The history of Taiwanese democratic struggle history is then divided into the following four phases: in the 1980s to witness the rise of liberalization, the 1990s which saw the entry of the politicization democratic movements to push for regime change; 2000-2008 to observe the decline of democratic development and setback of further progressive political reforms; and 2008-2016 to witness the second democratic regime shift. The chapter then documents how the progressive new middle-class individuals and groups not only voiced their demands for democratic reforms but also joined, supported, and even organized their respective democracy-related civil society organizations to physically pressure the KMT authoritarian party for democratic transformations since the 1980s. The Taiwan case, to a great extent, has not only confirmed the positive tripartite links of middle class-civil society-democracy, but also clearly demonstrated the necessity to specify the kind of middle class and the type of civil society that could have contributed to the making as well as consolidating of democracy over the course of more than three decades.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMiddle Class, Civil Society and Democracy in Asia
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351054256
ISBN (Print)9781138483675
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2018


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