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2011-10-20
World’s Heavyweight Scholars Gathered to Witness Taiwan’s Democratic Achievements in International Conference on Democracy in East Asia and Taiwan in Global Perspective on August 24-25

To celebrate the 100th founding anniversary of the Republic of China, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) specially entrusted the Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University with sponsoring the International Conference on Democracy in East Asia and Taiwan in Global Perspective at GIS NTU Convention Center in Taipei on August 24-25 to review democratic and political achievements made by the ROC over the past century and look forward the vision for the country’s future democratic development. The MOI noted that 19 distinguished scholars of democracy studies from eight East Asian, European and American countries were invited to witness Taiwan’s achievements of constitutional democracy together with local people in the two-day seminar.

Minister of the Interior Yi-Huah Jiang said the year 2011 marks the 100th founding anniversary of the ROC and the country, being the first democratic republic in Asia, has not only created economic miracle in Taiwan but also won a reputation as the beacon of democracy in Asia because of the achievements of its democratic development. To show the historical depth of the ROC’s political development and let the world see Taiwan, the seminar, with the theme of “democracy in East Asia and Taiwan in global perspective,” was aimed at leading the public and the international community to review the history of the ROC’s democratic development and its importance in the world, while conveying the value of freedom and democracy by discussing the opportunities and challenges East Asia faced when building democracy.

The MOI pointed out that Prof. Larry Diamond, a leading contemporary scholar in the field of democracy studies, and Prof. Francis Fukuyama, a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, are invited to give keynote speeches on “East Asia amid the Receding Tide of the Third Wave of Democracy” and “The Historical Pattern of Political Development in East Asia” respectively in the seminar. Larry Diamond is presently a professor of Sociology and Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution as well as the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and supervises the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. At Stanford, he teaches courses on democratic development. Francis Fukuyama is a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and he is best know for his book “The End of History and the Last Man,” which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies may signal the end point of humanity’s socio-cultural evolution, and the theory with far-reaching influence has been subject to lively discussions up to now.

Other heavyweight scholars invited to present papers include Prof. Pippa Norris, the McGuire Lecturer in comparative politics at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University who has served as the director of the Democratic Governance Group at the United Nations Development Programme; Prof. Marc F. Plattner, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and co-director of the International Forum on Democratic Studies; Stephan Haggard, the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor at San Diego Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California and director of the Korea-Pacific Program at UC San Diego; Benjamin Reilly, senior visiting professor at The Johns Hopkins University and professor of policy and governance at Australian National University; and Minxin Pei, who was an adjunct senior associate in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is the director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at the Claremont McKenna College.

The MOI noted that this seminar is expected to be very exciting because, in addition to two keynote speeches, there are panel discussions on the six topics: East Asia in the global context of democratic development; system, culture and democratic consolidation in East Asia; political and economic analysis of democracy in East Asia; challenges faced by democratic development in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia; prospect of mixed form of government in East Asia; and Taiwan’s role in the democratization of mainland China. The Ministry said domestic and foreign experts and scholars in the field of political science, students of relevant university departments and graduate schools, and those who are concerned about Taiwan’s democratic development are welcome to participate in the international conference.


 
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