Wealth and freedom : Taiwan's new political economy /
Gerald A. McBeath.
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, VT : Ashgate, c1998.
viii, 288 p. : map.
1840140410 (hardbound)
More Details
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, VT : Ashgate, c1998.
1840140410 (hardbound)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-01:
McBeath (Univ. of Alaska) explores Taiwan's two miracles, one economic, the other political: its transition from poverty to affluence in less than 50 years, and its transition from authoritarianism to democracy in ten. He argues that economy and polity have played inseparably important roles in Taiwan's development. The author demonstrates how wealth (economic success) in Taiwan has affected political pluralism and how democracy has contributed to economic pluralism. The comparison of the political economy of Taiwan with those of its Asian competitors--China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korean, and Singapore--helps to clarify Taiwan's development. McBeath's comparative analysis of state centralization, corporatism, social openness, and even corruption ranking, leads him to conclude that Taiwan's political centralization has been greater than that of the other Confucian states except China. Unfortunately, although he introduces five theoretical frameworks--capitalism, corporatism, pluralism, a world system approach (Taiwan being client state), and a cultural approach (Confucianism)--the author fails to identify which framework best fits the Taiwanese case. Overall, this is a fine, comprehensive study of the Taiwanese political economy since 1949. Recommended for all levels. M. Itoh; University of Nevada, Las Vegas
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1999
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Long Description
Wealth and freedom have been goals of statesmen throughout the 20th century and they have been achieved more nearly in Taiwan than in any other Chinese state system in world history. Taiwan is today one of the wealthiest nations. It is the word's 14th largest trading state, has the third largest foreign reserves and is the sixth largest outbound investor.Fifty years ago Taiwan was one of the poorest nations and its people suffered under martial law for forty years, governed by an authoritarian, Leninist, party-state. Today Taiwan is one of Asia's freest states. Opposition parties contest government policy and may soon displace the Kuominyang regime. Taiwan has a free press and critics of the regime do not face arrest.This book explores Taiwan's transition from poverty to affluence in less than fifty years (its economic miracle) and its transition from authoritarianism to democracy in ten years (its political miracle). It does so by examining the interrelationship between economy and policy. It points to some negative consequences of the conjunction of wealth and power: increases in pollution, in social disorder and in what the Chinese call 'black and gold politics' (influence of organized crime and the super-rich in politics).The book also chronicles the positive consequences, such as the impact of political decentralization - and open politics, where groups and interests freely apply pressure on decision-making - in combating the increasing concentration of economic power. The conflict between the differing directions of economic and political change increase the vibrance and tension in Taiwan's society.The author has studied Taiwan's development for thirty years and has witnessed the growth of Taiwan's democratization. His comprehensive analysis is certain to inform the discussion about Taiwan's domestic political economy and the role Taiwan plays in the changing East Asian order.
Table of Contents
Figures and Tablesp. vi
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Client and Corporate State of Taiwan: 1945-1986p. 18
Transformation of the Party-State in Taiwanp. 53
Pluralism within the Statep. 84
Changing Status of Economic Interestsp. 119
Policy-Making in a Democratic Erap. 149
Taiwan's Internationalization Campaignsp. 186
Comparative Perspectives on Taiwan's Political Economyp. 218
Conclusionp. 246
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 272
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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