Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Murray Scot Tanner

Second Advisor

Dr. William Ritchie

Third Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In recent years, Taiwan's political development has attracted the attention of western political scientists interested in democratic transitions in authoritarian states. Many theories have been suggested to explain Taiwan's rapidly political progress. But, these theories, which have mainly focused on socio-economic and cultural factors, are insufficient, and provide only a partial explanation for Taiwan's democratization. This thesis argues that we must also probe the developmental history of Taiwan's opposition and its strategies in its struggles with the ruling party -- Kuomintang (KMT.)

Since Taiwan's mam opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), presents as an indigenous party, it will be necessary to stress the importance of ethnicity in Taiwan's politics. Without the dynamic of ethnicity to elicit sympathy among Taiwanese people, integrate them into a collective power, and help them finally establish an opposition party, Taiwan might well still be an authoritarian state today; an authoritarian state enjoying high economic growth like Singapore, but nevertheless an authoritarian state.