label r shifted
Session A1
Remaking Taiwan: Society and the State Since the End of Martial Law
高棣民 Thomas Gold
Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, USA

        My dissertation, Dependent Development in Taiwan (1981) and book, State and Society in the Taiwan Miracle (1986) both addressed issues in the Sociology of Development subfield. In the 1970s and 1980s, the central issue was the debate between Modernization Theory and Dependency-World Systems theory to explain the failure of much of the undeveloped/underdeveloped world to achieve successful economic development or improved standard of living of the populace. Applying Evans’ “triple alliance” approach examining the interaction of the state, domestic private business and multinationals to the Taiwan case, I concluded that the reason for Taiwan’s successful development with relative income equity lay in the role of the KMT state and its relation with society. I became part of the “developmental state” school. With Taiwan’s transformation to a democracy, my interest has shifted toward politics.  While some of Taiwan’s experience confirms Lipset’s “requisites of democracy,” I think that the work of Bourdieu on “fields” provides a more compelling way of thinking about what transpired, namely, that “democratization” should not be seen as an exclusively political phenomenon, but as one aspect of the dispersal of all forms of power (or “capital”) that had been concentrated in the hands of the mainlander KMT to Taiwanese with a different set of priorities and habitus. Society has become empowered at the expense of the state, no matter which party is in power. I argue that this approach can contribute to how sociologists research the process of democratization.