Democratic Belief, Cognitive Mobilization and Political Participation in Taiwan

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Conference Contributions - Other
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Tan AC
Tsai C-H

Like many democratic and developing countries, Taiwan has faced declining turnout. For example, the turnout rate of the latest presidential election is 66.27 percent, which is lower than that four year ago by 8 percent. However, the unconventional participation, such as petition, rally, and protest, is widely used. There have been several attempts of recall of legislators that require huge amount of signatures. Students in the Sunflower Movement protested against the trade pact with China and occupied the legislature to paralyze the legislation for weeks in March 2014. To explain why Taiwan citizens have declining turnout rate but shown activism at the same time, it is necessary to unfold the determinants of different types of participation. This research finds the mass belief in democracy influences voting participation and that political interest and political discussion as cognition mobilization are strong predictors of unconventional participation. Moreover, partisanship does not mean much which actually should be the case if cognitively mobilized publics do not take cues from leaders than partisan should be. These empirical findings shed light on the state of democracy and research on participation.

participation, demonstration, political efficacy, social status
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ANZSRC fields of research
Field of Research::16 - Studies in Human Society::1606 - Political Science