1st Edition

Policing in Taiwan From authoritarianism to democracy

By Liqun Cao, Lanying Huang, Ivan Y. Sun Copyright 2014
    248 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The police in Taiwan played a critical role in the largely peaceful transition from an authoritarian regime to a democracy. While the temptation to intervene in domestic politics was great, the top-down pressure to maintain a neutral standing facilitated an orderly regime change. This is the first monograph to examine the role of the police as a linkage between the state and civil society during the democratic transition and the role of the police in contemporary Taiwan.

    Starting with a brief history of Taiwan, this book examines the development of policing in Taiwan from a comparative, environmental, historical, operational, philosophical and political perspective; considers the role of the police in the democratic transition; and draws comparisons between police cultures in the East and in the West – both now and in the past. Taiwan operates as a modern country within an East Asian culture and this book shows that Taiwan’s move towards democracy may have political ramifications for the rest of the nations in the area. Including references to literature on policing in China and the U.S, this book about Taiwan police may serve as a springboard for academics and students to learn about similar cultures in this important area of the world.

    Policing in Taiwan will be of interest to academics and students who are engaged in the study of criminology, criminal justice, policing studies and Asian studies, as well as the general reader.

    Preface, Peter K. Manning  1. Introduction: The Great Transition  Part 1: Historical Developments  2. Policing under Martial Law  3. Crime Control during the Democratic Transition  4. Policing in the New Century  Part 2: Critical Issues  5. Training, Education, and Promotion  6. Police Culture  7. Police Misconduct and Corruption: déjà vu Experience?  Part 3: Emerging Challenges 8. Female Officers on the Move  9. Policing Socially-Disadvantaged Groups: Criminalization or Victimization?  10. Confidence in the Police  11. Coda: Taiwan’s Conundrum.


    Liqun Cao (曹立群) is Professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada. He also holds an adjunct appointment at Hunan University and has published numerous refereed journal articles. He is the author of Major Criminological Theories: Concepts and Measurement (2004) and co-editor of Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology (2014). His co-authored paper "Crime volume and law and order culture" (2007) won 2008 ACJS Donal MacNamara Award – the best article of the year.

    Lanying Huang (黃蘭媖) is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Criminology at National Taipei University, Taiwan. Her research interests include policing, victimology, and restorative justice.

    Ivan Y. Sun (孙懿贤) is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at University of Delaware. His research interests include police attitudes and behavior, public assessments of criminal justice, and crime and justice in Chinese societies. He has published more than 60 refereed journal articles since 2002 and is a co-editor of Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology (2014). His most recent publications have appeared in Justice Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency and Journal of Criminal Justice.

    ‘Big questions are asked by good scholarly books, and this book helps comparative scholars think more deeply about modernity, justice and democracy through the prism of police development in Taiwan. Well-written and honest in its assessment of policing in contemporary Taiwan, the book is the first detailed treatment of this subject in English; it will remain a landmark publication for many years to come.’ - Bill Hebenton, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester, UK

    ‘The book is substantial, solidly located in historical and political processes in Taiwan and across the region. It reveals the extraordinary difficulties of developing a democratic police force, not only in organizational structures that enhance democratic traditions, but in the development of policies and practices that actually act democratic toward citizens. 

    In the world today, we are discovering that democracy itself is neither as strong nor as inevitable as we once thought. This book gives some insights into the enormous historical roadblocks that impede (and sometimes that facilitate) democratic development, and how the move to democratization is tied to larger societal and regional international forces. This book is helpful, not only for those who are interested in Taiwan, but in the broad topic of democratic development itself: it provides insight and detail into the processes that sustain and threaten democratic policing, the ways it can be fortified, and the constant pressures to relent and let democracy fail.’ - John Crank, Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA

    "This is a must read book not only for law enforcement practitioners and police science scholars, but for sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, and political scientists interested in comparative East Asian studies, as well as for anyone interested in Asian-Western geopolitical issues and influences." - Laurence Armand French, University of New Hampshire, Police Practice and Research

    "Cao, Huang and Sun make a significant contribution to the literature on policing. This is a carefully prepared, well written and informative monograph enriched with recent historical insights on the development of policing in Taiwan. Researchers interested in transnational policing comparisons will find this work extremely useful as a result of the insights revealed. This book will also be suitable for practitioners and administrators who are interested in learning about issues that the police may face during political transition, especially in the context of Chinese societies." - Shun-Yung K. Wang, University of South Florida, Journal of Contemporary Asia