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2018 International Conference on Solutions to Global Democracy Crisis
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2018 International Conference on Solutions to Global Democracy Crisis was held by the Department of East Asian Studies and Canadian Trade Office in Taipei on July 7th. Prof. Erik Kuhonta from McGill University, Prof. Hans Hanpu Tung from NTU, Prof. Roberto Foa from the University of Melbourne and researcher Tao Wang from the University of Manchester have discussed the topics of democracy from different aspects. Vice President Sung Yao Ting, Deputy Director Mr. Michael McCulloch of the Canadian Trade Office gave some welcome remarks. Director Chiang Bo Wei from the Department of East Asian Studies the hosted the closing part.
Vice President Sung Yao Ting quoted from 'The End of History and the Last Man' by the prestigious Stanford Professor Francis Fukuyama, saying that the world has gone through the third wave of democracy in the past decades. The western world is confident in liberal democracy. However, as the trend of democracy lost attention, people started to wonder whether democracy fits all countries. In the crisis of the downfall of democracy, Taiwan has been a significant player in democracy.
Deputy Director Michael McCulloch said that it's true that currently there are crises of democracy around the world and it takes long-term management to build a democratic country. Taiwan is the pioneer in democracy in Asia. When he goes back to Canada and introduce Taiwan to his friends, he often talks about the democracy of Taiwan. Prof. Erik Kuhonta from the Department of Political Science, McGill University talked about Southeast Asia in Political Science, using Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines as examples. Prof. Hans H. Tung from the Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University talked about the curse of a dictator and the crossroad of democracy. Prof. Roberto Stefan Foa from the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne talked about deconsolidation of democracy: what leads liberal democracy into crises? The world has moved from the cold war to a stable, democratic society. However, as populism rise, the western world lost trust in their parliament and the general public started to think that democracy is hazardous to the development of the society. He concluded that the global financial crisis, the clash of civilizations, the disparity between the rich and the poor, and the sovereignty disputes of many countries are reasons to this. He also mentioned how social media has influenced people's thinking in recent years.
Later, three students demonstrated their posters on rights of labor rights, deliberative democracy, and the retrogression of democracy in the post-truth era. Last was a table forum hosted by researcher Tao Wang from the University of Manchester. He led the discussion on current crises of democracy with students from France, China and Taiwan. Foreign scholars are glad that they can know students' ideas through the discussion.
Before and after the meeting, the scholars met with researchers from the Prospect Foundation, Center for East Asia Democratic Studies, NTU, Institute of Political Science at Academia SinicaInstitute of Political Science at Academia Sin and had a fruitful discussion.
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