When democracy becomes its own enemy—the problems of 2018 Public referendum in Taiwan and possible proposals

Taiwan enforced the Public Referendum Act in 2004, however, it has been criticized as “birdcage act” because of its high threshold. The Act was undergone a
significant revision in 2017 and boosted 10 proposals for a public referendum in 2018.
Yet It not only exaggerated the existing social conflicts and distrust, but also invited
criticism to human rights and the he democratic deficit of referendum.
This article focuses on the issues regarding to topics, process of mobilization,
review and debates, effects of same-sex marriage related referendum topics, inquiring
into the complex issues of discrimination, religious involvement and democratic
deficits of public referendum. The development of 2018 referendum indicates that,
without correct and sufficient information, and genuine understanding and
deliberation, public referendum may have the potential to undermine democracy.

Countering “sharp power”: First thoughts on a theory of constitutional security

Recent years have seen China projecting its political and economic might around the
world. Using foreign aids, investment projects and the lure of its vest domestic
market as leverage, China is capable of distorting the public opinion and democratic
process of a foreign state. This author argues that the
concept of militant democracy is not the ideal starting point for building safeguard
mechanisms against “sharp power.” Inspired by Neo-republican
understanding of freedom as nondomination, this author proposes the idea of
constitutional security as an alternative. By emphasizing the importance of
preventing deterioration of existing constitutional standards, the idea of
constitutional security can serve as the theoretical basis of a comprehensive
safeguard mechanism against sharp power.

Constitutional Court and Civil Society in Constitutional Governance: South Korea and Taiwan in Comparison

Courts and civil society are indispensable elements for the development of
democratic constitutionalism. The functions that courts and civil society may provide
for constitutional governance, and most importantly, the interactions between courts
and civil society, have recently attracted attention from comparative constitutional
studies. This research is aimed at understanding the ways that courts and civil society in both South Korea and Taiwan have functioned and how their performances may have impacted constitutional governance.
Specifically, this research is focused on how the constitutional court and civil society
in South Korea and Taiwan have placed their checks with the government and
whether the constitutional court and civil society have –or have not– collaborated with
each other, and what have been the perceptions of each other’s functions and the
relationships between them.