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2011/06/22

Semi-presidentialism in Taiwan

Semi-presidentialism in Taiwan
(Taiwan Journal of Democracy, Vol. 7, No.1: 79-96)

Yu-chung Shen

Key words: Weimar Republic, Taiwan, semi-presidentialism.

Abstract
When a semi-presidential constitution is adopted in a young democracy, there is much discussion about the relationship between semi-presidentialism and the stability of the democracy. The Weimar Republic was one of the original semi-presidential regimes. Although the Weimar Constitution was meant to provide for a parliamentary system, the actual exercise of the Weimar Constitution was consistent with semi-presidentialism. Taiwan is a young democracy that has a semi-presidential constitution. The design of Taiwan’s constitution resembles that of the Weimar Constitution. The first version was a revision of the Weimar Constitution and was primarily parliamentary. However, with the 1997 constitutional revisions, Taiwan’s constitutional structure acquired many semi-presidential features. This essay argues that Taiwan’s constitution was originally inspired by the Weimar model, and with revision in 1997, became very Weimar-like. It attempts to introduce the design, revisions, and functions of the constitution in Taiwan.

Key words: Weimar Republic, Taiwan, semi-presidentialism.



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