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Taiwan's Democracy Challenged: The Chen Shui-bian Years

Larry Diamond and Kharis Templeman talk about their latest book on Taiwan: "Taiwan's Democracy Challenged: The Chen Shui-bian Years."

At the end of Chen Shui-bian’s two terms as the president of Taiwan, his tenure was widely viewed as a disappointment, if not an outright failure. Today, the Chen years (2000-2008) are remembered mostly for relentless partisan fighting over cross-Strait relations and national identity questions, prolonged political gridlock, and damaging corruption scandals—as an era that challenged, rather than helped consolidate, Taiwan’s young democracy and squandered most of the promise with which it began. Yet as Taiwan’s Democracy Challenged: The Chen Shui-bian Years documents, this conventional narrative obscures a more complex and more positive story.

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