Comparative Politics: controversy in the seminar room

November 7, 2006

Today’s Comparative Politics seminar covered the empirically-proven association between economic development and the emergence of democratic regimes.  One of the topics discussed was why countries like Taiwan and Korea had only decided to liberalise their political regimes well after they had become economically developed. 

After the seminar, about six of us were still left in the room, discussing the marks we had received for our summaries of the readings and how we would approach the next week’s readings.  Ma was there, and said to all of us:  ‘I really should have said something in that discussion.’

‘Why?’, we asked.  ‘What’s wrong?’

‘Taiwan is not a country,’ he said.  ‘It is Chinese province!’ 

‘Ahhhh’, we all said in unison.

Best to leave that one well alone.

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