Taiwan and the development of a late-modern military
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This dissertation attempts to contribute to the literature of comparative politics in three ways. First, the study applies Moskos' conceptualization of post-modern military to Taiwan and demonstrates its strengths and weaknesses. Second, it utilizes the indicators in the framework to explain organizational changes in the military and illustrates the association of military transformation with democratization, economic growth, and foreign military assistance in Taiwan from 1949 to the present. Third, the study attempts to show how states with high external threats develop distinctive patterns of civil-military arrangements that shape distinctive major mission definition and force structure. The armed forces of the Republic of China have experienced major organizational changes over the past sixty years. These changes gave evidence of Taiwan's military transformation into a late-modern type. This dissertation seeks to solve the puzzles of how and why the ROC armed forces were able to transform into a late-modern military. Taiwan, like many other non-Western states, experienced democratic transition and economic growth. In addition, however, it has to face an external threat so dynamic that the military had to concentrate on enemy invasion for all times and received foreign military assistance. Based on Taiwan's civil-military evolution since 1949, I proposed four hypotheses to examine the four independent variables democratization, growing economic prosperity, foreign military assistance, and external threat. To determine the association of these factors with the armed forces' transformation, the study employed historical-institutional, quantitative, and interview approaches to triangulate the research questions. For the empirical tests, I presented five relevant dimensions of the dependent variable, military transformation : force structure, dominant military professionals, military service readjustment, military personnel impeachment, and defense expenditures. The empirical findings are consistent with the qualitative outcomes supported by the interview results. Their significance supported the four hypotheses. Key Words: Military transformation, late-modern military, post-modern military, ROC armed forces, civil-military relations, democratization, economic growth, foreign military assistance, external threat.
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