¡@Research Centers¡@
In the recent years, cross-disciplinary integration and research has been the Department¡¦s focus. The Department has established the following centers and workshops: Center for Globalization Studies, Center for Legislativeure Studies, Center for EU Studies, Center for UN Studies, Metropolitan Governance Studies Center, Workshop for Human Rights and Democratic Teachings.
1. Center for Globalization
¡§Globalization¡¨ was first coined in the early 1960s. Until 1980s, the term was neither in popular nor academic vernacular. However, since 1990s, ¡§globalization¡¨ has become a slogan, appearing in various newspapers, magazines and media, and often being mentioned by entrepreneurs, statesmen, politicians, academics, experts, and even the unemployed. So, from being little known to becoming everywhere, ¡§globalization¡¨ became a very important subject of research.
For more information about the center, please see here.

2. Center for Legislative Studies
Since the emergence of democratic ideas in the 17th century, representative democracy has been a critical part of the democratic ideas. The purpose of representative democracy is to ensure the will of the people is expressed through legislators, as well as implemented. Since democratization, in Taiwan, legislature became an important political instrument. However, at present, the Taiwanese public have been disappointed by the legislature, and continued to call for reforms. Despite the implementation of new election rules and the streamlining of the legislature since the 7th legislator legislative election, it is uncertain whether such changes will further the democratization process and representative democracy in Taiwan. Therefore it¡¦s our job to keep paying attention to, observing and monitoring the legislature.

The establishment of a specialized Center for Legislative Studies is the realization of such objective. Employing long-term, scientific method to monitor and analyze the operation and performance of Taiwan¡¦s legislature, analyzing through databases the impact on the legislative process of political parties, committees, and procedure committee, comparing between Taiwan¡¦s law-making body with that of other countries, and offering critiques and suggestion to the Legislature. Changes in the foreign and domestic systems, election results, rise and demise of political parties, and various international events all have potential impacts on the legislative behavior and results. Therefore there must be a non-partisan research institution like ours that conducts systemic, long-term monitoring of the legislative body. Aside from sharing research results, we also hope to contribute through our non-partisan academic research to the positive changes in real politics.

For more information about the center, please see here.

3. Center for EU Studies
It has been half a century since the beginning of the European integration. Progress in the areas of deepened economic and political ties has been remarkable: the Euros have been a new generation of hard currency, the implementation of a single European market, competition between EU countries and the United States in international politics. Even though there is great geographic distance between the EU and Taiwan, economic and cultural interactions between them are growing closer. As such, having an in-depth understanding of the EU is critical. Since 2006, as a result of many discussions and meetings, the Department integrated 4 areas ¡V political thought, international politics, comparative politics, public administration ¡V and established the Center for EU Studies, hoping to add another unique feature to Soochow University¡¦s political science department.

The purpose of the Center for EU Studies is to become an academic information and research platform, and through stating the research issues about the EU and looking for a common focus, to establish collaborative relationships for research exchange, to hold keen awareness of domestic and international political development, and to integrate EU-relevant research issues and educational needs. In recent years, the Center has organized various academic seminars, conferences and forums to further exchanges among domestic academics and experts, to increase international dialogues, and to strengthen interactions between domestic and foreign research, in the hope to develop a system of characteristics unique to Soochow University¡¦s political science department and to elevate Taiwan¡¦s academic achievement on the subject of EU.

For more information about the center, please see here.

4. Center for UN Studies
Following the expansion and deepening of globalization, cross-country relationships continue to bond and complicate. The importance of global governance also increased, making necessary the integration between different disciplines. The mission of the Center is to focus on the most influential, largest, most diverse international organization¡X the United Nations¡X and be a leader in the promotion of UN studies in Taiwan, including international dialogues and cross-departmental projects.

The objective of the center is to encourage the planning and teaching of UN-related courses, strengthen UN-related research, systematically collect information on the UN, promote international cooperation and dialogues, organize relevant academic activities, and the administrative support for the aforementioned objectives. In particular, the ¡§UN-related topics¡¨ has three parts: 1) the organization, functions, operation of the UN; 2) topics and issues on which the UN focuses, such poverty, environment, safety, population, and disease; 3) the interactions between Taiwan and the UN, including Taiwan¡¦s application to join.

The Soochow University is an institution that focuses on the humanities, social sciences, and law. The University is well known for its faculty and curriculum. This was an important foundation for the University to promote the establishment of a Center for UN Studies. In addition, in recent years, the University has been developing a curriculum in human rights education and green learning, and following issues and events that the UN considers as high priority, so the establishment of the Center serves as a platform for research/teaching/event exchanges between Taiwan and the UN.

For more information about the center, please see here.

5. Metropolitan Governance Study Center
Since the topics of globalization caught the attention of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, traditional analytic framework focusing on comparative profit, cost or price can no longer explain the competitive advantages of each country. According to the literature of critical mass, locations such as the Silicon Valley in California, Massachusetts Route 128, Third Italy, France¡¦s Toulouse, Rhone-Alpes, and Ile-de-France (Paris), as well as the Science and Industrial Parks in Taiwan¡¦s Hsinchu and Tainan, have continuously focused on product innovation. These locations are also highly competitive in the global trade of branded products.

Many factors contribute to and sustain a location¡¦s unique competitiveness. There must be risk-taken companies willing to invest in various products and market innovation, complemented by public infrastructure, local finance public-private financing, administrative agencies and bureaucratic system. Furthermore, technological R&D, education and training, as well as formal and informal public-private and cross-corporation collaborations are important ingredients. In other words, the competitive advantages of these locations are the results of local politics, economics and social model. Why are these aforementioned locations able to become a long-term and steady critical mass and possess competitive advantages?

A regime is an aggregation of an area¡¦s local politics, economics, and social structure. It determines the fundamental politics, economics, and social personality of a local government or an area. All other individual policy groups or issue networks are built upon this fundamental structure. By extension, the roles, behaviors, and uniqueness of policy groups and issue networks of different areas or locations are affected by the fundamental structure of the relevant locations or areas. So, to understand and clarify the uniqueness of different locations or metropolitan areas, we must understand what are the system and governing characteristics of those metropolitan areas.

Relevant studies on metropolitan governance has become a hot topic within the academic circle of political science around the world. But there is still a high degree of differentiation when it comes to theories and practices. At present, compared to other countries, at both the academic and government levels, in Taiwan there is still a lack of concern about this important topic. There were no relevant research unit or center. So the Center was established to promote globalization as an important area of study and research that deserves long-term focus. Within the globalized network, for a country like Taiwan which must continue relentlessly to strengthen the ability to govern and to accumulate sustaining competitiveness, how it can utilize the competitiveness of various metropolitans of and turn it into capital that pushes Taiwan forward, is important.

For more information about the center, please see here.

6. Workshop for Human Rights and Democratic Teachings
This workshop was established for faculty who specialized in human rights and democracy studies to share and present their research results and teaching methods.
For more information about the center, please see here.