Introduction

The Program for East Asia Democratic Studies is one of the founding programs of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at National Taiwan University, and is funded under the Ministry of Education’s Aim for the Top University. Project. The Program brings together renowned scholars with cross-national survey experience from both Taiwan and overseas. Applying an integrated research framework and standardized survey procedures, the Program engages in cross-national comparative survey work on socioeconomic modernization, regime transition and democratization, as well as changes in political values across the East Asia region. In 2012, the newly established Center for East Asia Democratic Studies at National Taiwan University took over responsibility for administrative work and implementation of the survey. Over the years, the Program has received funding support from prestigious academic bodies both in Taiwan and overseas, including the Ministry of Education’s “Program for Promoting Academic Excellence in Universities,” the “Plan to Develop First-class Universities and Top-level Research Centers,” the “Program for International Research Cooperation” under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Word Bank, the Henry Luce Foundation, the project on “East Asian Value Change and Global Democratic Development” at the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The Program has engaged in long-term follow up studies on the mechanisms and processes of authoritarian transition and democratization in the region, bringing together thirteen countries and territories in East Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia) and five countries in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka). Through large-scale comparative survey work on democratization in Asia, the Program has gathered empirical data on issues such as political values, democratic legitimacy, political participation, and the quality of democratic governance, producing an in-depth picture of the quality of democratic governance in Asian countries, and providing data for use by scholars from across the globe.

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