Research Plan

The Introduction of Current Research Topics

Climate change and energy transition: in a globalized world, Taiwan has faced many challenges in risk governance. We are focusing on the issues of carbon emission, high energy consumption industry, carbon footprint, energy subsidies, petroleum industry subsidies and air pollution by collecting and analyzing relevant foundational statistics and data. With the help of research outcome, we hope to project the trend of energy transition, renewable energy, smart grid and energy efficiency in the future for Taiwanese society. The forecast should be built on the concerns over governance in disasters, environment governance and environment justice.
Green economy and low carbon innovation: following the previous research topic, we deploy the perspectives of green energy and low carbon society to construct the possible vision of low carbon cities, low carbon governance and green economy visions for Taiwan. Production revolution facilitated by the deployment of technology governance can accelerate the march toward a low carbon transportation system and consumption society. We work on the relevant data collection and use it to support policy-based recommendation.
Food security: working on the trans-boundary food scandals, we devise our comparative study of food security and health regulation on different countries through the perspectives of social impact, regulatory scheme and governance. Because of the fact that food market has globalized through free trading expansion, the precautionary principle has different adoption in different countries. The impact of domestic food markets from a food crisis would also be diversified. These all can be studied and analyzed for generating policy recommendation to the Government. The issues included are food contamination, environment hormones, globalized trans-dimensional risks and risk perception over food scandals.
New social risk: Because of the trend of declining birthrate with ageing population, Taiwan has faced serious challenge in labour market, consumer consumption and society security. We aim to conduct international comparative study and local case study to review the possible impact brought by them, hoping the research outcome can inform the better policy options. The issues included are social security, tax scheme reformation, social inequality, high unemployment, uneven wealth distribution and risk distribution in a neo-liberal global trading market. At the same time, we also explore the social innovation side through systematic data collecting on relevant cases such as corporate social responsibility reports. Besides traditional issues, we also put our eyes on the emerging challenges such as the social and economic impact caused by globalization, globalized financial crisis, and inequality caused by generation differences.

Current Research Projects

From Brown to Green: the Crucial Transition in Human Development. A research on energy and social transition in global green economy.
Vision: the tension between economic development, and concerns over environment and health issues often creates huge social confliction in Taiwanese society. While current industrial policies bring incentive and stimulation to the existing production structure, the emergence of green industry is still not around the corner. The problem may result from the structure of current economy and society. The goal of this project is to advocate citizen reflection and participation. By awaking citizens, this project hopes to facilitate the social transition toward green economy.
Research Plan: the Green Economy Initiative proposed by UNEP, and the agenda on sustainable development and green economy in APEC meeting in 2008 have both devised their goal in eliminating extreme poverty, reducing the dependence on fossil-fuel and protecting ecology diversity. These are the immediate challenges facing us in the 21st century. In 2011, UNEP has further issued “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication”, stating the possible pathway to a global resource-efficiency transition, a green economy, by maneuvering 2 % of global GDP to the 10 key economic sectors. The project will be conducted through literature review, discourse analysis and focus group interviews, and also supported by quantitative data and statistical methods. The timetable of the project is as follow: First year, focusing on the context of local policy in sustainable development and transition of green economy. Second year, conducting a social-actor approach research. Third year, aiming at trans-nation comparison.

A Research in Risk Governance and Regulation: The Case of Air pollution in Taiwan.
Vision: this project investigates the emerging risk challenges the Government facing and proposes a new governance model designed for trans-dimensional risk. This model focuses on establishing a deliberation platform which is able to accommodate citizens’ different opinion. More importantly, it also aims to diffuse the knowledge of air pollution prevention and risk to the broader public. This should be done through academic conferences, open workshops and popular social science publications, and points to ignite the reflection in civil society. It aims to the contribution of paradigm shift in sci-tech policy-making and institution innovation.
Research Plan: recently, multiple issues of air pollution campaigned by activist group in Taiwan have raised awareness in public opinion and civil society. Air pollution is the classic problem facing us in a risk society. The matter of air is directly affiliated with life and health, the concrete risk in society. Air pollution and its proper regulation has posed a major challenge to the local government in risk governance. In the traditional regulatory paradigm, air pollution is always only regulated by an environment science advised regulatory institution, which creates distrust and confliction between the government and civil society. Therefore, the issue of air pollution needs a trans-dimensional governance crossing multiple disciplines and government divisions. Through the cooperation and negotiation in trans-dimensional governance, it can tackle the complex problem in sustainable environment, health concerns and environmental education at the same time. Air pollution has posted an immediate problem and needs more deep research right now.

The Enhanced Relation between Sci-Tech Policy, Society and Economy: A Join Research Project with STPI on Sustainable Development and Risk Society.
Vision: this project aims to review the relation between society, state, market and science in a globalized world, exploring sci-tech democratization and its positive influence on tackling the hung situation of sustainability in Taiwanese society. Borrowing from the theory of risk governance and the idea of sustainable development, this project focuses on how to improve the positive circulation between sci-tech policy, society and economy.
Research Plan: following the agenda set by the funding body, STPI, this project will conduct join activity with STPI on the topics of energy, sustainable environment and human resources. The project will follow the tropes below: building the relevant basic research capacity on the topics, identifying the key issues within the topics, selecting the key issues and conducting case study, holding workshops and conference to diffuse research outcome. The project will last for 7 months and will organize issue-oriented workshops, open curriculum for general public and case study reports on the three topics. According to the recommendation made by the funding review panel, the project will have a series of final presentation to demonstrate its research outcome. The detail of the presentation subjects to circumstances, but the maximized diffusing effect is in consideration when it’s in planning.

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