A reasonable balance of law and sentiment: Social order in democratic Taiwan from the policeman's point of view

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Taiwan's political democratization has engendered a contradiction in its legal regime: consolidation of rule of law at the macro-institutional level is matched by the persistent marginalization of legal authority in ground-level social practices. This article uses an ethnographic study of neighborhood police to explore certain practical and structural elements involved in maintaining this contradictory sociopolitical order. I examine some of the processes through which state authority is invoked and applied to the policing of public space, focusing on the ideals of legitimacy that animate these processes. The argument of the article is that historical and cultural factors embodied in contemporary Taiwan's "idea of police" - exemplified in the trope of a balance between reason, law, and sentiment - are crucial to understanding how solidification of the rule of law within state institutions is kept within the boundaries of a social sensibility that does not take law as the last word.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-698
Number of pages34
JournalLaw and Society Review
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A reasonable balance of law and sentiment: Social order in democratic Taiwan from the policeman's point of view'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this