Sam Crane

Professor Sam Crane teaches Chinese politics and ancient philosophy at Williams College. He is also the author of The Useless Tree blog.

Why the DPP Lost

Two nights ago we went to dinner at the home of Mr. Yao Chia-wen and his wife, Chou Ching-yu. They were both present at the creation of the DPP, early front-line activists in the formation of a viable political opposition and, ultimately, ruling party. Needless to say, they were frustrated by the election outcome. Their […]

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Why the KMT Won Big

Many good points came up this morning at the meeting hosted here in Taibei by the Institute of National Policy Research and LSE. I will not attempt a full review of the various interpretations of the election results but, rather, simply pull out a number of ideas that particularly struck me. One big question was […]

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Election Season in Taiwan

I am in Taibei, part of a delegation sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to observe the Legislative Yuan elections that will take place tomorrow. We got out to two campaign rallies tonight, but before I post those let me provide a bit of background for those who have not been following the action […]

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A China Guy Goes To India (3): Religion

As we were preparing to set off on our India trip last month (earlier posts here and here) , sitting in a local airport, I happened to be reading a story in The Economist which referred to India as “the world’s most religious country.” I let those words flow through my brain and settle somewhere […]

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A China Guy Goes To India (2): Caste and Democracy

Before I jump into today’s topic – caste and democracy – let me just note two newspaper stories that speak to my last China/India comparison. They both deal with the changing role of women in Indian society, which is, to my mind, a critical social dynamic in the interplay of tradition and modernity in India: […]

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