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Electronic Resources in the Study of Elite Political Behaviour in Taiwan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2013

Jonathan Sullivan*
University of Nottingham. Email:


The objective of this article is to survey the abundance of primary source electronic data, and appropriate methods, which could be used to advance the study of elite politics in Taiwan. Research on public attitudes and voting behaviour has benefited enormously from open scholarly access to systematically collected, reliable data resources. Research on elite political behaviour in Taiwan could similarly benefit from the creation of supplementary datasets derived from electronic primary sources. I argue that the primary resources and methods needed are already in place, for instance, to produce quantitative estimates of the policy preferences and ideological positions of parties and individual political actors over time. A variety of political texts created by political actors at all levels of office (and indeed, in opposition) are readily accessible online. With a small degree of processing, these electronic texts can easily be rendered in machine-readable format for analysis by means of computer-assisted content analysis software. Despite successes in other contexts, these data and methods are currently underutilized in studies of elite political behaviour in Taiwan.

Copyright © The China Quarterly 2013

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