Can g0v International Affairs Really be Open?

Written by chihao. Contributors of g0v started various discussions on international community affairs in late 2018, after the g0v Summit that year and other governance-related conversations some months before that. Like many things in g0v, these efforts to engage with international organisations and people were largely self-initiated. No permission was required since none could be given. However, unlike many things in g0v, there are little to no public records of these activities, such as correspondence, meetings notes, or slide decks. Open collaboration becomes very difficult, if not impossible, without shared documentation of these activities. Also, unlike many things in g0v, some were paid for their role in these international activities. Discrepancies between a paid full-time job and part-time volunteering work further exacerbate the difficulties.

Can g0v Be Replicated Abroad?

Written by Sam Robbins. The best answer is thus that g0v could be replicated abroad, but it should not be. G0v is unique in the specific ways it approaches problems but thoroughly un-unique in being a group of activists dedicated to solving problems. We cannot forget the second part of this when we reflect on the first part. How activists come together to work towards a common goal depends deeply on political contexts. Tech and civil society can collide in a range of different forms. A look at the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) members, a global network of civil society groups promoting equality through information and communications technology, also reveals that many groups are already engaging with digital technology as a liberating tool.

The Bot Fighting Disinformation: The Story of Cofacts 

Written by Billion Lee. Disinformation affects everyone, but everyone can become part of the solution. This is a simple idea that powers Cofacts and many other g0v projects. Although Cofacts has had experts contribute and have worked with other organisations, the fact-checking process is open to all. Disinformation breeds distrust and polarisation, but collaborative fact-checking breeds trust and collaboration. When governments get too involved in fighting disinformation, it can look like an infringement on free speech. That is why it is so important for civil society groups to get involved. The process can be slow: disinformation spreads earlier than fact-checking, but just like the tortoise and the hare, our strength lies not in our speed but our innovation and resilience. Cofacts is fighting the long fight, and it is only possible by creating a structure that is open to anyone and for everyone.

A Hub for Flexibility and Innovation. My Experiences with the g0v Community 

Written by Peter Cui. All projects above were born by the participant under the environment of flexibility, diversity, and vitality. In recent years, we have started a series of works under the project “sch001” to promote the open-source value and g0v society to the students at colleges and senior high schools in Taiwan. I am deeply persuaded that with more younger participants joining the organisation, more possibilities will come true in the next ten years of g0v society. 

Pelosi Baloney or Distractions versus Realities

Written by Ian Inkster. So, China warned of ‘resolute and strong measures,’ and Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan without incident on her way to the rest of East Asia. She may well have infuriated parts of the Chinese regime when she said: ‘Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan – now and for decades to come.’ Nevertheless, there is still no hint of any change in US policy, which will not recognise Taiwan as an independent entity, never mind a nation. No pathway has been opened. Indeed, the Western media made more noise than Taiwan itself.

The Taiwanese Diaspora in Berlin and COVID-19

Written by Jens Damm. With the outbreak and global spread of COVID-19, reports of the stigmatisation of Asian-looking people have been accumulating in Germany and worldwide. Therefore, for a small research project, I chose to conduct qualitative semi-structured interviews with Taiwanese who spent the time of the pandemic in Berlin. I focused on their personal experiences as transnational actors. I asked in particular about personal experiences of discrimination and economic hardships during the pandemic and their evaluation of the different COVID-19 measures in Germany and in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Transition from Zero-COVID to Living- with-COVID-Safely

Written by Chunhuei Chi. Taiwan’s repeated successes in controlling domestic outbreaks, including successfully controlling the new outbreak in May of 2021 by mid-July, ironically contributed to Taiwan’s challenge to move into the transitional phase. This success enabled Taiwanese residents to enjoy a normal life with a low tolerance for domestic outbreaks and caused a unique form of vaccine hesitancy, especially among the elderly. When there is little to no risk of infection, many people associate vaccination with risks and few potential benefits.

Let’s Stop Calling Taiwan a “Digital Democracy” (And Start Telling Better Digital Stories)

Written by Sam Robbins. This is what is at stake with how we tell digital stories: If we focus only on the tech itself and its impressive uses, we risk leaving most citizens feeling like they have no voice on the matter due to a lack of expertise. When we tell stories of civil society collaboration, of how governments are interacting with citizens, and of policies whose ramifications are much greater than the new data they create, we can start to create a space for greater public participation on these subjects.

A Dialogue about Situating Taiwan Research within Academia

Written by T.Y. Wang and Christopher H. Achen. We believe, however, that Taiwan’s distinctness requires focused scholarly attention from those who study it. The academic infrastructure that will make real progress and productivity possible is one in which the study of Taiwan is its own academic specialisation, equal in standing to the study of China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, or any other part of Asia with a distinct identity. In our opinion, the distinct institutional structures for Taiwan studies that have developed should be continued and strengthened. Journals dedicated to research on Taiwan should also be encouraged and strengthened to make them visible and widely cited as flagship publications like China Quarterly.

Divided Reaction to the Ukraine Invasion in Taiwan

Written by Brian Hioe. The Tsai administration has presented somewhat mixed messaging on the invasion of Ukraine. When questioned by opposition lawmakers, officials such as Premier Su Tseng-chang have rejected comparisons between Ukraine and Taiwan, stating that the two contexts are sufficiently different and cannot be compared. On the other hand, President Tsai Ing-wen has said that Taiwan stands with Ukraine as a fellow democracy and has condemned Russia’s actions. Contributions from her administration have included the establishment of a relief fund.

The Soil Where the Sunflowers Grew and Withered.

Written by Ren-Wei Chang. In short, the sunflower movement did not happen randomly. It resulted from decades and years of student collaboration, network building, and growing civil society. This was the ‘soil’ that let the sunflowers grow. If we hope to see another protest like the sunflower movement in the future, we need to ensure that we maintain the soil and keep it fertile for new growth. After all, the erosion of democracy by totalitarianism often begins with a fragile civil society. We cannot let the soil go barren.

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