As an example, he said the enactment of the Civil Service Administrative Neutrality Act (公務人員行政中立法) prohibits officials, including research fellows in public academic institutions, from engaging in politics, supporting or opposing political parties, political organizations or candidates for public office.This is also true of the ECFA debate -- few academic voices have weighed in on the anti-side, except for individuals in think tanks outside the government system, and retired academics like Kenneth Lin.
The act not only deprives civil servants of their basic rights but also restricts academic freedom, Hsu said, adding that the legislation had a “chilling effect.”
“[I know that] some research fellows have worried that they might be in violation of the act if they publish articles that are critical of the government’s environmental policies,” Hsu said.
Politics aside, one powerful reason that academic voices are silenced is the amazing pressure to publish -- to be in a Taiwan university department is to be in a bathysphere at 5,000 fathoms. The system is such that publications outside one's specialty in newspapers or magazines count for little -- never mind the potential political retaliation they might invite. This pressure to publish is merely the upscaled version of the pressure to do homework students in the K-12 system feel, and has the same effects: one of its political functions is to curb the ability of students to participate in politics, or even develop political leanings, by loading up their time with homework.
- maddog explores Nat Bellocchi's piece on the myth of reduced tensions
- In case you were wondering whether there were secret links between the CCP and the KMT, Su Chi has set our minds at rest.
- Orders for precision machinery up
- China Post on the Zain Dean case. Unfortunately Dean's side has never made it into the media.
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