Network Analysis in Policymaking: The Case of Significant Labor Events in Taiwan

Tsai-Chuan Ma
March 2008
Issues & Studies;Mar2008, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p133
Academic Journal
This study examines the application of network analysis to the domain of labor policy in Taiwan. Specifically, it examines the spatial structures deployed and negotiated to achieve collective labor interests within the network of institutionalized power. The dual system of structure and agency are combined in a systematic discussion of policy networks. Notably, the relationship between dependency and resource distribution can be structuralized; however, this relationship is not permanently fixed with regard to labor policy events, which must be understood in dynamic terms. Policy outcomes are determined via dynamic interaction between institutional structures and policy actor behavior. Actor resources and their reciprocal relationships are changed across the events in the diverse network indicators. Different forms of internal spatial interaction between the actors exert influence on the latter's choices, influencing decision-making regarding labor event outcomes. A proposition is developed that integrates network analysis into a power structure framework. Finally, this study proposes that the application of social network analysis should simultaneously consider the plurality of network relationships and the impact of the political context of the power structure of labor policymaking. Network analysis provides a new pathway for reconstructing interaction patterns. The network structure of labor policymaking in Taiwan still conforms to a state-led model.


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