The political transformation of Taiwan from an authoritarian regime into a democracy is one of the great political sagas of the 20th century. Defeated on the China mainland, the Kuomintang established a new polity on Taiwan that allowed for four remarkable patterns of political development. These patterns reflect a complex political process of behavioral and institutional change in which the key requisites for democracy now exist in Taiwan. Taiwan's history of citizen participation in direct elections, along with the political institutional changes narrated here by Chao and Myers, produced an unprecedented, peaceful political turn-over of power from the KMT ruling party to the DPP, or Democratic Progressive Party, in March 2000.
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