Risky Food: Abstract

“Risky Food: Understanding Potentially Disadvantageous Taiwanese Food Trade Restrictions.”

I plan to research two cases in which Taiwanese fears about the safety of imported food led to trade restrictions. In the first case, fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and the food additive ractopamine led to restrictions on US beef. Restrictions have been ongoing for over a decade. In the second case, Taiwan has instituted and maintained of radioactive contamination of food products from the Fukushima area of Japan, where the 2011 nuclear disaster occurred. While there remains some level of risk with both foods, the danger has been argued to be relatively low. Potentially more consequential is the risk of damaging relations with the United States and Japan, two of Taiwan’s most important partners.

[Read more…]

Part Two: China and the Democratic Peace Thesis

I am in no way an expert on China’s politics. In fact, I never even had the chance to take a course on Chinese politics while I was in high school, and it was a required course for 90% of the students. For research purposes, I ended up looking for materials in the “reddest” parts of the bookstore and library, which was actually quite enjoyable. But then I realized the information I had taken so long to collect was mostly irrelevant to this project, so I tagged the section I wrote on the structure of the Chinese government to the end of this report as an appendix. This part of my project is dedicated to answering the question of whether China is a state that can be considered a “smurf” based on the results I obtained from the first part of my project (see here). This part turned out to be incredibly short, unlike the first part.

[Read more…]

Part One: Smurfs and The Logic of the Democratic Peace Thesis (Academic Clickbait)

The first part of my research landed me in a myriad of tangents, some of which were eventually relevant to the big picture (did you know that Britain and Iceland had militarized conflicts over fish for 20 years, with Iceland threatening to leave NATO each time? And that Britain also helped the Soviet Union attack Finland?), which is my excuse for publishing this blog post so late. See my abstract here for a sense of what I am trying to accomplish. I have added endnotes for irrelevant authorial commentary and to explain logic jargon, of which there is a small amount. Because of the methodology I selected, this report has evolved into a creature longer than any academic paper I have ever written. I was forced to cut corners when I realized that if I continued to review every explanation of the DPT I came across, I would probably not be able to finish my project on time. This is by no means a perfect paper. In fact, it is probably riddled with holes. Consider it an extremely rough draft of a working paper.

[Read more…]

Abstract: Democratic Peace With Chinese Characteristics

For this project, I will be examining the factors contributing to Democratic Peace and whether the People’s Republic of China possesses these factors.

[Read more…]