Reforming the Powers of the Police in Taiwan and England and Wales: Comparative Reflections on Research, Politics and Culture

Bill Hebenton, University of Manchester
Lan-Ying Huang, University of Manchester

In Taiwan there have been a number of recent reforms to the legal regulation of police practices, with additional legislative reform imminent. Taking as its point of departure the decade (1990s) of research and debate on the limits and possibilities of law in policing in England and Wales, this paper revisits and analyses the relevance and significance of the themes and tropes of this English account for contemporary Taiwan. The authors project, from this account, the emergent and substantive questions of perspective, politics and methodology onto four themes: (a) the context of knowledge production and reception, (b) the irreducible issues of interpretation of empirical research; (c) the researcher's position in relation to reform (engagement) and the process of change; (d) the significance (or otherwise) accorded in the wider culture to rights and the limits of police powers. The analysis of policing, law and research seeks to capture the variety of causes, effects and meanings and their interaction, rather than reduce these to a single currenty.

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Updated 05/20/2006