Szu-chien Hsu

Szu-chien Hsu

President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

Dr. Szu-chien Hsu has assumed the position of the President of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) since June 17 of 2016. He has a view to make TFD a more dynamic and engaging organization in supporting and deepening democracy both within Taiwan and around the region.

Dr. Hsu earned his Ph. D of political science from Columbia University. Before he served at TFD, Dr. Szu-chien Hsu was an Associate Research Fellow of Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica in Taipei, and the Director of the Center for Contemporary China at the National Tsinghua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Dr. Hsu’s research in recent years focuses on Chinese politics and cross-strait relations. One of his recent publications is an edited Chinese book, “The Big Chess Board for Xi Jinping: the Limits of the Transformation of a Post-totalitarianism.” He also has published book chapters such as “A Tale of Two Party States: Comparing Authoritarianism across the Taiwan Strait,” in Guoguang Wu and Helen Landsdowne, eds. (forthcoming), and “Whither the Local Autonomy under the ‘China Model’? The Political Economy of China’s 2008 Stimulus” (co-authored with Hans Tung), in TK Leng and Yushan Wu, eds. (2014).

Dr. Hsu has also been actively involved in many civil society organizations and activities. He has been the representative for the Taipei focal point in the Northeast Asian Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). He has served as board member for the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan and Taiwan Democracy Watch.


Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

As changes in technology, society, and economy bring new challenges to democracy, we definitely need new approaches to ensure that people’s participation will not be hindered by these challenges. Innovations in participatory democracy will help us to discover solutions to new challenges and to establish a “self-learning democracy.”


What do you hope to see at the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference?

We hope to find clues to address the following questions: When conflicts between participatory democracy and representative democracy arise, how should we deal with it? How to motivate people to take part in participatory democracy? How to ensure that the voices of minorities be heard? How do we broaden participatory democracy to be more inclusive?