Reconfiguring the Politics of School Anti-Bullying Policy Making in Taiwan

A Critical Realist Approach

in The International Journal of Social Quality
Restricted access

Abstract

This article explores the formation of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan with the development of democratization, and draws on critical realism to explain how generative mechanisms activate policy making under the operation of party politics within the Taiwanese school system. The article describes the planning and practice of Taiwanese anti-bullying policy, and argues how critical realism can help bridge the gap between empirical analysis and generative mechanisms in critical policy analysis. Light is shed on an empirical inquiry into anti-bullying policy, which analyzes different ideological debates over the policy and power struggles between different policy stakeholders. A crucial attempt is to identify the generative mechanisms behind the anti-bullying policy making and elaborate on how the “generative mechanisms” embedded in Taiwanese top-down governance make social control possible in the schooling system. The conclusion reflects on the possibility of democratic schooling through the critical realist approach and praxis of collective agency for social change and human emancipation between political governance, policy research, and school practice.

Contributor Notes

Ming-Lun Chung is from Taiwan (ROC) and received his PhD from the University of Sheffield for his dissertation on “A Study Of School Anti-Bullying Policy in Taiwan.” He received research funding from the Taiwanese government and conducted his PhD research under the supervision of Alan Walker. His research area is mainly on the sociology of educational policy and democratization of the education system in East Asian countries, and his interests focus on a critical realist approach to educational policy making with reference to politics of school regulation in Taiwan. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK). E-mail: s8980003335@gmail.com

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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