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Force Structure and Conscientious Objectors

Dean Karalekas (Taiwan Center for Security Studies, Taiwan)

Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan

ISBN: 978-1-78756-482-4, eISBN: 978-1-78756-479-4

Publication date: 7 September 2018


Force Structure is an important aspect of the PMMM and helps define the nature of civil–military relations. It is in the realm of conscription that the dimension of force structure finds particular relevance in the Taiwan context. Moreover, while there have been military restructuring projects and programs that have made detailed changes one way or the other, the big picture remains: Taiwan’s is a conscript-based military. Therefore, it is this aspect of force structure wherein the importance of public perception lies, and the results of this research show that attitudes toward military conscription are impacted significantly by self-identification, with the vast majority wanting the ROC government to keep conscription, rather than moving forward with the All-Volunteer Force transformation. In terms of the attitudes toward conscientious objection, results show that the younger a respondent is, the more they support conscientious objection. Moreover, the more supportive a respondent is to women serving in the military, the more they support conscientious objection. Taken together, this would seem to indicate that citizens, especially young people, regard the matter of military service as a choice that should be made by the individual in question – either male or female. Given the fact of conscription, persons with a valid reason for conscientiously objecting should not be forced to serve, or punished if they refuse to do so. Thus it seems that people recognize a need for conscription, whether as a means to promote good citizenship habits among young men, or because of the China threat, but that opting out of such a system should be accommodated.



Karalekas, D. (2018), "Force Structure and Conscientious Objectors", Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-81.



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Copyright © 2018 Dean Karalekas