Incubating Democracy with Civic Technology: The Case of G0V Community in Taiwan

Dr Li-chia Lo

The University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Collaboration, share, and collective action can be summarised as the open culture widely adopted by the community of civic hackers. Due to the connection with the development of information technology, civic hackers focus on utilizing and integrating open data from the government. Their strategy of public engagement via civic technology is aimed at enhancing government transparency and responsiveness as well as increasing public awareness mobilizing participations. This paper aims to evaluate the achievements, contributions, and limitations of public engagement via civic technology by looking at G0V, a community of civic hackers in Taiwan. By using digital ethnography, discourse analysis and semi-structured interview, this paper argues that this highly creative, collaborative, and decentralised community has been reshaping strategies of political participation, restructuring ways of political mobilization, and redefining the government-society relationships in Taiwan.  G0V is an online community and platform formed at the end of 2012. According to their website, their mission is using “technology in the interest of the public good, allowing citizens easy access to vital information and power to shape the civil society.” Based on the open source culture, participants can join and create their own projects and make the best use of government data.  This paper will talk about the evolutions of this community and representing projects grown out of this community. Later, I will assess the impact of on Taiwan’s democracy and its potential expansion to Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region.


Dr Li-chia Lo received his PhD from School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne in 2018. His doctoral thesis deals with the development of deliberative democracy in China. His broader areas of interest include critical theory, democratic theory, China studies, and Taiwan studies. He is currently working on publishing his doctoral thesis. Meanwhile, he just started a new project on comparing developments of deliberative democracy in China and Taiwan.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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