The Preparatory Office of the Institute of Political Science was launched in August 2002. Its first director was Yu-Shan Wu, a political science professor Academia Sinica recruited from the National Taiwan University. Following the time-honored tradition of Academia Sinica, the highest research institute in the Republic of China, the Office was to serve as the foundation on which a full-fledged institute would be launched at a later time. The average “preparation” period for the institutes in Academia Sinica is about 9.4 years. During this period of time, the preparatory office functions pretty much like a fully-launched institute, except that an academic consultative committee exerts great influence over the personnel policy and research agenda of the office, in order to make sure that solid foundation is laid for the future institute. The Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica (IPSAS) was formally launched in August 2012, exactly ten years after the birth of its preparatory office.
The extended period of preparation served IPSAS very well. The Academic Consultative Committee headed by Academician Fo Hu mapped out the overall direction for the institute, monitored and supported its development, reviewed its recruitments, and periodically checked its performance. IPSAS was strongly endorsed by the Academia Sinica’s President Yuan-Tseh Lee and Deputy President Cyrus Ching-Yi Chu at its initial launch in 2002, and later on by President Chi-Huey Wong and Deputy Presidents Ts’ui-Jung Liu and Fan-Sen Wang. Between 2002 and 2007, IPSAS was accommodated in two “host” institutes, the Institute of Modern History and the Institute of European and American Studies. Then it moved to the new Humanities and Social Sciences Building that housed five institutes and two research centers. The move was a significant development for IPSAS as it gained much more space and facilities to expand its research.
As IPSAS expanded on its research team, successfully explored research frontiers, steadily built its international profile, and demonstrated impressive performance in key areas, the Academic Consultative Committee contemplated a plan to fully launch the institute. A proposal for that purpose was passed unanimously by the Committee in June 2011, and submitted to the Academy for final approval. That approval came in October, as both the Academy Meeting and the Council strongly endorsed the full launch of IPSAS. The final seal of approval came from the Presidential Office, under which Academia Sinica is placed, in August 2012, just in time for IPSAS to celebrate its tenth anniversary together with is formal launch. Yu-Shan Wu continued serving as director of the institute, and Fo Hu convener of the Academic Advisory Committee. IPSAS entered into a new chapter in its development.
The mission of IPSAS is to advance knowledge with an eye on the major issues that the country is facing. Realizing the high expectations of the academic community and the society at large, IPSAS has devoted itself to cutting-edge research that bears on political development of the country. The formal launch of IPSAS brings greater responsibilities and challenges. We shall spare no effort to meet them, and in so doing further advance political science research in Taiwan.