The establishment of the Institute of Public Affairs Management was inspired by similar developments in several of the world’s most advanced democracies. Since the 1980s, it has become increasingly common for leading universities around the world to combine the study of economic, social, and political aspects of regional development into a unified institute or department. Taiwan is gradually catching up with the developed democracies, and one aspect of this development is that the interrelations among governmental and private sector organizations are becoming increasingly complex. It is therefore desirable to combine a thorough knowledge of public affairs with established management practices when addressing the many problems that are related to public welfare.
The first head of the Institute of Public Affairs Management, Professor Wang Ming-sheng, pioneered the development of public affairs management in Taiwan. When the Institute was founded in 1992, it was the first entity of its kind in Taiwan. Initially, the Institute offered a master's program for full time students and a non-degree program for executives in the government.The educational mission was extended in 1998 to include a doctoral program. The vision of the Institute is to integrate methodologies from management and the social sciences in order to develop a new set of tools that will be useful for managing the design and implementation of Taiwan’s public policy.
To meet the needs of national and local development, the Institute offers students a choice between environmental management and metropolitan development as the main focus of their studies. These two themes represent the two main areas of expertise of the Institute and are descriptive of its teaching, research, and outreach objectives.
The Institute combines a general focus on public policy with a special emphasis on urban and environmental affairs. Moreover, it pursues policy-relevant research while employing established methods from the management field. Professors at the Institute also view the management of non-profit organizations as a relevant aspect of its overall competence. Key words and phrases in its research and teaching profile include “environmental management,” “urban and regional development marketing,” “community renaissance,” “urban renewal,” and “civil society.”