Taiwan in Dynamic Transition
Nation Building and Democratization
- PUBLISHED: February 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian Studies / China, History, Politics
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 256 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 3 b&w illus., 5 charts, 6 tables
- ISBN: 9780295746807
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Following a remarkable transition from authoritarian rule to robust democracy, Taiwan has grown into a prosperous but widely unrecognized nation-state for which no uncontested sovereign space exists. Increasingly vigorous assertions of Taiwanese identity expose the fragility of relationships between the United States and other great powers that assume Taiwan will eventually unite with China.
Perhaps because of their precarious international position, the Taiwanese have embraced cosmopolitan culture and democratic institutions. The 2014 Sunflower Movement thrust Taiwan’s politics into the global media spotlight, as did the resounding electoral victory of the once-illegal Democratic Progressive Party in 2016.
Taiwan in Dynamic Transition provides an up-to-date assessment of contemporary Taiwan, highlighting Taiwan’s emergent nationhood and its significance for world politics. Taiwan’s path has important implications for broader themes and preoccupations in contemporary thought, such as consideration of why political transitions in the aftermath of the Arab Spring have sputtered or failed while Taiwan has evolved into a stable and prosperous democratic society. Taiwan serves as a test case for nation and state building, the formation of national identity, and the emergence of democratic norms in real time.
Authors & Contributors
Ryan Dunch is professor of history at the University of Alberta. Ashley Esarey is assistant professor of political science at the University of Alberta. Thomas B. Gold is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. The other contributors are Ketty W. Chen, Ja Ian Chong, Chia-Wen Lee, Benjamin L. Read, Eric Setzekorn, Rwei-Ren Wu, and Jiunn-rong Yeh.
The volume provides diverse and often impassioned perspectives, which are not often found in English-language academic or policy analyses of Taiwan.- Foreign Affairs
The concepts of nation-building and democratization remain understudied in current comparative and international politics. The book... offers a selection of essays that demonstrate a nuanced evaluation of contemporary Taiwanese politics, providing an alternative explanation of Taiwan’s national identity development.- Pacific Affairs
[A] welcome addition to the growing literature exploring a distinct Taiwanese identity and its political implications.- Choice
Collectively, these essays offer some useful insights into Taiwan’s political transition and democratization.- Chinese Historical Review
Taiwan in Dynamic Transition is a valuable addition to Taiwan Studies that self-reflexively tracks the progress of the field itself. It points to a future when the study of Taiwan nationhood no longer needs to be legitimised and scholars will be freed to assess a wide range of contemporary social and political issues in Taiwan with the detail they deserve.- Asian Studies Review
Makes a useful contribution to our understanding of very salient developments in Taiwanese politics and society that underpin the consolidation of democracy in a Chinese society at a time when democratic values are under pressure globally.- Jonathan Sullivan, University of Nottingham