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By examining the life and thought of self-exiled Chinese intellectuals after 1949 by placing them in the context of the global Cold War, Kenneth Kai-chung Yung argues that Chinese intellectuals living in Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas Chinese communities in the 1950s could not escape from the global anti-utopian Cold War currents. Each of them responded to such currents quite differently. Yung also examines different models of nation-building advocated by the émigré intellectuals and argues in his book that these émigré intellectuals inherited directly the multifaceted Chinese liberal tradition that was well developed in the Republican era (1911–1949). Contrary to existing literature that focus mostly on the New Confucians or the liberals, this study highlights that moderate socialists cannot be ignored as an important group of Chinese émigré intellectuals in the first two decades of the Cold War era. This book will inspire readers who are concerned about the prospects for democracy in contemporary China by painting a picture of the Chinese self-exiles’ experiences in the 1950s and 1960s.
Author: Feng-yi Chu

Abstract

This paper deals with two theoretical dilemmas concerning Chinese and Taiwanese identities in Taiwan: their vague classification and the unclear dynamics of change. By using grounded theory to analyse 110 in-depth interviews, the research identifies three crucial themes behind individuals’ conceptualisations and interactions with the two identities: (1) ethical narrative, (2) cultural hierarchy, and (3) political ideology. Further theoretical comparisons generate a new epistemic framework which understands identity as a discourse of value: identity in its essence is merely a generic idea; only when associated with other discourses of value can an identity acquire full functions such as arousing people’s sentiments and mobilising them to take actions. The theory suggests that Chinese and Taiwanese identities should be regarded as unique generic concepts attached with distinctive values. People seek identity change upon becoming aware that the original identity can no longer represent the values they have dearly cherished and followed.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Author: Richard Madsen

Abstract

A staple of political theory is that democracy depends on a vibrant civil society. What are the indicators of such a society? Is it the number of voluntary associations, their relative independence from government, the content of their activities, their systemic relationships with one another—and/or the way the relationships among these variables are evolving over time? In this paper, I place special emphasis on the systemic relationships among civil society organisations and their evolution over time, and I revisit some of the findings from the book Democracy’s Dharma to show how this emphasis might offer a new perspective on the development of Taiwan’s civil society today.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Author: Chris Berry

Abstract

How do you get people interested in something they know nothing about? Something old, forgotten—and in black and white with subtitles? ‘Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored’ is a project to screen old Taiwanese-language films (taiyupian), mostly from the 1960s, in Europe. It was a learning experience in working with Taiwanese culture in Europe. This report is my effort to reflect on that experience and I try to answer two questions. First, what is so interesting about these films? Second, why was it so difficult to make the initial breakthrough and what made it possible in the end? There are many different elements at play. But I have come to understand that the environment for screening alternative, archive, and art films has changed over the decades to create both new problems and new possibilities, among which the potential for universities to be cultural incubators has been crucial.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies

Abstract

Four articles are included in this topical section on ‘Taiwan as Epistemic Challenger’. Two of the four contributions were originally presented at the 3rd World Congress of Taiwan Studies held on 6–8 September 2018 at Academia Sinica in Taipei. The main theme of this Congress was ‘Taiwan in the Globalized World: The Relevance of Taiwan Studies to the Social Sciences and Humanities’. The other two contributions were accepted through a call for papers. The topical section aims to demonstrate that Taiwanese scholars and foreign researchers of Taiwanese society can transcend the competitive disadvantage of studying a single country and make Taiwan visible in international scholarship. The findings of relevant Taiwan studies research can instead modify the epistemic assumptions and methodology in different disciplines of the social sciences and humanities.

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In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies