Towards a New Normal in Taiwan’s Democracy?

Taiwan’s young democracy continues to be dynamic, energetic and indeed a model for other Asian democracies. The 2016 elections represent another watershed moment in Taiwan’s politics, as the contest will elect a new President and a re-configured Legislative Yuan. After a two-term Presidency under Ma Ying-Jeou, Taiwan continues to be a vibrant economy, with deepened linkages across the Strait and with other countries in the region. Taiwan has managed Cross-Strait relations well, though recent developments portend challenges on the horizon. The consolidation of the Xi administration in Beijing will have implications on China-Taiwan relations. The recent Sunflower movement highlights not only a resurgent Taiwanese identity politics, but also an emerging divide across Taiwan’s older and younger voters. The recent efforts by the Kuomintang to rejuvenate its electoral base by changing the party’s Presidential candidate suggests the ruling party is in the midst of transition itself. And yet amidst these challenges, Taiwan remains a beacon of democracy. This post-election panel, hosted by the University of Toronto’s Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, will feature leading scholars of Taiwan from Canada, the US and Taiwan. Panelists will offer their reflections and observations on the current state of Taiwan’s politics and the future of Taiwan’s political and economic development.

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, Chair of Chinese Studies and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard and a BA from Princeton. Rigger is the author of Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy, From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, “Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism,’” and Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse.

Alexander Chieh-cheng Huang is professor at Institute of Strategic Studies of Tamkang University, Founder and Chairman of the Council on Strategic and Wargaming Studies. He previously served as Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council in the ROC (Taiwan) Government. Dr. Huang received his doctoral degree form the George Washington University.

Joseph Wong is the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School, Professor and Canada Research Chair in the department of Political Science. Professor Wong has conducted research and written extensively on Taiwan politics.

Event Schedule
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Reception
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Main Program


This is an event co-sponsored by Synergy: The Journal of Contemporary Asian Studies.

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