Books Launch - 2015 EATS Conference

Alexander, Colin (2014).
China and Taiwan in Central America: Engaging Foreign Publics in Diplomacy.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Public diplomacy has become one of the most discussed phrases in political science. This book examines the use of public diplomacy by China and Taiwan in Central America, where Taiwan continues to hold the majority of diplomatic relationships. Using Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala as case studies, and drawing on other examples from across the Caribbean basin, Alexander examines public diplomacy beginning with its point of reception in target countries. He asks: To what extent is public diplomacy designed to engage foreign publics? To what extent is it instead designed to engage broader international audiences and the source country's own domestic pubic? He presents a framework for considering the diplomatic truce currently in place between China and Taiwan, the modern histories of both countries, and the significance of diplomatic recognition as a weapon within international relations.

 

Alsford, Niki (ed.) (2015).
Chronicling Formosa: Setting the foundation for the Presbyterian Mission, 1865-1876.
Taipei: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines.

In 2011 Niki Alsford was commissioned by the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines to compile a collection of archives pertaining to Taiwan indigenous peoples held by SOAS’s Archives & Special Collections. The collection is being broken up into five volumes, with the first starting with its foundation in 1865 to 1876 after which the island witnessed the introduction of schools and the arrival of female missionary teachers as well as the opening of the northern-mission field led by George Lesley MacKay and the Canadian Presbyterian Church. The collection of papers in this book shed light on both the nuances as well as the social history of the island from the viewpoint of the mission-field. As such it will be an invaluable reading tool for students and scholars of Taiwan history at the turn of the twentieth century as well as those who have an interest in the role of the church in the democratisation movement. It is also a useful resource for comparative research into mission history, which has seen an increase in interest in recent years – particularly in areas such as climate change, women’s health, linguistic studies, and music development.

 

Chang, Bi-yu (2015).
Place, Identity and National Imagination in Postwar Taiwan.
London: Routledge.

This book explores the ever-present issue of identity in Taiwan from a spatial perspective, and focuses on the importance of, and the relationship between, state spatiality and identity formation. Taking postwar Taiwan as a case study, the book examines the ways in which the Kuomintang regime naturalized its political control, territorialized the island and created a nationalist geography. In so doing, it examines how, why and to what extent power is exercised through the place-making process and considers the relationship between official versions of ‘ROC geography’ and the islanders’ shifting perceptions of the ‘nation’. In turn, by addressing the relationship between the state and the imagined community, Bi-yu Chang establishes a dialogue between place and cultural identity to analyse the constant changing and shaping of Chinese and Taiwanese identity.

 

Grano, Simona (2015).
Environmental Governance in Taiwan: A New Generation of Activists and Stakeholders.
London: Routledge.

This book aims to analyse environmental governance mechanisms and actors in Taiwan through a multi-disciplinary research approach. This book includes four different case studies, which have all taken place since 2011. It focuses on four major elements of governance - specifically norms, actors, processes, and outcomes - to examine Taiwan’s national and local environmental governance in the post-2008 period. The book shows how the painful lessons Taiwan has learned throughout its transition should be of interest to other developing countries, illustrating how these positive transformations have managed to bring about a more ecologically friendly mode of economic development. Demonstrating that the battle to further ecological sustainability is also a battle to further democratisation, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Taiwan Studies, Developmental Studies and Environmental Studies.

 

Lipinsky, Astrid (ed.) (2015).
Immigration Societies: Taiwan and Beyond.
Berlin: Lit Verlag.

This book addresses immigration within and towards Taiwan from the perspectives of the state, immigrant organisations, the Taiwanese NGO movement and youth literature, amongst others. Contributions are both based on empirical research and interviews and on the application of international theoretical frameworks to the case of Taiwan, while highlighting the specific Taiwanese example and experience. Papers include a comparative perspective.

 

Rawnsley, Ming-Yeh T., Wang, Chi-Mao, Tang, Kung-Pei (eds) (2015).
Framing Transdisciplinarity: Bridging the Sciences and Humanities (in Chinese with English abstracts).
Taipei: Ministry of Education (蔡明燁, 王驥懋, 唐公培編 [2015]. 界定跨科際. 台北: 教育部)

This book represents some of Taiwan's effort in bridging the 'two cultures' - science vs. humanity. Funded by the Ministry of Education since 2011, 'Trans-disciplinary Education (TDE): Society, Humanity, Science Program' has brought together lecturers from a wide range of subject areas to design and deliver a series of innovative trans-disciplinary classes and courses in universities and colleagues island-wide. This edited volume is organised by the TDE Program Office. The editors invite scholars and practitioners within and outside Taiwan, who have experiences of interdisciplinary engagement in their research and teaching to reflect on the challenges and opportunities brought by working across disciplinary boundaries.