Taiwan Studies and the Social Sciences (2004)

in: Issues and studies, Volume 40, Issue 3-4, p. 9-57

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We seek to provide an overview of the relationship between the English-language study of Taiwan & the social science disciplines, focusing primarily on political science, yet touching also on sociology, developmental studies, & economics. We identify three main periods in the evolution of Taiwan studies: (1) that from the end of WWII to the late 1970s saw the marginalization of Taiwan studies vis-a-vis China studies; (2) that of the early 1980s to the late 1990s, when, due to Taiwan's rising economic strength & democratic transition, Taiwan studies began to rise to fame, to become well-integrated with the social sciences: & (3) that since 2000, with Taiwan studies now facing both challenges & opportunities as it tries to remain integrated with the social sciences. We close with a comparison of the different research environments in both the US & Taiwan, discuss their respective roles in influencing the overall development of Taiwan studies, & suggest ways in which the social science research conducted in these two major venues for Taiwan research can be integrated more closely. 125 References. Adapted from the source document.