This panel introduces the notion of contested sovereignty and reinterprets Taiwan’s political and economic transformation through this concept. It explains how geopolitics and the state’s response to geopolitics have influenced and impacted Taiwan’s post-war political and economic development. With the notion of contested sovereignty, we hope to broaden the debate beyond the nationalism and state building literature to examine how contested sovereignty impacts the society in different areas by using Taiwan as a test case.
The four proposed papers tackle the issue from the historical origins of contested sovereignty in relation to modern nation-state building to its impact on ethnic relations and political and economic development.
By situating these distinctive features in a comparative perspective, this proposed theme section is designed to encourage debate and identify new research questions and problématiques from the contested sovereignty perspective and how that adds nuanced understanding to the existing literature on nationalism and state building.
題目：Taiwan as a Contested Sovereign State: Exploring its Endogenous Origin from the Perspective of Nation-State Building 台灣作為「受挑戰主權國家」的內生根源：一個「民族國家建構」的視角
摘要：By putting forward a “maldevelopment thesis,” this study historically explores the endogenous origin of Taiwan’s contemporary status as a sovereignty-contested state from the perspective of nation-state building. An island lying on the Western Pacific that had been purely Austronesian for several millenniums and transformed into an island of “settler-aboriginal duality” between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, followed by the forceful imposition of an island-wide political framework of modern nation-state by Japanese colonialism, it was in the first half of the twentieth century that Taiwan had arrived at a state of liminality of becoming a modern nation-state. In the mid-twentieth century, two windows had emerged due to the substantial geopolitical changes, granting Taiwan opportunities to leap into the ranks of the normal sovereign states in the world. However, due to its tardy nation-building and faulty state-building, Taiwan had let the opportunity slip through its fingers, twice indeed. As a new window in Taiwan’s favor seems to emerge once again in the 2020s, we may reasonably speculate that as the Taiwanese-oriented nation-state building has been carried out effectively following the democratization of Taiwan since the 1990s, this time this nascent Taiwanese nation would get higher odds on realizing its political aspiration to secure an internationally recognized statehood, with certain worrisome uncertainties though.
關鍵詞：nation-building, state-building, sovereign state, nation-state formation, Taiwan
題目：Contested Sovereignty, Ethnic Politics and Democratization in Postwar Taiwan 主權受挑戰國家下戰後台灣的政治轉型與族群關係
摘要：This paper elaborates on the relations among contested sovereignty issue, ethnic politics and democratic transformation in postwar Taiwan to shed light on its current predicaments in diplomatic front. I argue that this dilemma has to do with the continuing strong presence of Chinese nationalism in Taiwan. When the Kuomintang (KMT) government relocated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese civil war, it was able to keep its UN China seat until 1971 and the US’s official recognition until 1978, which in turn helped to instill a Chinese nationalist framework in the governmental structure and state ideological apparatus dominated by the migrant minority from China. When facing the indigenous challenge for democratization in 1980s, the KMT government maintained its ruling position and some forms of Chinese nationalist claims by compromising on the distributive aspect ethnic politics to co-opt Taiwanese. On the other hand, by appealing to the identity aspect of ethnic politics, the KMT after losing control of the central government in the new millennium managed to deter or delay consolidating a consensus on claiming the Taiwan sovereignty inside Taiwan, even when Taiwan faced an aggravating Chinese threat to force the unification with China.
關鍵詞：Chinese nationalism, Taiwanese nationalism, ethnic politics,
題目：The War over Identities: The Changing Meaning of Taiwan Independence? 認同的戰爭: 中國因素如何促成台獨的意義與變化
摘要：Taiwan, a de facto sovereign state with a unique national identity, is constantly contested by an aggressive, self-proclaimed fatherland China. This external threat has eroded Taiwan’s diplomatic space but, more significantly, caused a shift in the meaning of Taidu (Taiwan independence). The China problem has triggered the dynamic of Taidu from introvert to extrovert orientation. During the authoritarian period (1949-1986), Taidu meant democratizing the state (Kuomintang party-state) and eliminating the ROC émigré regime simultaneously because the regime claimed that it ruled entire China, and it couldn’t democratize the political system before unifying the mainland. The cause of Taidu at this stage was inward-looking. Since the early 1990s, however, the Kuomintang and the state were gradually separated along with the democratization, and the ROC was indigenized. Moreover, China’s rise and its military and sharp power exercises embodied the China threat. Hence, the meaning of Taidu has become an extrovert orientation: its significance is defined vis-à-vis China. The metamorphosis of Taidu cannot be readily seen from the trends in the polls on national identity in quantitative analysis. Instead, we need a profound interpretation of the collective identity formation amid Taiwan’s changing geopolitical environment. This paper will demonstrate how China’s influence operations aimed at changing Taiwanese identity have motivated the changing meaning of Taidu and consolidated it.
關鍵詞：national identity, Taiwan independence, sovereignty, China factor, geopolitics
題目：Geopolitics, the Developmental State and Taiwan’s Heavy Industrialization in the 1970s 地緣政治、發展型國家與1970年代台灣重工業的發展
摘要：Taiwan represents a peculiar case of latecomer, decentralized, SME-based industrialization going hand in hand with strong state-led development. The dominant view of latecomer industrialization assumes strong state intervention resulting in centralized industrialization in which interstate competition (e.g., geopolitics) gave rise to state intervention in industrialization and yielded similar structures in the race. South Korea is a contemporary example of late industrialization, following in the footsteps of Japan. Why did Taiwan develop a distinctive pattern of industrialization and integration into the world economy, and what explains Taiwan’s specific choices?
This paper presents a geopolitical thesis of the developmental state by examining of Taiwan’s HCI drive in the 1970s. The politics of constructing the first modern integrated steel mill illustrates how contested statehood, as expressed in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation since 1972, constrained its subsequent choice and direction of science and technology development. The immediate consequence was a specific development trajectory that tied Taiwan further into US technology access and the flow of knowledge. Contested sovereignty adds a nuance to understanding Taiwan’s industrial orders and the origins of the developmental state. This differs from the existing emphasis on the ethnic cleavage between the émigré KMT regime and local Taiwanese SMEs that resulted in state-owned enterprises occupying the upstream sector with the SMEs in the downstream, labor-intensive export sector.
關鍵詞：Heavy and Chemical Industrialization drive; cold war geopolitics; Taiwan; developmental state; the steel industry