On October 17-18, the Taiwan Democracy Project at CDDRL, with the generous support of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office, will host its annual conference at Stanford University to examine the politics of polarization in Taiwan.
This conference will bring together specialists from Taiwan, the U.S., and elsewhere in Asia to examine the sources and implications of this political polarization in comparative perspective. It will include a special case study of the Trade in Services Agreement with China that triggered this past year’s protests, as well as a more general overview of the politics of trade liberalization in Taiwan, prospects for Taiwan’s integration into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional trade agreements, and a consideration of the implications for Taiwan’s long-term democratic future.
Conference speakers will include: Chung-shu Wu, the president of the Chung-hwa Institute of Economic Research (CIER) in Taipei; Steve Chan of the University of Colorado; Roselyn Hsueh of Temple University; Yun-han Chu, the president of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation; and Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
Panels will examine the following questions:
1. What are the sources and implications of political polarization in Taiwan, and how have these changed in recent years?
2. How does Taiwan’s recent experience compare to political polarization in other countries in Asia (e.g. South Korea, Thailand) and elsewhere (the US)?
3. To what extent does the latest political deadlock in Taiwan reflect concern over the specific issue of trade with the People’s Republic of China, versus a deeper, systemic set of problems with Taiwan’s democracy?
4. How are globalization and trade liberalization reshaping Taiwan’s domestic political economy, and what are the prospects for forging a stronger pro-trade coalition in Taiwan that transcends the current partisan divide?
The conference will take place October 17-18 in the Bechtel Conference Room in Encina Hall at Stanford University. It is free and open to the public. The full conference agenda is available here.