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Taiwan Research Programme
Asia Research Centre
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Taiwan Research Programme

The Taiwan Research Programme contextualises processes of modernisation and globalisation through cross-disciplinary studies of significant issues that use Taiwan as a point of comparison. Through research, teaching, and hosting seminars, workshops, conferences, and publications, it seeks to stimulate new interactions between disciplines and areas in order to develop new scope for dialogue and understanding in the globalised world.

The Programme has to date held 61 Seminars on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective; 93 London Taiwan Seminars;  8 Taiwan Conferences; 5 Public Lectures on Taiwan; 30 Workshops in Dialogue with Taiwan; and 7 other events

The Programme is currently focused on the research themes of Civil Society and of Heritage, in both instances in comparative perspective. The Programme also undertakes regional comparisons.

News and Activities



Discussion Panel: What does the Taiwan 2016 Election Signify? Views from Civil Society, Politics, and International Relations

Tuesday 9 February 2016, 2pm-4pm, Seligman Library (Old Building)

LSE is proud that an alumna, Dr Tsai Ing-wen (PhD in Law, 1984), is currently president-elect of the Republic of China/Taiwan. The significance of last month's election will be discussed by  Dr Fang-long Shih (LSE), Dr Jinghan Zeng (Royal Holloway), and Professor Chris Hughes (LSE). It will be chaired by Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (LSE, TBC). All are welcome to attend.


Huangnan Shen

A Theoretical Framework for Demystifying the Causes of Disorder in the Chinese Market Economy: Cultural and Moral Aspects in Comparative Perspective

Monday 19 October 2015, 6pm-8pm, Seligman Library (Old Building)

The rapid growth of the Chinese market economy over the past 30 years has also seen instances in which the rights of consumers have been infringed by corporations: recent examples relate to poisonous milk power (毒奶粉) and illegal cooking oil (地沟油). Such cases reflect a deep-rooted moral crisis in the Chinese market economy.

In this seminar, Jim Huangnan Shen seeks to explain why this crisis has come about, rejecting cultural determinism to highlight several factors relating to the transition from the Maoist era to contemporary China following the opening of the country from 1978.



A Gap on the Issues of Democracy and Rising China: response to Taiwan President Ma’s interview with the BBC

Dr Fang-Long Shih responds to the President of Taiwan's media interview.



Seminar: Political Economy of Trade Liberalization: are interest groups different in Taiwan?

Wednesday 17 June 2015, 3pm-5pm, Room 2.22, Old Building

Taiwan is a trade dependent economy, but faces both external and internal obstacles to making free trade agreements. Externally, many trading partners are wary of Beijing’s opposition, while at home there is resistance to trade liberalization from special interest groups. Also, the deterioration of real wages in Taiwan, along with a high unemployment rate, has tended to generate suspicion of any trade deal which could plausibly enhance trade and economic growth.

In this talk, Peter Chow, professor of economics at the City University of New York and a former consultant at the World Bank, will address how Taiwan can adapt to the emerging trade blocs through comprehensive statecraft.



Seminar: Place-making, Mobility, and Identity: the politics and poetics of urban mass transit systems in Taiwan

Tuesday 16 June 2015, 6pm-8pm, Room KSW.1.01, 20 Kingsway

This paper addresses the issue of how a mass rapid transit system as a component of urban infrastructure traversing a particular locality and the meanings and interpretations that it helps to engender are mutually constitutive, focusing on the under-utilization of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Kaohsiung.

Anru Lee, who is an associate professor of anthropology at the City University of New York, will look at how mobility was discursively constructed and represented leading to the completion of the Kaohsiung MRT. She will draw on the work of  Sheller and Urry - who assert that there is no increase in mobility without extensive systems of immobility - while expanding the notion of locality.



Delegation of PRC Experts in Taiwan Studies visits the LSE

Monday 15 June, 9am-11am, Graham Wallas Room (AGWR), Old Building, LSE



Seminar: China and the Czech Lands: from early contacts up to the present day

Wednesday 6 May 2015, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Room 7.03, Clement House

This seminar will discuss contacts and interactions between China and Central European countries, focusing in particular on the Czech lands and covering both the history and development of Chinese Studies at Czech and Central European universities, and also Chinese migration to Central European countries. It will also introduce the project 'CHINET: Forging a scientific team and international networking in the field of Chinese Studies'.

The speakers, Daniel Topinka and Jakub Havlicek, are assistant professors at the Department of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic.


Táňa Dluhošová

Seminar: Re-constructing the Literary Field in Early Post-war Taiwan Literature: a quantitative study on the publication patterns of the contributors

Monday 27 April 2015, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, Clement House 1.02

This study analyses the literature and the literary field of early post-war Taiwan (1945–1949) from a quantitative perspective, with a view to contributing to digital humanities studies, and using a framework based on the theory of ‘the literary field’, as formulated by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.

Based on the manual collection of catalogue information for the periodicals during this period, the study aims to reconstruct the literary field via investigating the grouping patterns of the contributors according to the periodicals in which they were published.

The speaker, Táňa Dluhošová, is a research fellow at the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and the editor of Archiv orientální. In 2012, she was awarded French-Taiwanese Cultural Association's Annual Prize.




Hand in Hand: a social construction of political romance and Taiwan's democratization

A summary of the discussion with the directors that followed the showing of the documentary Hand in Hand.



Documentary and Seminar:  Hand in Hand

Tuesday 24 February 2015, 6pm-9.30pm
Seligman Library (OLD 6.05), Old Building, LSE

Hand in Hand examines the social context of Taiwan’s transition from authoritarianism in the 1950s to democracy in the present, from the perspective of the love story of two human rights activists.The documentary was awarded first prize at the 2010 Taiwan International Documentary Festival.

Following a showing of the documentary, the directors, Yen Lan-chuan and Chuang I-tseng, will discuss it with respondents and the audience.


Course on Anthropology of Contemporary Chinese Societies: Taiwan and China

Monday 24 November to Thursday 4 December 2014


Centre for Chinese Studies Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic



Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective 

Journal Taiwan in Comparative Perspective Volume 5: Special Issue on Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective

The latest issue of the journal is now available on open-access.


Anti Nuclear Protest

Thursday 26 June, 6pm-8pm 2014, Graham Wallas Room (AGWR), Old Building, LSE

Panel Discussion: The 4-27 Anti-Nuclear Power Plant Movement: reflections and prospects



Friday 20 June to Saturday 21 June 2014

Panel Discussion: Moving Toward 20/20 vision through Lateral Thinking and Stereoscopic Perception: Taiwan and Irish Studies in Comparative Perspective, at 'The Zeitgeists of Taiwan: looking back, moving forward' [External link], the 20th Anniversary Conference of the North American Taiwan Studies Association



Wednesday 11 June to Saturday 14 June 2014

Panel Discussion on Ireland and Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, at 'Latitudes: Irish Studies in an International Context' [External link], the Annual Conference of the American Conference for Irish Studies and the Canadian Association for Irish Studies



Publication: Transition to Democracy at the Expense of Justice: The 2-28 Incident and White Terror in Taiwan [External link]

by Fang-Long Shih, Co-Director, LSE Taiwan Research Programme

Part of the Middle East–Asia Project (MAP) series 'Pathways to Transitional Justice in the Arab World: reflections on the Asia Pacific experience' [External link] at the Middle East Institute, Washington DC.


Christine Han

Thursday 8 May 2014, 6pm-8pm, The Graham Wallas Room (AGWR), Old Building, LSE

Seminar on Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective
With Christine Han:
Education for Active Citizenship: youth organisations and alternative forms of citizenship education in Hong Kong and Singapore



Thursday 27 March 2014, 6pm-8pm, New Theatre (EAS.E171), East Building, LSE

Taiwan Week Event: Taiwan's Democracy in Action
Panel Discussion: 3-18 Sunflower Student Occupy Movement: reflection and prospects


Edward Vickers

Wednesday 19 March 2014, 6pm-8pm, CLM1.02, Clement House, LSE

Seminar on Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective
With Edward Vickers (LSE Taiwan Research Programme): Officially-Sanctioned Narratives of the War and Occupation in Hong Kong



Wednesday 12 March 2014, 6pm-8pm, G.17, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE 

Seminar on Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective
With Paul Morris (Institute of Education): Schooling, History and the Construction of Identity in Hong Kong



Monday 10 February 2014, 6pm-8pm, Room G.17, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

Seminar on Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective
With Bill Kissane (Department of Government): Calls for a New Republic during the Euro Zone Crisis in the Republic of Ireland: evidence of a consolidated, imminent, or non-existent democracy


Felicia Yap

Wednesday 4 December 2013, 5.30pm-7.30pm, Room G.17, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

Seminar: Felicia Yap(Faculty of History, Cambridge University):  The Japanese Occupation of East and Southeast Asia



JingJing Yang

Thursday 28 November 2013, 5pm-7pm, Room 1.14, New Academic Building

Seminar: Jingjing Yang (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey):  Social Conflict in Communities Impacted by Tourism: one-year ethnographic fieldwork in Kanas, Xinjiang, China


hursday 21 November 2013, 4pm-6pm, Room G.15, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

Seminar: Carol Jones (Department of Law Research Group, University of Wolverhampton): Lost in China? Law, society and culture in post-1997 Hong Kong



Monday 18 November 2013, 5pm-7pm, Room 1.02, Clement House


Seminar:  Malte Philipp Kaeding (School of Politics, University of Surrey):  Challenging Hongkongization: the role of Taiwan's social movements and perceptions of post-handover Hong Kong




Thursday 14 November 2013

Seminar and roundtable with Michael Danielsen (Taiwan Corner)
Graham Wallas Room, Old Building

Seminar: 2pm-4pm
Lobbying for a 'Forbidden Nation': lessons fromTaiwan Corner in Denmark and the EU

Roundtable: 5pm-7pm
Network Diplomacy: towards new perspectives on Taiwan's relationship with the EU


Pavel Sindelar

Friday 6 September 2013, 3pm-5pm, Room G.20, 32 Lincoln's Inn

Seminar: Pavel Šindelář (Centre for Chinese Studies, Masaryk University, Brno) Religion in Two Chinese Contexts: migrant communities in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and religious policy in the post-reform Chinese State


National Taiwan University Logo 

Wednesday 10 July to Friday 12 July 2013

International Conference on Cultural Heritage: modernity in dialogue with tradition, co-organized with the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature, National Taiwan University




Between and Buddhism and Violence in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet

Dr Fang-Long Shih responds to media interest in phenomenon of violence in Buddhism


European Union Centre Taiwan

Monday 1 July 2013, 2.15pm-4pm, Room G.20, 32 Lincoln’s Inn

Roundtable discussion on Taiwan’s Relations with the European Union: Asymmetry in Action, co-organized with the European Union Centre in Taiwan (By invitation only)


Youth Ambassadors

Thursday 20 June 2013, 9.30am to 5pm, Graham Wallas Room

Taiwan Youth Ambassadors Programme Workshop: Unexplored Taiwan Co-organised by LSE Taiwan Research Programme and  Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs



Thursday 4 May to Saturday 6 May 2013

Dr Fang-Long Shih and Reverend John McNeil Scott presented a panel discussion on 'Big Issues, Small Islands: Taiwan and Ireland in Comparison', at the European Association for Taiwan Studies 10th Annual Conference [external link] in Lyon.



Tuesday 23 April 2013, 5pm to 8pm, Room LG.03, New Academic Building

Forum with Tzu Chi: with Dr Hwang Yeh Chen (Director, Faculty Development Center at Tzu Chi College of Technology) and Dr Cheah Lee Hwa (Director, Office of Humanities, Tzu Chi College of Technology): Education in Sustainable Business and Community Service at Tzu Chi College of Technology



Friday 22 March 2013, 6.30pm-8.30pm, LSE Senior Common Room

A launch event and wine reception was held for the publication special journal issue on "Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective.

The journal is available on open-access.



Thursday 7 March 2013, 5pm-7pm, CON 1.04

The Programme's Co-Director, Dr Fang-Long Shih, delivered a paper on 'The Chinese Social Order: family, gender, and ancestral orthopraxy', as part of LSE China Week [external link].



Tuesday 5 March 2013

The Programme's Co-Director, Dr Fang-Long Shih, participated in a conference entitled  Cross-Strait Relations in an Era of Technological Change: Security, Economic and Cultural Dimensions, at St Antony's College, University of Oxford. She presented a paper entitled 'From Politics to Culture: Taiwanization Discourses and the Techno Prince Nezha'.



Thursday 21 February 2013, 6pm-8pm, Room 2.03, Tower One

Seminar: Mr Niki Alsford (SOAS): A 'Fussy, Excitable, and Somewhat Self-Important Man': the life of British tea merchant John Dodd (1838-1907)



Thursday 7 February 2013, 6pm-8pm, Room 3.02, Tower Two

Seminar: Dr Allen Chun (Academia Sinica): Making Sense of Experiences of a Japanese Diaspora in Postwar Taiwan, or Colonial Legacy and Contemporary Multiculturalism, Comparatively Speaking


Fairbank Center, Harvard 

Saturday 2 February 2013

The Co-Directors of the LSE Taiwan Research Programme took part in a Chinese Religions Workshop at the Fairbank Center, Harvard University, entitled 'Margins as Centers and Centers as Margins'. Professor Stephan Feuchtwang presented a paper on 'Border Regions and Empty Spaces: centers as margins and margins as centers in China', and Dr Fang-Long Shih presented on 'The Changing Locations of Sam-Giap Maiden Temple in Taiwan.

A report of the event has been published in the Fairbank Center's newsletter for Spring 2013, page 4.



Death Betting Not a Part of Taiwanese Culture

Dr Fang-Long Shih responds to media reports about betting on the life expectancy of terminally-ill people in Taiwan


Chung Cheng University 

Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Programme's Co-Director, Dr Fang-Long Shih, was invited to be a visiting scholar at Chung Cheng University during October, funded by the Taiwan National Science Council. From 20 to 22 October she attended a conference on the goddess Mazu, and present a paper entitled 'A Return to Mazu: civil society and religion in Taiwan'.



Thursday 1 - Sunday 4 September 2011

Small Islands, Big Issues: Ireland and Taiwan in Comparative Perspective. Conference co-organised with and hosted by the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, University College Dublin



The Taiwan Research Programme currently has the following special research themes undertakes comparative study of Taiwan and other locations:

Civil Society: Taiwan in Comparative Perspective

Cultural Heritage: Taiwan in Comparative Perspective

Economic Resilience (Details to follow)

Network Diplomacy (Details to follow)

The Taiwan Research Programme undertakes comparative study of Taiwan and other locations:

Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective

Taiwan in Dialogue with  the Middle East