The "Taiwan question" has long been considered one of the most complicated and explosive issues in global politics. In recent years, however, relations between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have improved substantially to the surprise of many. In this ground-breaking collection, distinguished contributors from the US, Asia, and Europe seek to go beyond the standard "recitation of facts" that often characterizes studies focusing on the Beijing-Taipei dyad. Rather, they employ a variety of theories as well as both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to analyze the ebbs and flows of the Taiwan issue. Their discussions clearly illuminate why there is a "Taiwan Problem," why conflict did not escalate to war between 2000 and 2008, and why cross-Strait relations improved after 2008. The book further reveals the limits of realism as a device to gain traction into the Taiwan issue, demonstrates the importance of taking into account domestic political variables, and shows how theory can be used to advance the cause of better China-Taiwan relations and to analyze the potential for future conflict over Taiwan.
New Thinking about the Taiwan Issue is essential reading not only for students, scholars and practitioners with an interest in studying relations across the Taiwan Strait, but also for any reader interested in economics, international relations, comparative politics or political theory.
"Blanchard and Hickey have made a valuable contribution in dissecting through various theoretical premises the intricacies, insecurities and possibilities enriching cross-Strait relations at a time when tectonic changes are taking place in the region in the security and economic realms." - Raviprasad Narayanan, Institute of International Relations, National Chengchi University,
Introduction: More than Two "Sides" to Every Story: An Introduction to New Thinking about the Taiwan Issue Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Dennis V. Hickey 1. Normative Convergence and Cross-Strait Divergence: Westphalian Sovereignty as an Ideational Source of the Taiwan Conflict Chengxin Pan 2. Useful Adversaries: How to Understand the Political Economy of Cross-Strait Security Ching-Chang Chen 3. Ethnic Peace in the Taiwan Strait Shiping Zheng 4. Unbalanced Threat or Rising Integration? Explaining Relations across the Taiwan Strait Steve Chan 5. Informal and Nonofficial Interactions in the New Start of Cross-Strait Relations: The Case of Taiwanese Businessmen Jorge Tavares da Silva 6. Structural Realism and Liberal Pluralism: An Assessment of Ma Ying-jeou's Cross-Strait Policy T.Y. Wang, Sufeng Cheng, Ching-hsin Yu, and Lu-huei Chen 7. Envisioning a China- Taiwan Peace Agreement" Phillip C. Saunders and Scott L. Kastner 8. "Democratic Peace" or "Economic Peace"? Theoretical Debate and Practical Implications in New Cross-Strait Relations" Yuchao Zhu. Conclusion: International Relations Theory and the Relationship across the Taiwan Strait Scott L. Kastner