1st Edition

Social Forces in the Re-Making of Cross-Strait Relations Hegemony and Social Movements in Taiwan

By André Beckershoff Copyright 2024
    292 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Adopting a critical political economy perspective this book sheds new light on the social and political struggles that shaped the political dynamics of Taiwan-China relations and cross-Strait rapprochement between 2008 and 2014.

    Presenting a careful analysis of primary sources and interviews, the book reconstructs the historical, political and socio-economic factors that shaped Taiwan’s path to the Sunflower Movement of 2014, reinterpreting this process as a struggle over Taiwan’s role in the global economy. It challenges received wisdoms regarding the rise and fall of the rapprochement: First, the study argues that the rapprochement was not primarily driven by political elites but by capitalist conglomerates within Taiwan, which sought a normalisation of economic relations across the Taiwan Strait. Second, it finds that Taiwan’s social movements during that period were not homogeneous but rather struggled to find a common vision that could unite the critics of the rapprochement.

    The insights provided not only offer a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s protest cycle between 2008 and 2014, but also serve to recontextualise the political dynamics in post-Sunflower Taiwan. As such it will appeal to students and scholars of Taiwan Studies, East Asian Politics and Social Movement Studies.

    1. Introduction  2. Theoretical Approach: The Cross-Strait Rapprochement as a Contested Hegemonic Project  3. The Historical and Structural Origins of the Hegemonic Project  4. Reformist Resistance against the Black Box: Technocratic Management and the Structured Spontaneity of the Wild Strawberry Movement  5. The Contested Emergence of the China Factor: Resisting the Cultural Dimension of the Rapprochement  6. The Sunflower Movement and the Contradictory Re-politicisation of Neoliberal Developmentalism in Taiwan  7. Conclusion: Hegemony and Resistance in Taiwan


    André Beckershoff received his PhD from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He specialises in international political economy and social movements. His recent publications include Assessing the Presidency of Ma Ying-jiu in Taiwan: Hopeful Beginning, Hopeless End? (co-edited by Gunter Schubert, Routledge, 2018).

    "Beckershoff’s work is a strong and insightful addition to the existing literature on the period. The book does a great deal in deepening the literature in English about the 2000s and 2010s in Taiwan. Moreover, it continues to be relevant as reading for contemporary times, seeing as many of the social forces that were salient during this period still influence contemporary Taiwanese society."

    Brian Hioe, No Man Is An Island