The Political Economy of Press Freedom: The Paradox of Taiwan versus China, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Political Economy of Press Freedom

The Paradox of Taiwan versus China, 1st Edition

By Jaw-Nian Huang


176 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138599482
pub: 2019-08-19
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This book offers a political economy analysis of the development and degradation of freedom of the press in Taiwan since 1949, exploring how state-business elites and foreign hegemons interacted to shape the evolution of Taiwan’s media.

It examines why freedoms increased alongside democratization in the 1990s but deteriorated after the second peaceful turnover of power in 2008 and why significant improvements accompanied Taiwan’s close economic connections with the US during the Cold War, only to become eroded as the country developed deeper economic ties with China in the 21st century. Presenting both a domestic and international perspective, this study of the controversial case of Taiwan ultimately argues in favour of three factors. Firstly, that state power is not the only threat to press freedom, but corporate organizations and market forces may also play a role in curtailing it. Secondly, cross-national economic connections do not always improve human and civil rights but may cause damage when they involve more powerful authoritarian countries. Thirdly, just as norms diffuse from liberal contexts to repressive states, repressive norms are also likely to diffuse from powerful authoritarian countries to more liberal but politically and economically weaker ones.

Providing a new viewpoint on China’s media control overseas, The Political Economy of Press Freedom will be useful for students and scholars of Chinese Studies and Taiwan Studies as well as comparative politics, international relations and Media Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Cold War and the Authortarian Control over the Media, 1949-1988

3. Neoliberalism and the Marketization of the Media, 1988-2008

4. China’s Economic Rise and its Influence on Taiwan’s Media, 2008-2016

5. Conclusion

About the Author

Jaw-Nian Huang is an Assistant Professor of China Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan. He is also an inaugural Hou Family Fellow at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and a research team member for China Impact Studies at the Institute of Sociology at Academia Sinica in Taiwan.

About the Series

Politics in Asia

Politics in Asia
Politics in Asia has long been established as a source of distinctive and authoritative studies on the political life of Asia. The series covers a broad range of countries and aspects of politics, and includes volumes from some of the leading scholars working in the field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies