What explains Taiwan’s outsized presence in our news headlines, especially over the first two years of the Trump administration? What can be learned from its raucous process of democratization over the past thirty years? How will it continue to forge its unexpected identity, against the backdrop of China’s ever-deepening shadow? In this episode, Davidson College political scientist Shelley Rigger, one of the foremost authorities on Taiwan’s domestic politics and international standing, discusses these questions with Neysun Mahboubi, in relaying the dramatic modern story of Taiwan, and what it reflects about shifts in global ordering over time. The episode was recorded on March 16, 2018.
Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy, at Davidson College. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Asia Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in Philadelphia. Prof. Rigger is the author of Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011), as well as two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). She has also published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations, and related topics. Her current research studies the effects of cross-strait economic interactions on Taiwanese people's perceptions of mainland China.
Special thanks to Nick Marziani and Anthony Tao