SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Taiwan's Politics and International Relations

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 of 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Full Year

This is the first year-long undergraduate course in Europe or North America that focuses on Taiwan’s political development. The course examines Taiwan's political developmennt in the Twentieth and Twenty First centuries, and is organized around three main themes, as follows: (1) Taiwan’s modern history, (2) Taiwan’s domestic politics, (3) Taiwan’s external relations.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  • An understanding of Taiwan’s modern political history, domestic and international politics.
  • The ability to make formal oral class presentations and engage in discussions on the subject
  • The ability to employ political science and international relations frameworks to analyse Taiwan’s domestic and external politics
  • The ability to critically engage with the academic literature on Taiwan’s domestic and international political development
  • The ability to produce analytical written work on Taiwan’s domestic and international politics.

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introduction to Taiwan’s Politics and International Relations
  2. Political Rules and Legacies in pre-1945 Taiwan
  3. The Return to Chinese Rule and Authoritarianism in Taiwan
  4. Cultural and Identity Politics under Authoritarianism
  5. Contending Approaches to Taiwan’s International and Cross-Strait Relations
  6. Taiwan’s International Relations in the Cold War
  7. Taiwan’s Democratic Transition
  8. Democracy and National Identity
  9. Party Politics in Taiwan, 1991-2000
  10. Political Communication in Taiwan
  11. Politics of Welfare, Gender and Corruption
  12. Taiwan’s Electoral and Party Politics under the DPP
  13. The Impact of the KMT’s Return to Power
  14. Taiwan’s International Relations after Democratization
  15. Cross-Strait Relations, 1987-2000
  16. Taiwan and East Asian Migration
  17. China’s Evolving Taiwan Policy
  18. Role of the US in Cross-Strait Relations
  19. Cross-Strait Relations under the DPP, 2000-2008
  20. External Relations under Ma Ying-jeou, 2008 and Beyond
  21. Prospects for Taiwan’s Democracy and lnternational Relations
  22. Revision 1

Method of assessment

Assessment is one 3 hour exam which is 50% of the total mark, two 3500 word essays which are 20% each of the total mark and two Oral Presentations which together make up 10% of the total mark.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules