Department of Politics and International Studies

Professor Dafydd Fell

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Professor in Comparative Politics (with special reference to Taiwan) Centre of Taiwan Studies Director
BA (Leeds) PhD (London)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4206
Support hours
Term 2: Wednesdays 1:00pm - 3:00pm and by appointment


Dafydd Fell’s interest in Taiwanese politics began after a year as a language student in Taipei in the late 1980s.

After graduating from a degree in Chinese Studies he spent most of the 1990s working in Taiwan in the education, broadcasting, tourism, agricultural and sports management sectors. Being an eyewitness to Taiwan’s transition away from authoritarian rule has helped shape his subsequent research at SOAS. He joined the SOAS Politics Department as a PhD student in 1999 and has been teaching here since 2003.

Dafydd’s main research focus has been on Taiwan’s political parties and electoral politics. His first book, Party Politics in Taiwan (Routledge, 2005) examined party change in the first fifteen years of multi-party politics. He frequently visits Taiwan for fieldwork and election observing. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on Taiwan’s party system, new parties, party switching, candidate selection and how parties learn from electoral setbacks. His second book Government and Politics in Taiwan was published by Routledge in 2011 and a revised and updated second edition was published in 2018.

Over the last few years he has been working on a project on the politics of migration and has a co-edited volume titled Migration to and from Taiwan (Routledge, 2014). He also has shifted his attention towards Taiwan’s social movements, publishing an edited book titled Taiwan’s Social Movements under Ma Ying-jeou in 2017. Recently, he has edited a number of volumes on Taiwan, including Taiwan Studies Revisited, published in 2019, Taiwan’s Economic and Diplomatic Challenges and Opportunities (2021) and Taiwan’s Contemporary Indigenous Peoples (2021). His latest single authored book is Taiwan’s Green Parties (Routledge 2021) and he is currently working with three co-authors on a Chinese version of the book. He is also the book series editor for the Routledge Research on Taiwan Series.

Dafydd has been active in developing the field of Taiwan studies at SOAS and beyond. He helped establish the European Association of Taiwan Studies in 2004 and was the Association’s Secretary General for 8-years. As Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies he has helped develop the world’s most extensive Taiwan Studies teaching, academic events and publications programme.

Research interests

Taiwanese Political Parties; Election Advertising; Social Welfare; Political Corruption; Public Opinion; Voting Behaviour; Gender Equality; Candidate Selection; Party switching and mergers; Green parties; Democratisation

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Jung Chun Chang National Identity construction in Taiwan's political advertising
Chi Yeung Chiu The dynamics of party interactions between Hong Kong and Taiwan in post-handover years: An ontological security perspective
Ching-Yu Huang An In-Depth Study in Taiwan's Gender Mainstreaming in the Legislative Politics
Mr Leon Nelson Kunz Thesis title: Deliberative Democracy in Social Movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Tommy Chung Yin Kwan Fail to Re-connect: The Alienated Relationship Between Democratic Progressive Party and the Sunflower Movement
Shenghua Zhang Populism, Representational Crisis, and Party Organisational Development in Thailand: The Persistence of Pro-Thaksin Parties since 2001


Contact Dafydd