Environmental Governance in Taiwan Revisited

Key information

11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Virtual Event

About this event

Simona Grano

As part of the 2021 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend .
This event will be held online through Microsoft Teams.
*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST)

In the latest talk on our Taiwan Studies Revisited Lecture Series Simona Grano will revisit her influential 2015 book Environmental Governance in Taiwan. In this series we ask the authors to discuss the origins of the research that led to the book and how their engagement with the field has developed since. They then discuss their methodologies, fieldwork and arguments, as well as how their work was received at the time. They also go on to reflect on their chosen methods and core findings, assessing whether they have stood the test of time. Lastly we ask the speakers to discuss how their research has changed since then.

About the book:

Three decades of rapid industrialization until the lifting of martial law in 1987, with little or no concern for the environment, have made Taiwan’s environmental degradation a serious problem. In the past twenty years, Taiwan has seen a surge of environmental organizations, which to a certain degree have enjoyed a remarkable success in fighting polluting industries or affecting policies on behalf of the environment.

This book aims to analyse environmental governance mechanisms and actors in Taiwan through a multi-disciplinary research approach. Based on extensive and original research, it includes four different case studies, which have all taken place since 2011. It focuses on four major elements of governance - specifically norms, actors, processes, and outcomes - to examine Taiwan’s national and local environmental governance in the post-2008 period. The book shows how the painful lessons Taiwan has learned throughout its transition should be of interest to other developing countries, illustrating how these positive transformations have managed to bring about a more ecologically friendly mode of economic development.

Demonstrating that the battle to further ecological sustainability is also a battle to further democratisation, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Taiwan Studies, Developmental Studies and Environmental Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to environmental politics in Taiwan 2. Contextualizing Taiwan’s environmental history: from "developmentalism" to ecological awareness? 3. Nuclear energy and the fourth nuclear power plant controversy 4. Taiwan’s petrochemical industry and the Kuokuang Petrochemical Naphtha Cracker 5. The Taipei Dome BOT Project 6. The Tamshui North Shore Road Project 7. Towards a more balanced and inclusive environmental governance approach.

Speaker's Bio

Simona A. Grano is Senior Lecturer at the University of Zurich and Director of the Taiwan Studies Project at UZH and joined the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies as a Research Associate in 2021.

She completed her Ph.D. in Chinese Studies at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy. She has held research positions and taught China Studies and Taiwan Studies at her alma mater, at the university of Zurich in Switzerland and at National Cheng'chi University in Taiwan. She has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Hong Kong and is a research fellow of the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT), in Tübingen, Germany.

Simona's regional expertise centers on the People's Republic of China as well as on Taiwan and Hong Kong. Her postdoc research was carried out in 2011 - 2012 with a research stay at Cheng'chi University and HKU. Said research stay was made possible by two scholarships; one by the Swiss National Foundation (SNSF), and one by the Center for Chinese Studies of Taiwan's National Library.

Simona is the author of Environmental Governance in Taiwan: a new generation of activists and stakeholders, which has been published in 2015 by Routledge. In it, she analyses environmental governance mechanisms and actors in Taiwan through a multi-disciplinary research approach. Based on extensive and original research, the book includes four different case studies (among these the anti-nuclear protests generated by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Taiwan), which have all taken place since 2011.

Since 2020, she is part of the editorial board of the Italian journal Orizzonte Cina, published by well known think tank T.Wai (Torino World Affairs Institute). She regularly contributes to Swiss and global media through articles, commentaries and interviews.

At the University of Zürich Simona teaches several courses related to China's political landscape and society as well as on Taiwan's social and political transformations in the past 30 years (BA level); furthermore, Simona has taught courses at the MA level on various topics, making extensive use of Chinese language materials.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: jl91@soas.ac.uk