“Greening Taiwan Communities": Narratives from the new volume, Greening East Asia: the Rise of the Eco-Developmental State

Key information

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Virtual Event

About this event

Stevan Harrell, Lin Hui-nien, Chiu Hua-mei and Ashley Esarey

This session will be held using Microsoft Teams .


Greening East Asia: The Rise of the Eco-Develomental State, edited by Ashley Esarey, Mary Alice Haddad, Joanna I. Lewis, and Stevan Harrell (University of Washington Press, 2020), narrates the parallel processes in which East Asia’s four most populous countries (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) have evolved from developmental into what the authors call “eco-developmental” states. As each country in turn experienced an “economic miracle” and realized the environmental costs it had incurred in doing so, its regime, under popular pressure, moderated its single focus on economic growth and began to stress environmental recovery as a necessary element of material prosperity. Although Taiwan's movement from developmental to eco-developmental shares many characteristics with those of Japan before it, Korea at the same time, and China afterward, it also has aspects unique to the island. Our chapters examine these unique characteristics from the perspective of diverse local communities. Taiwan’s environmental movement was an integral part of its democratizaton process, and by the early 21st century environmental concerns had become a central element of policy and politics there. Also, Taiwan’s environmental movement and its Indigenous-rights movement have been intimately connected. Our chapters examine these unique characteristics from the perspective of diverse local communities. These include local activism against pollution in industrial districts of Kaohsiung, wildly different reactions to nuclear waste disposal in two different Indigenous communities, and Indigenous, community-based conservation activism.


Hsi-wen Chang (Lenglengman Rovaniyaw) is a Paiwan Indigenous assistant professor in the Department of Indigenous Affairs and Ethno- development, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan. She obtained her PhD in anthropology at the University of Washington in June 2017. Her research interests include environmental anthropology, tourism, place/space, and indigenous health.

Hua-mei Chiu is associate professor of sociology at National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. She is the author of the articles “Conflict and Compromise between Market and Social Forces” (2018) and The Movement against Science Park Expansion and Electronics Hazards in Taiwan” (2014). She serves as a board member of Citizen of the Earth Taiwan.

Hui-nien Lin is associate professor in the Indigenous Program of the College of Tourism and Hospitality at I-Shou University, Taiwan. Her research focuses on indigenous studies related to traditional ecological knowledge and resilience.

Ashley Esarey is assistant professor of political science at the University of Alberta and academic advisor to the China Institute. He is the coauthor of My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman’s Journey from Prison to Power (2014) and coeditor of The Internet in China: Cultural, Political, and Social Dimensions (2014) and Taiwan in Dynamic Transition: Nation Building and Democratization (2020).

Stevan Harrell is professor emeritus of anthropology and environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington. His research focuses on human ecology, family and demography, ethnic relations, material culture, and elementary education in China and Taiwan. He is writing a book on the ecological history of modern China.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: ml156@soas.ac.uk