Elections, Gender and Social Movements in Taiwan

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This is a unique undergraduate module focusing on Taiwan’s domestic politics. After an overview of Taiwan’s experience of authoritarian rule and democratic transition, the module has three main themes: (1) Taiwan’s electoral and party politics, (2) contested gender politics, (3) social movements. Taiwan is an intriguing case for all these themes. It’s often called the first Chinese democracy and has the most stable party system in East Asian democracies. With the highest levels of female political representation, it is seen as one of the most equal societies in the region, but referendums have recently rejected same sex marriage. Moreover, it has a reputation for a critical and vibrant civil society, with social movements often able to influence or change government policies. Students on the course will be encouraged to test social science theories and frameworks to understand Taiwan’s democratic politics. This will involve examination of a range of election and social movement case studies. (Sign in to Panopto to read.)

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Provide policy relevant analysis of Taiwan’s domestic politics.
  • make formal oral class presentations and engage in discussions on the subject
  • employ political science frameworks to analyse Taiwan’s domestic politics
  • engage with the academic literature on Taiwan’s political development
  • produce analytical written work on Taiwan’s domestic politics.


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture
  • 1 hour tutorial

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Essay 20%
Assignment 2: Essay 70%
Presentation 1: Presentation 10%

Suggested reading

  • Fell, Dafydd (2018). Government and Politics in Taiwan.
  • Sullivan, Jonathan (2014): New trends in Taiwan politics research available at: http://jonlsullivan.com/2014/07/16/new-trends-in-taiwan-politics-research/
  • Chu, Yun-han and Lin Jih-wen (2001). “Political Development in 20th Century Taiwan: State Building, Regime Transformation and the Construction of National Identity.” China Quarterly 165: pp. 102-129.
  • Rigger, Shelley (2018). “Studies on Taiwan’s Democracy and Democratisation,” International Journal of Taiwan Studies , February 2018, Vol. 1 Issue: 1 p141-160.
  • Rigger, Shelley (1999). Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules