SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Populism, Social Media and 2018 Mayoral Election in Taiwan (民粹主義,社交媒體與2018年臺灣縣市長選舉)

Prof Herng Su

Date: 9 November 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 9 November 2018Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Talk


CTS-IMG Prof Su1

Taiwan will hold mayoral and magisterial elections, as part of the Taiwanese local election in 2018. As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei functions as the economic and political center of Taiwan, and is currently the largest city of Taiwan. Taipei’s mayor Ko Wen-je is blunt in his texting combining the unique literary style of Boris Johnson with the avuncular approach of Bernie Sanders. Mr. Ko, the 59-year-old former top surgeon has shaken up Taiwan’s politics since being elected as an independent in 2014 with the backing of young people frustrated with the two dominant parties. He is running for re-election in Taipei this year. Many analysts and scholars call the phenomenon populism 2.0 that made a significant impact at the expense of traditional political parties.

Populism is a relevant but contested concept in political communication research. The link between the spread of social media and the recent surge of populism around the world remains elusive. The Taiwanese 2018 local election offers several specific insights into populism, including how times of special events can make voters more susceptible to populist communications, what role do fragmented ideologies play and how the candidates are using social media.

This special lecture will provide an analysis of populism on social media used in 2018 Taipei Mayoral Election. It shows that social media give the populist actors the freedom to articulate their ideology and spread their messages. To win back voters, the two mainstream parties - the KMT and the DPP also work hard to diminish the advantage by social media platform used by Mr. Ko’s campaign team to counter the populists arguments in this election battle.


Speaker Bio

CTS-IMG-Herng Su

Prof. Herng Su obtained her Ph.D. from National Chengchi University. She is currently a Professor and Acting Dean of the College of Communication, National Chengchi University, Taiwan ROC. Prof. Su has long intrigued on interaction between the media, the influence of new media and public policy in Taiwan. She served as the Chair of the National Communications Commission(NCC) of the Executive Yuan from 2010 to 2012. She also joined the United Daily News as Op-Ed columnist and carried political editorials monthly.

CTS-IMG-National Central Library

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies & National Central Library Center for Chinese Studies, Taiwan

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