SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Improvising a Standoff: Understanding the dynamics of Taiwan Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

Prof. Ho Ming Sho

Date: 9 October 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 9 October 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: BGLT

Type of Event: Talk


Taiwan's Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement of 2014 belong to an unusual case of "eventful protests" for their large-scale and intensive participation as well as radical transformation in consequences, which require new conceptual tools to make sense of their trajectories. Based on his forthcoming book, the speaker will develop the notion "standoff" to understand the contentious interaction between protesters and the government. While these two incidents are not so-called "leaderless" movements, sustained occupation will not be possible without voluntary and the on-the-spot strategic responses among grassroots participation. Theorized as "improvisation", the talk will also examine the functions as well as its limits of these bottom-up contributions.

Speaker Bio


Ming-sho Ho is professor in Department of Sociology National Taiwan University. Currently he is a visiting scholar to Harvard Yenching Institute (2018-2019). He studies social movements, labor and the environmental issues. His works include Working Class Formation in Taiwan (2014) and Challenging Beijing's Mandate of Heaven: Taiwan's Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement (forthcoming). His new research project is about East Asian grassroots initiatives and energy transition.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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