SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

"How Can Cross-Strait Relations Be Pacified? Peace as a Source of Efficacy in Taiwanese Consciousness"

Professor SHIH Chih-Yu
SHIH Chih-Yu (Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University)

Date: 10 February 2014Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 10 February 2014Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Annual Lecture

Professor SHIH Chih-Yu  (Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University)

Professor Shih has been Full/Associate Professor at the National Taiwan University since 1990 and Adjunct Professor at the National Sun Yat-sen University since 2005 where he teaches anthropology of knowledge, China Studies, Political Psychology and Cultural Studies. Previously he was Adjunct Professor at the Colorado School of Mines in 1986 and Assistant Professor at Winona State University from 1987–88 and at Ramapo College of New Jersey from 1988–90. Professor Shih was Visiting Scholar at many prestigeous institutions (the Hoover Institution in 1986; the Institute for Asia-Pacific Studies, Duke University in 1994; the Center for International Studies, Princeton University in 1997; the Center for China Studies, University of Durham in 2004; at Chuo University in 2005, Tubingen University in 2009 and Yonsei University in 2010) and Visiting Professor (National Sun Yatsen University from 2005–07).

He has conducted extensive field research on poverty, ethnic citizenship, village autonomy, people's congresses and the enterprise culture. He is Editor of the journal Asian Ethnicity and is (or has been) a member of the Editorial Boards of many journals (e.g. East Asia 2005–, The Journal of Contemporary China 2007–, East Asian Policy 2009–, Asian Politics & Policy 2009–, Millennial Asia Delhi 2009–, Korean Unification Studies 2011–, Issue & Studies, Japanese 2007–, Issues and Studies 1991–96, Political Science 1999 and Human Rights & Human Welfare 2001–, etc.)

Loading the player...

How Can Cross-Strait Relations Be Pacified? Peace as a Source of Efficacy in Taiwanese Consciousness - SHIH Chih-Yu

Abstract of the Talk

Why may a weaker party by itself possess the sense of efficacy to confront its stronger counterpart in an asymmetric relationship? Both balancing and bandwagoning rely on the calculation of power and therefore cannot explain the unilateral confrontational approach taken by the weaker party of the asymmetric relationship. Hedging is another alternative to balance of power, which allows a mix of balancing and bandwagoning based upon a longer-term assessment. However, the rationale for the hedging strategy is by no means compatible with the confrontational approach practiced occasionally by Vietnam, Myanmar, or North Korea, for a few examples, to cope with China. An international relations theory of Balance of Relationship (BoR) explains why. How Taiwan can rely on the assertion of its proper relationship with China to cope with China’s readiness to use force is the case study. A social survey that reveals the psychological mechanisms that the Taiwanese constituency adopts in its balance of relationship with China yields three efficacy variables, which should have universal implications: the prospect factor, regarding how relevant the expected outcome of a change in the ruling party or the time is to the sense of controlling the proper relationship; the determination factor, regarding how relevant one’s psychological readiness for confrontation is to the sense of controlling the proper relationship; and the legitimacy factor, regarding how relevant the expression of popular opinion is to the sense of controlling the proper relationship. These three factors provide clues to why, in general, weaker parties choose to confront the stronger party without the apparent support of a third party.

Honours and awards:

National Science Council Excellence Research Award 1995–99, 2004–07, Fulbright Scholar 1997, Ministry of Education Academic Award 2000, , Ministry of Education National Chair Professor 2001–04, 2013-6, National Taiwan University Chair Professor 2007–2016, and many others.

Publications (in English):

The Spirit of Chinese Foreign Policy: A Psychocultural View 1990, Contending Dramas A Cognitive Approach to International Organization (co-editor) 1992, China’s Just World: The Morality of Chinese Foreign Policy 1992, Symbolic War: The Chinese Use of Force, 1840–1980 (co-author) 1993, State and Society in China's Political Reform: The Cultural Dynamics of Reform 1995, Collective Democracy: Political and Legal Reform in China 1999, Reform, Identity and Chinese Foreign Policy 2000, Negotiating Ethnicity in China: Citizenship as a Response to the State 2002, Navigating Sovereignty: World Politics Lost in China 2003, Autonomy, Ethnicity and Poverty in Southwester China: The State Turned Upside Down 2007, Democracy Made in Taiwan: The “Success” State as Political Theory 2008; Civilization, Nation and Modernity in East Asia 2012, On China By India: From Civilization to Nation State (co-editor) 2012, Tibetan Studies in Comparative Perspectives (co-editor) 2012,  Sinicizing International Relations: Self, Civilization, and Intellectual Politics in Subaltern East Asia 2013, and Harmonious Intervention: China’s Quest for Relational Security (co-author) 2014.

Publications (in Chinese):

More than 50 Chinese titles; numerous articles in professional journals

The Extra-curricular:

Chih-yu Shih had coached inter-mural basketball in Taiwan for 18 years through 2007, with 10 national titles under his belt. He played and won the second runner-up title of the Senior (50+) League in the 2013 All-nation Faculty and Staff Cup.
Saturday Gathering on Chinese Affairs held weekly in his apartment enters the 23rd year in 2014.
The Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University contains his research on the anthropology of knowledge in the past decade.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: