SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Book Launch: Politics of Difference in Taiwan

Prof Tak-wing Ngo
Professor Tak-Wing Ngo

Date: 20 June 2014Time: 3:15 PM

Finishes: 20 June 2014Time: 4:45 PM

Venue: Vernon Square Room: V211

Type of Event: Book Launch

This event is part of Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School Programme.


Taiwan has been hailed as a successful case of democratization. Compared with many other nations, the transition from authoritarian rule occurred in a rather orderly fashion. Group consciousness emerged as a reaction to the decades-long suppression of cultural diversity under martial law as different social groups competed fiercely to exert their political subjectivity.
This volume is the first study to examine the politics of difference in Taiwan. It aims to go beyond ethnic identity as the sole concern for group boundary, to acknowledge the interests of other marginalized groups, and to look behind reified group boundaries in order to discover group differences as mediated social relations based on overlapping boundaries rather than exclusive opposition. In exploring the politics of difference among minority groups and the problems arising from their struggle over political recognition, the book challenges the assumptions that groups are ontologically given, that groups are internally homogenous, and that the particularistic identities have no overlap. The chapters offer a broad coverage of major social groups including ethnic minorities, recent migrants, gay and lesbian groups, and marginalized workers. They offer perspective analyses of the ongoing struggles by minority groups to overcome subordination.


Tak-Wing Ngo is IIAS Professor of Asian History at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Hong-zen Wang is Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Sociology, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

Speaker's Bio

Tak-Wing Ngo is Professor of Political Science. He has a PhD from SOAS (University of London), and worked as an anti-corruption official and journalist before joining Leiden University where he taught politics for 15 years. He holds the Extraordinary Chair Professorship in Asian History at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and heads the IIAS Centre for Regulation and Governance, the Netherlands. He is the editor of the refereed journal China Information, and the editor of the book series Governance in Asia published by NIAS Press (Copenhagen). He is the author and editor of 20 books on East Asian politics and political economy.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: