The Taiwan Voter examines the critical role ethnic and national identities play in politics, utilizing the case of Taiwan. Although elections there often raise international tensions, and have led to military demonstrations by China, no scholarly books have examined how Taiwan’s voters make electoral choices in a dangerous environment. Critiquing the conventional interpretation of politics as an ideological battle between liberals and conservatives, The Taiwan Voter demonstrates in Taiwan the party system and voters’ responses are shaped by one powerful determinant of national identity—the China factor.
Taiwan’s electoral politics draws international scholarly interest because of the prominent role of ethnic and national identification. While in most countries the many tangled strands of competing identities are daunting for scholarly analysis, in Taiwan the cleavages are powerful and limited in number, so the logic of interrelationships among issues, partisanship, and identity are particularly clear. The Taiwan Voter unites experts to investigate the ways in which social identities, policy views, and partisan preferences intersect and influence each other. These novel findings have wide applicability to other countries, and will be of interest to a broad range of social scientists interested in identity politics.
“The Taiwan Voter makes a tremendous contribution to the Taiwan literature as a culmination of nearly three decades of scholarly research of public opinion on Taiwan. It appeals to those interested in Taiwan, party identification, voting behavior, and electoral reform. Each chapter provides useful data and solid analysis with findings conveniently synthesized in the conclusion.”
—Hans Stockton, University of St. Thomas
“This book demonstrates forcefully how identity politics dominate the political structure of Taiwan. With the current global rise of identity politics, I am confident that this volume will occupy a prominent spot in the standard voting behavior canon for at least the next generation.”
—Nathan F. Batto, Academia Sinica