China Effect: Securing Taiwan in the Age of Conflicts and Cooperation
Elected on the campaign slogan “we are ready” in 2008, Taiwanese people had high expectation for the new administration. To meet these expectations, the top priority on the President’s agenda was to loosen restraints on cross-strait economic activities, negotiate with the Chinese government to open up the three direct links, and extend the promotion to economic agreements such as ECFA. President Ma believes a closer cross-strait relationship could stimulate Taiwan’s economy and elevate Taiwan’s visibility in the international community. The China-friendly policy, however, triggers a vigorous, and sometimes heated, debate over Taiwan’s national security.
A “China effect” is instilled into Taiwan’s domestic issues in every aspect. It not only impacts the perception of national identities that is already dividing the Taiwanese society. An economic system that is overly dependent on the Chinese market, an unconsolidated democracy that does not provide efficient governance, a politicized civil society that cannot hold people in power accountable, and a governmental ideology that pursues economic development at the expense of the environment and human rights are all intertwined in the nexus of power dynamics between Taiwan and China.
While a closer relationship between Taiwan and China is anticipated, the strengthening relationship with China may threaten Taiwan’s security rouses concerns. The main theme of this year reconsiders how Taiwan should re-define itself, politically, economically, and culturally against the background of a new international order that recognizes China’s emergence as an influential global power. We welcome research topics reflecting the “China effect” on Taiwan’s national security, contested national identities, cross-strait exchanges, and relations in economic, political and cultural fields, Taiwan’s foreign policies, democratic consolidation, and the stake of civil society.
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15th December 2009
Conference Venue: Dwinelle Hall, University of California at Berkeley, USA
Conference Date: June 18-20, 2010
Organization: North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA)
A) Beyond the Political Economy of Natural Disaster and Calamity: Toward a Humanitarian Recovery and Sustainable Development
The year 2009 marks a striking year of Taiwan’s responses to natural disasters (921 Earthquake 10th anniversary and Morakot typhoon) from which intensive threats reveal long-neglected issues on the unbalanced relationship between development and environment. We encourage paper submissions on Taiwan’s sustainable development, the political economy of natural disasters and calamity, the historical context of forced resettlement, and policy making on emergency and reconstruction, and disaster management and humanitarian relief. Papers on psychological recovery, family reconstruction after calamity, healing in coping with the traumatic experiences of survivors and volunteers dealing with disastrous aftermath are also welcome in this session. Thoughts on rethinking disaster and sustainability via interdisciplinary works are especially welcome.
B) Reconsidering and Destabilizing the Category of “Minorities”: Civil Society and its Discontents
In general conceptualization and policy making, the idea of “minority” is often connected with ethnic-linguistic groups that are limited in number or have a specific cultural tradition. Nevertheless, gender/sexual orientation as LGBT/GLBT, the physically or mentally challenged, migrants/re-settlers, and expatriates could be considered as minorities as well. In this minor theme, we call for papers to reconsider the concept of “minorities” in the Taiwanese context and to destabilize the category while bringing new perspectives on how different minority groups impact the make-up of the contemporary Taiwanese society. Issues on identity formation of the minorities, their interaction with other groups, social movements, and human rights are welcome. Discussions of minorities are not limited to groups physically located in Taiwan, but we encourage creative endeavors to broaden our understanding of “minorities” in the context of Taiwan.
C) Cultures of Ocean and Land: The Construction of Taiwanese Histories and Identities by Cultural and Creative Industries
Taiwan has always been the nexus of diverse cultures from continents and oceans which free arts and histories from any certain ideology or bounded expression. The recently proposed “Project of Cultural and Creative Industries” by the Council for Cultural Affairs marks the confluence of cultural landscapes and invented traditions. The opening of 2009 World Games or the creative souvenirs from the Palace Museum are just two examples of molded identities and historical memories. We invite discussions and reflections on the dialectical relationships between creative landscapes and cultural industry, which explore various facets on creating and manufacturing the “Taiwanese culture.”
Panel Proposal and Poster Presentation
This year, NATSA invites panel proposals by discipline or field of interest. In order to foster discussion, each panel should consist of three to four writers. The panel proposal submission should include the panel abstract, together with all the paper abstracts to be presented in the conference. Each panel and paper abstract is subject to review. All disciplines are welcome, and proposals from less represented disciplines are particularly encouraged.
NATSA will continue to hold poster presentation for this year. Please indicate what kind of presentation you intend to participate when submitting your abstract through our online submission system. The system will be open from October 20th through December 15th, 2009 Midnight (Eastern time, USA). Conference contributors may be eligible for travel grants. For a full version of our Call for Paper and other detailed information please visit our website at http://www.na-tsa.org/index.htm
Each year NATSA seeks funding to support scholars and professionals to present at our conferences from all over the United States and all over world—Taiwan, Japan, China, England, Italy. Although the exact grant NATSA is able to offer vary each year, in the past we have offered US$150~$300 to domestic participants and US$300~$600 to international participants. The travel grant is an effort to encourage all to submit abstracts!
Best Paper Award
To encourage graduate students making quality contribution to the field of Taiwan Studies, NATSA continues the Best Paper Award for the third year. The winner will receive a prize of $300USD.
This year’s conference will continue past years’ tradition of bringing in publishers active in Taiwan and North America to present their products at a discounted rate (15~20% off), such as the University of Washington Press, the University of Hawaii Press, the Cornell University Press, the Columbia University Press, and the Stanford University Press. The book exhibition presents many important as well as most updated works in various fields relevant to this year’s conference themes. Don’t forget to stop by the booths during coffee breaks!
Emilia Chi-Jung Cheng
University of Sussex (UK)
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