Taiwan’s Postwar Student Movement and the Making of Democracy

Online event, but can be watched online at the China Centre, in the Kin-ku Cheng Lecture Theatre

How do Taiwan’s student movements contribute to the island nation’s vibrant democracy? This lecture will analyse three major waves of student activism in the postwar era. The early-1970s witnessed the rise of the nationalistic Diaoyutai movement and its spillover to prodemocracy and social service streams. The lifting of martial law in 1987 gave a mighty impetus to the student movement, culminating in the 1990 Wild Lily Movement. After a long hibernation, the student movement made a comeback in the 2008 Wild Strawberry Movement and the 2014 Sunflower Movement, with the protest target shifting to China. The lecture will review Taiwan’s student movement history and examine its changing ideologies, strategies, and impacts, as well as its potential dissolution into a wider youth movement.

Ming-sho Ho is professor at the Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University and the Director of Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Science, National Science and Technology Council (Taiwan). His research interests include social movements, labour, and environmental issues.