Problematic Sovereignty on China's Periphery: A case study of Taiwan as a 'Contested State'

121 Muirhead Tower
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Wednesday 24th January 2018 (15:00-16:30)
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Speaker: Dr Ming-chin Monique Chu (Southampton)


This paper draws insights from the revisionist IR literature on sovereignty to develop an innovative analytical framework for the empirical study of the phenomena of problematic sovereignty on China’s periphery, with reference to the case of Taiwan since 1971. The paper examines the extent to which the modified versions of Krasner’s four components of sovereignty (namely international legal, Westphalian, interdependence, and domestic sovereignty) have changed in the case of Taiwan to assess the level of threat to the People’s Republic China (PRC)’s proclaimed sovereignty over the island. The analysis is based on a rich array of empirical materials gathered from interviews with pertinent elite actors, as well as the examination of secondary and primary data. It contends that despite the continuous limitation of Taiwan’s de jure international legal sovereignty due to its continuous sovereignty dispute with Beijing, its de facto sovereignty has become consolidated over time. Concurrently, its Westphalian, interdependence and domestic sovereignty have been unchallenged, if not strengthened. This has thus challenged Beijing’s desire to claim Taiwan as its own, although the enlarging power ratio between the two sides may not benefit Taipei in the long run.

Author’s Bio:

Dr. Ming-chin Monique Chu is Lecturer in Chinese Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton. She gained her PhD degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge. She’s the author of The East Asian Computer Chip War (Routledge, 2013/2016) and the co-editor of Globalization and Security Relations across the Taiwan Strait: In the Shadow of China (Routledge 2014/2016). Her articles have appeared in The China Quarterly and China Perspectives. Her current research examines the phenomena of problematic sovereignty on China’s periphery.