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Allen Chun

Contrary to what people tend to think and the way current diplomacy still

defines the situation, I argue that Taiwan may very well be the first

“transnational nation.” Few recognized its international presence, until it

became a major exporter to the world economy, a change of status and policy

that was really the consequence of its expulsion from the United

Nations (following diplomatic recognition of the PRC). Its subsequent

attempts to jockey for admission into the United Nations can largely be

seen as a strategy to build upon its newly established role as a world economic

player. One significant feature of transnational capitalism is reflected

in Taiwan’s success, which demonstrates that the official status of nation

was not important or relevant to its development in economic and other

terms. Thus, in this era of transnational flows, one might say, national identity, cultural consciousness, and territorial boundedness are clearly secondary.

In some senses, this seems to be true, but this is overly simplistic.

The end of organized capitalism, as advocated by Lash and Urry (1987),

has led many to believe that the free flow of transnational capital has broken

down national barriers in respect to all other kinds of flows, but in fact,

transnational flows of people have been regulated by and subject to other

kinds of forces, political as well as cultural in nature, that have disrupted

emerging forms of cosmopolitanism and even threaten to expose deeper

conservative if not reactionary biases in the constitution of traditional society.

1 In Taiwan, the growing emergence of transnational cosmopolitanism,

runs parallel with the increasing rhetorical importance of multiculturalism.

However, the latter is the product more precisely of a wave of cultural ‘indigenization.’

At a deeper level, both (cosmopolitan) ‘transnationalism’ and

(indigenous) ‘multiculturalism’ are, in my opinion, largely incompatible

and mask an imminent future crisis.

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Shu-Yuan Yang

Christianity functions as a significant identity marker for the Bunun, an Austronesian-speaking indigenous people of Taiwan. However, identity construction and boundary maintenance are not given by them as immediate reasons for conversion. Instead, the continuity between Bunun traditional beliefs and Christianity is commonly viewed as the most important reason why the latter took strong hold among the Bunun. This article aims to explain why this is so, and to illustrate how the Bunun have transformed Christianity from a foreign religion into something that is familiar, indigenous, and of their own. Among the local Christians, theology is downplayed in favor of piety, which is cultivated and expressed through practical activities. Healing, in particular, is seen as a demonstration of the power of the Christian God and constitutes the Bunun experience of Christianity.

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Charles Stafford

Drawing primarily on ethnographic material from Taiwan, this article focuses on misfortune and, more especially, on the ques- tion of whether people are felt to deserve what happens to them-be it bad or good. I examine the cases of several people who have suffered misfortune in life, exploring ways in which they might actively try to make good things happen as a way of convincing others, and indeed themselves, that they are, after all, good. In considering these cases, I discuss three intersecting accounts of fate that are widely held by ordi- nary people in Taiwan and China: a cosmological one, a spirit-oriented one, and a social one.

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Kun-hui Ku

The demand for rights to recognition among the indigenous activists in Taiwan was part of a larger movement for democratization before the lifting of martial law and was supported by international concurrence. The transfer of power from the Nationalist Party (KMT) regime to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) marks a rising consciousness of Taiwanese nationalism. By examining public discourses/rituals and the debates about the organizational reforms, I show how the changing perceptions and status of the indigenous population within the state are used to legitimize the new national identity. By examining the political processes involved in the politics of recognition, on the other hand, I also explore how the indigenous activists exploit to their advantage opportunities that have arisen during the national restructuring.

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Kim Won Sub and Shih-Jiunn Shi

The development of social policy in East Asia has been gaining momentum in recent decades, challenging scholars to offer an explanation. This article addresses two questions: Are we witnessing the rise of welfare states in East Asia? And if so, what are the driving forces behind this development? We draw on theoretical perspectives of Franz-Xaver Kaufmann, who emphasizes the relationship between the state and civil society as the context of welfare statism, and who elaborated the role of international organizations and law in social policy ("welfare internationalism"). Choosing South Korea and Taiwan as examples, we explore the role of international policy diffusion, highlighting the interaction of international and domestic factors. We find that South Korea and Taiwan have indeed turned into welfare states, and that external "social" ideas, which have received little attention in previous research, have contributed to this development in different historical phases. Our analysis extends Kaufmann's perspective beyond Western welfare states.