Asia Institute Tasmania

Public Lecture | Taiwan, memories of violence, and the end of developmentalism in Asia


Dr Mark Harrison, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities

Start Date

26th Jul 2016 5:30pm

End Date

26th Jul 2016 6:30pm

In the late 1950s, Taiwan became a prototype for the neoliberal developmentalist state, through a set of policies and governance concepts intended to achieve economic development and modernisation.

Like sites of neoliberalism elsewhere, in Taiwan this policy regime was intertwined with local conditions. Taiwan was a right-wing military dictatorship aligned with the US against Chinese and international Communism before transitioning to democracy in the late 1980s. The success of Taiwan's economic and political development presented a exemplar for a globally-institutionalised policy and political regime that has come to travel under many names - neoliberalism, globalisation, economic rationalism, reform, the Washington Consensus, and others.

Today, however, Taiwan has begun uncovering other, very painful, truths about its development story. The Taiwanese have begun retelling their story not as one of successful Asian development and modernisation but as one of political, social and emotional violence. This is Taiwan's expression of the global dissolution of neoliberalism exemplified by new left and right-wing counter-politics around the world.

This presentation describes Taiwan's development story, its reassessment of it today, and asks whether Taiwan offers lessons to the rest of the world at the end of the global neoliberal consensus.

Dr Mark Harrison is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania. He is also Adjunct Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University

  • Tuesday 26 July 2016, 5.30 - 6.30 pm
  • Room 210, Level 2, Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus