|Abstract: ||This study examines Taiwan’s democratization process from the perspective of the national identity problem, and focuses on two main points: the rise of ethnic identity and its transformation ‘into Taiwanese nationalism in contemporary Taiwan, as well as its critical role in Taiwan’s democratization process. These points are examined through survey data gathered from the “Election and Political Democratization in Taiwan” research project commissioned by the ROC’s National Science Council in 1991-96.|
The data shows that most people on Taiwan feel that conflicts between different places of origin are no longer much of a problem. Instead, the rise of Taiwanese nationalism has broken down the boundaries between Taiwan’s four major ethnic groups, which are now all “Taiwanese on Taiwan,” opposed to the “Chinese” on mainland China. These people believe that Taiwan is an independent state; hence, the unification/independence issue may impede Taiwan’s democratization process.