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Title: Dividing without Conquering: Generation, Class, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Taiwan's 2016 Presidential Election
Authors: 祁冬濤
Qi, Dongtao
Lin, Shengqiao
Contributors: Issues & Studies
Keywords: Generation ; class ; ethnicity ; Taiwan ; nationalism
Date: 2021-09
Issue Date: 2022-04-11 09:12:10 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Based on the literature about the role of rising nationalism in recent world politics, this paper proposes a nationalism-oriented causal model to explain the voting choices of different social groups. With an interest-identity framework, this generic model is applied to Taiwan's 2016 presidential election to examine whether and to what extent 11 causal mechanisms influence the voting choices of four groups defined by generation, class, and ethnicity. The findings not only reveal generational, class-based, and ethnic differences in Taiwanese voting behavior; they also show that the election was largely one of identity politics centered around the issues of national identity and democratic identification, making the "interest card" played by Beijing less effective in swaying voter choices. This explains why Beijing's divide-and-conquer economic policy successfully divided Taiwanese voters but failed in the end to prevent the pro-independence candidate from winning the election. The findings also indicate that the economic concerns of voters promoted both their Taiwanese identity and support for Taiwan independence, while identification with Taiwan's democracy contributed directly to the former and only indirectly to the latter. Overall, the model presents a more fine-grained analysis of nationalist politics and may be applied to the studies of other political behaviors involving nationalism.
Relation: Issues & Studies, 57(3), 215012(1-32)
Data Type: article
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