Mikael Mattlin

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Dr Mikael Mattlin is collegium researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS) and adjunct professor at the University of Turku. He has specialized in the politics, foreign policy and political economy of Greater China since 1995.


Books by this author

Politicized Society

Taiwan’s Struggle with its One-Party Past

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Politicized Society

The Long Shadow of Taiwan's One-Party Legacy

Due to an initially smooth political transition from one-party authoritarianism to multi-party politics, Taiwan’s gradual democratization has been celebrated as one of the most successful cases of political transformation. Unfortunately, this transition is incomplete and, especially since 2000 when the first non-Kuomintang president was elected, Taiwan has seen an intense and persistent politicization of its society.

Institutional flaws are not enough to explain the shortcomings of Taiwan’s democratic politics or those in other transitional democracies, the author argues. Rather, when an old dominant party like the Guomindang continues to survive even after the end of one-party rule, the process of political liberalization and transition contains within itself the seeds of structural politicization.

This is, then, a study with empirical value – warning that extreme politicization is the main internal threat to the sustainability of Taiwan’s democratic politics – but its analysis also applies to the situations of many other transitional democracies around the world.