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IJTS Topical Section "Taiwan as Epistemic Challenger" Call for Papers

International Journal of Taiwan Studies

Topical Section:

‘Taiwan as Epistemic Challenger’

Guest Editors: Professor Chih-Jou Jay Chen and Professor Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica)

Call for Papers:

Apart from its unique geopolitical status, is there something that makes Taiwan an especially valuable subject of study for the international scholarly community? How can Taiwanese scholars and foreign observers of Taiwanese society transcend the competitive disadvantage of studying a single mid-sized country to make Taiwan visible in international publications? This special section invites scholars from different backgrounds to consider how Taiwan challenges epistemic fundamentals or the assumptions of their respective disciplines.

The guest editors are sociologists by training, but they intend to look beyond sociology, so the scope of disciplines can be broad. We very much welcome paper proposals in the social sciences and humanities with a research theme in political science, sociology, anthropology, history, geography, literature, linguistics, etc. Scientists from other disciplines are also welcome, provided they can translate technical terms into plain English. The research can be based on quantitative data or qualitative interpretation.

We are interested to learn how your research on Taiwan has modified your methodology or the epistemic original assumptions of your discipline. Whether you conduct research in Taiwan or you take Taiwan as a comparison, has that experience puzzled, questioned, disrupted, or fundamentally modified the methodology in which you were originally trained? In other words, how has Taiwan, either as a primary research topic or a comparative subject, become an epistemic challenger to your intellectual pursuit and your own discipline?

Theoretically speaking, authors may be Taiwan-based Taiwanese, foreign-based Taiwanese, foreign-based foreigners or Taiwan-based foreigners. If a localised identity of the author brings its own perspective, the article may thus carry a certain dose of epistemic reflexivity. The diversity of authors’ profiles and scientific paths may reflect the wide-open character of Taiwan studies. We see the International Journal of Taiwan Studiesas a pioneering platform for this epistemic community, and we believe its members share a passion for questioning routine approaches of scientific research.

This topical section seeks to avoid discussion of Taiwan in the vein of narrow-minded culturalist variations, such as the Nihonjinron that preoccupied Japanese studies for a while. We aim rather to situate the study of Taiwan in a proper position in both indigenised and globalised social sciences. One important purpose of this topical section is to reflect how social sciences have benefited the establishment of Taiwan studies in the past, as well as how Taiwan studies can contribute to the making of a truly globalised social science.


By 30 April 2019: Submission of abstract (between 300 and 500 words) to the guest editors: Professor Chih-Jou Jay Chen <> and Professor Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao <>

31 May 2019: Decision by guest editors on invitations for manuscript submission.

By 31 August 2019: Submit manuscript to Professor Chih-Jou Jay Chen <>, for review by guest editors.

By 30November 2019: Submit manuscript online to the IJTS( for double-blind peer review.


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