Taiwan as the Westphalian Societys Foucaldian HeterotopiaReport as inadecuate

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1 CERI - Centre d-études et de recherches internationales

Abstract : During this lecture, I wish to submit some new avenues for tackling the Taiwan issue. By Taiwan issue, I mean the de facto, non de jure, independence of the state in Taiwan. More precisely, one can consider that not only politicians but also academics are constantly confronted with a kind of Gordian knot intermingling de facto independence, Chinese irredentism, third countries- Realpolitik, Taiwan-s democratization, and last but not least the resuming of cross-straits relations and the relocation tide of the island-s industry on the mainland. In this paper, I suggest to resort to Michel Foucault-s concept of -heterotopia- as an -other space- in order to better grasp Taiwan-s uniqueness in the international society, on the one hand, the processes at work in the latter, on the other hand. I shall only present some outlines: many examples, references, and demonstrations should be added. Similarly, as I am presenting it in front of an audience that is well informed both of Taiwan-s history and of contemporary political developments, I have not recalled many processes, which should otherwise be essential. For the same reason, I shall often use in an interchangeable way Taiwan, Republic of China ROC, Republic of China on Taiwan, the island, on the one hand, the People-s Republic of China PRC, China, the mainland, on the other hand, though nuances should of course be introduced. Finally, by way of introducing this lecture, I need to say that it is based on two underlying hypothesis, that I shall not discuss here. The first one is that the Westphalian system - that is a juxtaposition of sovereign states - is still operational, though it should not be forgotten that it is a fiction. The second one is that globalization is not leading to a borderless world, but quite the contrary, that nation-states are a product of globalization

Author: Françoise Mengin -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/


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