China Underground > China Book Library > Politicized Society: Taiwan’s Struggle with its One-Party Past by Mikael Mattlin

Politicized Society: Taiwan’s Struggle with its One-Party Past by Mikael Mattlin

This book explores a relatively uncharted area of democratic transitions. In particular, it addresses the problems of protracted transitions that occur when a one-party state has been incompletely dismantled.


The book emphasizes how extreme politicization is the main internal threat to the sustainability of Taiwan’s democratic politics.

Due to an initially smooth political transition from one-party authoritarianism to multi-party politics, Taiwan’s gradual process of democratization has been celebrated as one of the most successful cases of political transformation. However, this political transition was incomplete and in recent years Taiwan has been marked by protracted political struggles together with an intense politicization of society that threatens the sustainability of the country’s democratic politics. This updated edition, with new sections covering KMT rule (2008–16) and the first year of the new DPP government, draws out the broader implications of the book’s argument regarding the politicization of society, and ponders the prospects for Taiwan’s democracy in the shadow of a dominant China.


Mikael Mattlin

Formerly lecturing in world politics at the University of Helsinki, Dr Mattlin is a research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, specializing in Chinese politics.

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