Politics by Other Means: International Law in the Political Contest over Taiwan's Status and Cross-Strait Relations

Jacques deLisle, Professor of Law and Political Science,University of Pennsylvania

On both sides of the Taiwan Strait and on both sides of Taiwan’s partisan divide, international legal concepts—the criteria for statehood, other factors that matter for international status (including democratic politics and human rights), standards for and rights of self-determination and secession—have been key weapons in the political struggle over Taiwan’s international stature and security and the nature and trajectory of cross-Strait relations.  Rooted in steps taken during the early days of China’s Reform Era, this pattern of politics developed dramatically during the Lee Tenghui and Chen Shui-bian presidencies on Taiwan and has taken new turns since Hu Jintao shifted Beijing’s cross-Strait policies and Ma Ying-jeou came to power in Taiwan.  The prospect of Ma’s second term and a leadership transition on the Mainland raise new questions about future trends in this unusually international law-focused politics.

Speaker Bio:

Jacques deLisle is the Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law, professor of political science, and associate director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.  His writings on Taiwan’s politics and international status, cross-Strait relations, China’s approach to international law, and domestic legal reform and its challenges in China appear in law reviews, international affairs journals, policy commentaries, and other media.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
CISAC Central Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Encina Hall

Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)