Greening East Asia: The Rise of the Eco-Developmental State, edited by Ashley Esarey, Mary Alice Haddad, Joanna I. Lewis, and Stevan Harrell (University of Washington Press, 2020), narrates the parallel processes in which East Asia’s four most populous countries (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) have evolved from developmental into what the authors call “eco-developmental” states. As each country in turn experienced an “economic miracle” and realized the environmental costs it had incurred in doing so, its regime, under popular pressure, moderated its single focus on economic growth and began to stress environmental recovery as a necessary element of material prosperity.
Although Taiwan’s movement from developmental to eco-developmental shares many characteristics with those of Japan before it, Korea at the same time, and China afterward, it also has aspects unique to the island. The book’s Taiwan-centric chapters examine these unique characteristics from the perspective of diverse local communities. Taiwan’s environmental movement was an integral part of its democratization process, and by the early 21st century environmental concerns had become a central element of policy and politics there. Also, Taiwan’s environmental movement and its Indigenous-rights movement have been intimately connected. These chapters address Indigenous, community-based conservation activism, local activism against pollution in industrial districts of Kaohsiung, and wildly different reactions to nuclear waste disposal in two different Indigenous communities.
The aforementioned chapters are:
Indigenous Conservation and Post-disaster Reconstruction in Taiwan, Sasala Taiban, Hui-nien Lin, Kurtis Jia-chyi Pei, Dau-jye Lu, and Hwa-sheng Gau
Environmental Activism in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Hua-mei Chiu
Indigenous Attitudes toward Nuclear Waste in Taiwan, Hsi-wen Chang (Lenglengman Rovaniyaw)
Professor Stevan Harrell, UW Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Environmental and Forest Sciences, and faculty of the Taiwan Studies Program, will be participating in an upcoming book launch. This virtual event will take place at 7am Pacific Time on February 19th. This event is organized by SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies, please view the event page for more details and event link.