The Taiwan Studies Program, housed in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington (UW), is elevating today’s most important topics in global studies by cultivating a deep understanding of Taiwan’s history, culture, and politics. The Taiwan Studies Program began as the Taiwan Initiative in 2016, when Professors Madeleine Dong and William Lavely understood the need for better study of Taiwan. At the end of 2017, the Taiwan Studies Program officially launched as a program in the Jackson School.  Within a short period, it has already offered a variety of courses, hosted academic and community events, and become a center of knowledge for students, faculty, and the public. As one of only a handful of Taiwan studies programs in the Western hemisphere, it produces wide-ranging scholarship and prepares students with the insights necessary to understand how Taiwan has been shaped by its global connections and has influenced the rest of the world.

The Taiwan Studies Program also serves as an important cultural and academic hub for the Taiwanese diaspora. Between the UW’s Taiwanese student organizations, the growing ranks of UW Taiwanese alumni, and the Pacific Northwest regional Taiwanese community, the program is a nexus of connection, inquiry, and identity. The varied sampling of disciplines represented in the program’s scholarship exemplifies the Jackson School’s innovative mindset and helps to provide context for a complex, interconnected, and ever-changing world.

In the coming years we aim to offer a degree program in Taiwan Studies, making Taiwan society, institutions, and culture the focus of comparative research.


The Taiwan Studies Program of the University of Washington promotes study, teaching, research and outreach on Taiwan. We understand Taiwan to be a geographical, social, economic, cultural, and political entity interacting with other societies. We cooperate with other interested units at the University of Washington to achieve our goals.