Upcoming Seminar: “Taiwanese youth’s will to fight: When pragmatism meets identity”, Thursday 4 March


Taiwanese youth’s will to fight: When pragmatism meets identity

book presentation and discussion on:

L’esprit de défense de Taiwan face à la Chine. La jeunesse taiwanaise face à la tentation de la Chine, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2009, 258 pp.

by Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor and Head, Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University


Tanguy Le Pesant, Assistant Professor, National Central University, Chongli, Taiwan

Date:  Thursday 4 March @ 7pm

Venue: Room Segalen, 25/F, Admiralty Centre, Tower 2,
18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong

To download this flyer in pdf, click here


Since the beginning of the 1990s, two major opposite forces structure Taiwanese young citizens’ socialization process and identity construction: democratization that has enabled gradual but continuous efforts to build a Taiwanese nation and the growing economic integration of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait driven by China’s rise. For a large number of young Taiwanese, China exerts an undeniable attraction. It is generally considered as a source of individual/professional opportunity as well as an important or even inescapable way to maintain the wealth of the Taiwanese society. But at the same time, frequent opinion surveys clearly show that Taiwanese identity consolidates, especially among young people.

This ambivalent attitude towards China raises a series of question. First, what does “being Taiwanese” mean for the youngest generation of citizens? Second, to what extent does China’s economic rise and growing military might influence young Taiwanese identity and political views? Third, would Taiwanese youth fight for Taiwan in case of war? that will be discused during this seminar.


Jean-Pierre Cabestan is Professor and Head, Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also associate researcher at the Asia Centre at Sciences Po, Paris. His most recent publications include (with Benoît Vermander) La Chine en quête de ses frontières. La confrontation Chine-Taiwan, Paris, Presses des Science-po, 2005 translated and published in Chinese as a special issue of the journal Renlai (Taipei), January 2007 as well as La Chine et la Russie : entre convergences et méfiance, Paris, Unicomm, 2008 (co-author).

Tanguy Le Pesant is Assistant Professor at National Central University (NCU), Chongli, Taiwan. He earned a Ph.D from the French Institute of Geopolitics (IFG), Université Paris 8, France, in 2006. His main research interests are (1) Taiwanese youth socialization process, identity and political behaviour (2) cultural policy, cultural heritage, memory and nation-building in Taiwan. Apart from L’esprit de défense de Taiwan face à la Chine (Taiwan’s will to fight and China, with Jean-Pierre Cabestan, L’Harmattan 2009) he has recently written “Chine-Taiwan : le retour du Kuomintang (Politique étrangère, 2:2008) and “Taiwanese Youth and Ethnic Boundaries: A European Perspective” in Paul Lim and Jens Damm (eds.), European Perspectives on Taiwan (forthcoming 2010).


To listen to the seminar:

M10-03-04 Time 19-31-46 Cabestan.MP3












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