The Launch of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Taiwan has long been a case study of Chinese culture and society. However, since the 1980s and the 1990s, Taiwan- centered research has emerged as a field in its own right, with the economic, social, and cultural transformations sitting alongside analyses of Taiwan’s democratic development. Taiwan Studies has evolved and expanded at a vibrant pace, with research moving beyond the island’s domestic politics to position Taiwan within interdisciplinary discourses about the global, regional, and the local.
Across the world Taiwan Studies centers, programs, and groups have proliferated, and three regionally organized academic associations act as hubs for research: the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA), established in 1995; the Japanese Association of Taiwan Studies (JATS), established in 1998; and the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS), established in 2004. These associations routinely attract 100 to 200 delegates to their conferences. In addition, since 2012 the Institute of Sociology at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica has organized the World Congress of Taiwan Studies (WCTS) every three years. The inaugural WCTS was held in April 2012 in Taipei. The second WCTS, a collaboration between Academia Sinica and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), took place in London in June 2015. Both conventions welcomed an international audience of well over 500 people. These experiences from different parts of the world confirm the strength of the field and that we are now in a good position to launch a dedicated journal of Taiwan Studies in English.
The idea of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies (IJTS) was first discussed at the second WCTS and received enthusiastic support from scholars and students on different continents. The positive responses have made the process of launching the journal both humbling and rewarding. Gratitude must be given to all the IJTS editorial and advisory board members for their dedication, to the external reviewers who offer invaluable insight for each paper, and to all the authors who are willing to place their faith in, and to submit their research output to, a journal yet to exist. The IJTS endeavors to ensure the highest possible standard the editorial team is able to achieve.
The roles of Academia Sinica and EATS cannot be overstated. Their involvement and co-sponsorship have convinced one of the leading academic publishers, Brill, to take a chance on publishing the IJTS. Moreover, the Department of International Politics of Aberystwyth University, the birthplace of the academic discipline of international relations, agreed to host the journal’s Editorial Office with funding from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cover administrative costs. Finally, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation has provided the IJTS Editorial Office with a publication grant in 2018 that will enable the printing of additional copies of the journal required for publicity throughout its crucial launch year. All of these have demonstrated that the journal is a genuine international collaboration. The materialization of the IJTS does not only facilitate our joint pursuit to establish Taiwan Studies as a sustainable and diverse field, but also help us build a mutually supportive global Taiwan Studies community along the way.
Printed twice a year, the IJTS will publish original research articles in English across the disciplinary divide —from the social sciences, arts, and humanities—as well as articles that adopt an interdisciplinary perspective. The journal is a principal outlet to disseminate cutting-edge, peer-reviewed research on Taiwan for the academic community as well as policymakers. While our primary focus is on Taiwan, our ambition is to broaden the horizons of Taiwan Studies. We aim to facilitate discussion not only between the different disciplines that form the field, but also to inform and be informed by other relevant fields.
In addition to original research articles, the IJTS believes in the value of book reviews to keep our readers informed of recent publications. While our reviews are written in English, we welcome reviews of books published in any languages. We encourage publishers, authors, and potential reviewers to get in touch with our Book Review Editor, Professor Gary Rawnsley (firstname.lastname@example.org), about your publications or if you wish to write a review.
Furthermore, the IJTS welcomes proposals for special issues, evaluated by the Executive Editorial Board. Once a special issue proposal is accepted, the Editorial Office will work closely with the guest editor(s) to help both realize the editorial vision and safeguard the quality of submissions.
We are tremendously proud of the inaugural edition of the IJTS, to be published in March 2018 with a special theme on ‘the state of the field’, guest edited by Professor Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao and Dr Dafydd Fell. We hope that everyone who is reading the January 2018 issue of EATS News will subscribe to the IJTS, recommend the journal to your librarians, and submit your research papers, book reviews and/or special issue proposal to us. We look forward to working with all the Taiwan Studies communities across the world to make the IJTS a long-term success.
For further information about the IJTS, please visit the EATS website.
Dr Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley is Research Associate, Centre of Taiwan Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is also Secretary-General of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) between 2012 and 2018 and the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies (IJTS).