Decolonization and the Question of Exclusion in Taiwanese Nationalism since 1945


  • Wolfgang Gerhard Thiele Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Analyzing Taiwanese nationalist writing since 1945 and focusing on writing produced by exile Taiwanese in Japan, this article shows that the doctrine of Taiwanese nationalism was highly influenced by international decolonization discourses. It identifies Taiwan’s fate with that of colonized countries and Taiwanese domestic power-relationships as mirroring relationships between colonizers and colonized. This strengthened a discourse imagining Chinese and mainland Chinese in Taiwan as the antagonists of the Taiwanese nation, which entailed the symbolic exclusion of mainland Chinese into the Taiwanese nation until the late 1990s. The paper furthermore introduces the term ad hoc colonial nationalism in order to analytically distinguish the independence movements of 1895 and 1945 from the post-1947 movement.

Author Biography

Wolfgang Gerhard Thiele, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Wolfgang Thiele was born into a working class family in Jena in Eastern Germany in 1990. He graduated from Humboldt University of Berlin in 2014 with a B.A. in Area Studies. He is currently enrolled in the Global History M.A. program at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, while simultaneously working as an assistant at the Institute of Japan Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. He has spent two years studying at National Taiwan University and the University of Tokyo.