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Constructing Human Rights in Taiwan:the Feminist Factor

Brysk, Alison Professor

2019 Taiwan Fellowship Scholar

Field of Study:

No:

Date:2020/1/31

Abstract:

In an era of worldwide rights regression, beleaguered Taiwan remains Asia’s most democratic, gender equitable, and liberal internationalist nation. What accounts for this seemingly exceptional record—and how does the feminist factor contribute to the construction of rights? Bridging constructivist and feminist scholarship, this essay argues that gender equity is a force multiplier for democratization as it empowers civil society and fosters legitimacy at home and abroad. As a three-level game, states at the margin of the international system may benefit from rights reform that expands the national interest and delivers material and reputational rewards. The case of Taiwan illustrates and analyses the dynamics of the double transition to liberal democracy and a liberal gender regime and its projection to world politics. The rewards of rights for Taiwan suggests a wider range of options even in small states facing regional challenges—and greater attention to the feminist factor in world politics.