Dr. Shelley Rigger
Leading Taiwan scholar Dr. Shelley Rigger discussed her new book, Why Taiwan Matters (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), at a Jones Day program on January 18, 2012. In the book, Dr. Rigger addresses the critical question of why Taiwan is important to the United States, China, and the world. As the book chronicles Taiwan's complex history and evolution into a key global player, it highlights economic and political breakthroughs so impressive they have been called "miracles" and outlines the complexities surrounding Taiwan's domestic politics. Drawing from three decades of research and experience, Dr. Rigger examines in detail the history and development of cross-strait tensions, tracing the shift of the focus of Taiwan's domestic politics toward a Taiwan-centered strategy. At the Jones Day program, Dr. Rigger also offered a critical, up-to-the-minute analysis of Taiwan’s January 14 presidential and legislative elections.
Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics and chair of political science at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and a B.A. in public and international affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai (2006).
Dr. Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge, 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001). She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her current research studies the effects of cross-strait economic interactions on Taiwan people’s perceptions of Mainland China. Her monograph, Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism’ was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006. Dr. Rigger is a director of the National Committee.