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The Revolutionary Struggles of the Undergroung Party in Postwar Taiwan（1945-1955）
State-Building,Contentious Politics,Strategic-Action Fields,Underground-Vanguard Party,White Terror,Revolution,Narrative Explanation,
|Publication Year :||2018|
This dissertation analyzes the development of events happened on the island of Taiwan after August 1945, the end of second World War, along three lines: firstly, the state-building propelled by the KuoMinTang regime; secondly, the civil war; and thirdly, the rise, struggle, and downfall of the Chinese Communist Party underground organization committee. In terms of analytical structure, this dissertation is based on the contentious politics theory and strategic-action field theory. In terms of methodology, this dissertation employs narrative explanation in historical sociology, considering the various actors within historical struggles as part of a ‘network’ that are closely connected to each other in order to observe their interaction, and at the same time viewing the social system as an overarching tiered structure that covers international, state, sub-state, and non-state fields.
The research question of this dissertation asks why, in the context of early post-war Taiwan (1945-1949), as there seemed to be favourable factors in the colonial mother state, international politics and Taiwanese society itself for the state-building by the new regime, the KuoMinTang regime failed to establish quickly the state-building and political order but sparked off two waves of major struggles that involved the whole of the island and radicalised through time-- the February 28 Incident in 1947 and the following vigorous communist revolution.
In Chapters 2 to 4, I discuss how due to the impact of ‘the civil war’ the provincial government instituted in Taiwan by the KuoMinTang regime was not able to achieve the state-building despite the favourable factors in the context, but rather gave rise to an administration of limited political power and autonomy, albeit being relatively democratic. This provincial government was not able to establish quickly a stable connection with a large amount of non-national fields, which then led to the fast growth of conflicts within state-society relationships. On the other hand, the nature of this administration also shaped a particular trajectory of political involvement for Taiwanese people, which had a strong focus on electoral campaigns and internal system reforms. Based on this structure, the February 28 Incident in 1947 re-established two trajectories for the following struggles-- the settlement committees led by political elites and the autonomous (armed) trajectory taken by the political non-elites. I also point out that the underground party fostered by the Chinese communist party in 1946 in Taiwan possessed a similar marginality: with extreme deficiencies of manpower and resources, it was not able to expand its mobilization until after military suppressions by the government, when a gap of conciliation policy of the KuoMinTang regime and the radicalization of the Taiwanese people offered a chance, and it re-evaluated the nature of the Taiwanese society and its overall strategy in the summer of 1948.
In Chapters 5 to 10, I examine how the communist party mobilized people in various fields: within the fields of higher and secondary education (Chapters 5 and 6), within fields of national industries and their workers (Chapters 7 and 8), within fields of agricultural industries (Chapter 9), and within the fields of administration of the aboriginals (Chapter 10). I investigate in detail the competition between KuoMinTang regime and the communist party in each field and point out that all the fields present relatively diverse trajectories of development in terms of the political identification of the participants and the appeals and formats of their struggles. In addition to factors pointed out by previous scholarship, such as the ‘cold-war’ and the re-establishment of the administration after 1950, I also highlight the party’s choice of a more explicit and speedy mobilization at the end of 1948 due to an optimistic estimation of the circumstances, which in turn became the key to its ‘avalanche’ collapse in early 1950. Its remaining two strongholds-- the villages in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli and the Luku armed base in the Taipei basin-- were also purged successively by the secret services during 1952 and 1955.
In the Conclusion, I summarise the overall results of this investigation, and respond to existing sociological scholarship on the topics concerning the nature of the state, the state-society relations and the history of contentious politics in the post-war period, with the hope of identifying directions for further re-evaluation or exploration.
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