Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has prided itself on steady progress toward liberal democracy with an ever-broadening understanding of human rights that now allegedly includes the rights of gays and lesbians. Yet at the same time, under the child-protection imperative, a series of new laws, litigation, and regulations has been put into place that criminalizes practically all sex-related publications and video images, more specifically any sex-related information, contact, and even inquiries on the Internet. How are we to understand such sexual mass hysteria in Taiwan in an age of seeming social openness and toleration? The present article demonstrates how the politics of sexual stigma and shame that once made up the oppression of gays and lesbians and other sexual minorities in Taiwan has now shifted its field of operation from the realm of culture to that of law. The emergence of this new form of power deployment works not only in collusion with the populist government's urgent desire to consolidate its legitimacy and power, but also in collaboration with expanding global governance through which Taiwan's nation-state status bid hopes to find a promising future at the expense of civil liberties for marginalized sexualities.
Josephine Chuen-juei Ho; Queer Existence under Global Governance: A Taiwan Exemplar. positions 1 May 2010; 18 (2): 537–554. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-2010-013
Download citation file: