Ethnic Identity and Political Cognition: An Analysis of Taiwanese Votes





Published date: 

七月, 1996


Ying-lung You


The competition between Chinese identity and Taiwanese identity is the most important and troublesome political problem in today's Taiwan. To understand this significant macro-political phenomenon, I start with a systematic investigation into the relationship between ethnic identity and political cognition of Taiwanese voters. Five central questions are raised. First, what exactly is the current state of divided national identity in Taiwan? Second, who tends to self-perceive as Taiwanese or Chinese, or both? Third, how do Taiwanese an Chinese identifiers perceive and evaluate the two major political parties, KMT and DPP? Fourth, what are the issues positions and ideological inclination of Taiwanese and Chinese identifiers? Fifth, and finally, how robust is the ethnic identity as an explanatory variable in explaining some other attitudinal or behavioral variables?

Survey-based findings are rich and suggest some interesting answers for the above questions. All in all, they confirmed a classic theoretical perspective that people's ties to various groups help to struture their political thinking.