Written by Wen Liu and Hsin-I Sydney Yueh. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly rearranged our social relations and affective connections. Amid disinformation and virus-origin conspiracy theories circulating across the social landscape, governmental responses to the pandemic have included various public health measures, such as lockdowns and mask mandates, and political measures, such as escalating geopolitical conflicts between the United States and China. Around the world, fear has been one of the most prominent affective responses to the pandemic, as driven by disinformation practices, intensified geopolitics, and our raw psychic fear about the unknown.
Cross-Strait Relations: De-coding What’s “New” for the New Year?
Written by Raian Hossain. Despite such heightened tension in cross-strait relations across 2022, President Xi Jinping and Tsai Ing-wen have delivered their English and Lunar new year speeches, showing signs of certain tolerance and a softer tone toward each other. The message from both sides of the Taiwan Strait is not random but rather driven by political objectives and motives likely to determine the cross-Strait relations in the upcoming years. Although speeches by President Xi Jinping and Tsai Ing-wen cover numerous angles, this article uses some specific lenses of the Politics of Security, the local and presidential election of Taiwan, and pandemic politics while de-coding the Cross-strait relations for the near future.
The 2022 Elections in Review: How Taiwan Failed to Adapt Voting for a Pandemic
Written by Kharis Templeman. With its colourful and fiercely contested campaigns, efficient electoral administration, and universal acceptance of the results, Taiwan’s recent local elections were, in most ways, a sign of a vibrant and healthy democracy. But one aspect failed to live up to basic democratic standards: thousands of people were denied the right to vote because they were trapped in mandatory COVID quarantine. After nearly three years of dealing with a global pandemic, Taiwan’s leaders should have been able to find some way to accommodate these citizens, as many other countries around the world have managed to do under much more difficult circumstances. Instead, they ignored the issue, and many Taiwanese were denied the right to vote. Taiwan’s democracy has received much recognition recently for its impressive vitality and resilience. But on voting rights, it is now a laggard. It can and must do better.
Taiwan’s Single-Payer National Health Insurance at a Crossroads: Barbarians at the Gate and Way Forward
Written by Tsung-Mei Cheng. Chronic financial instability and the difficulty the government has with raising the premium rate to balance the budget aside, the NHI faces myriad other challenges, including rising patient-consumer expectations and demands for ever more and better health care, the high cost of new medical technology and its coverage, provider payment reform, health care workforce shortages, ageing of the population, building long term care, etc.
Health Issues Facing Tongzhi/LGBTQ+ People in Taiwan
Written by JhuCin Rita Jhang, Ph.D. The possibilities to study tongzhi/LGBTQ+ health are endless. Tongzhi/LGBTQ+ issues are a chance to reexamine existing power structures, assumptions, beliefs, and biases and challenge exclusive and even oppressive systems. Suppose Taiwan pledges to adhere to international human rights standards and aspires to be the leader in tongzhi/LGBTQs rights in Asia. In that case, we cannot afford to ignore tongzhi/LGBTQ+ (nor anyone else) in health, medicine, and social policies.
Towards a Resilient Healthcare System in Taiwan
Written by Chunhuei Chi. Beyond the pandemic, our healthcare system will face more future challenges, from chronic diseases of the ageing population and emerging new infectious diseases to the health impacts of climate change. We need a strengthened healthcare system that is innovative, adaptable, trusted, and governed by the people to face these challenges.
Does the Public Still Trust the Tsai Administration?
Written by Timothy S. Rich and Kole Ingram. To what extent does the Taiwanese public trust the Tsai Ing-wen administration? Furthermore, does trust in the administration’s COVID policy fare better than generalized trust?
Unearthing, Trembling—Lacanian Clinical Practice at the Crusts of Evidence-based and Market-oriented Culture in Taiwan
From a Lacanian perspective, Hsiang-Yuan Yu writes about the possibility of breaking through the market orientated, sedimented, evidence based pedagogy In Taiwanese psychological practice to allow space for the subject to emerge.
The ‘Ghosts’ of Post-authoritarian Taiwan
In our second psychoanalysis and Taiwan special issue Hao Po-Wei reflects on how Taiwan’s authoritarian past haunts its citizens and how psychoanalytic practice offers a path toward exorcising these ‘ghosts.’
The Challenge of Promoting Psychoanalysis Outside University Campuses in Taiwan
Ping-Yuan Wu describes the pedagogical challenges of psychoanalytic training and its promotion outside the university setting.
Special Issue: Psychoanalysis and Taiwan: A Contested Discourse in a Small Country?
Here we introduce our special issue on psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and mental-health in Taiwan. Our authors discuss the stigma of mental health and the challenges of ‘talking cures’ in Taiwanese culture.
To Return or Not to Return? A Dilemma of a Taiwanese Scholarship Recipient
Written by Kalesekes Kaciljaan (Yu-Chi Huang). In 2019, I was awarded a Taiwanese scholarship of government sponsorship for overseas study from the Ministry of Education of Taiwan to support my pursuit of doctoral study in public health at the University of Hawai’i. The reason I did so was that the financial status of neither myself nor my family could provide me with the funds for studying overseas. Unfortunately, many other Indigenous scholars from Taiwan, like myself, also went through the same path I did, owing to our people’s averagely lower financial status. I am grateful that I could have the scholarship to support my dream to study abroad and be a researcher devoted to Indigenous health. Unfortunately, however, certain scholarship regulations are outdated and greatly hinder the path of students whose research interests relate to Taiwan. As a result, we are forced to choose between our ideals and our promised benefits. Therefore, I would like to elaborate on my own experience to provide a deeper insight into the problems we recipients face when returning to Taiwan to conduct our research.