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Shelley Rigger

Professor of Political Science
Ph.D. Harvard University

Primary Research Interests

East Asian politics, with a focus on Taiwan. Rigger's current research studies the effects of cross-strait economic interactions on Taiwan people's perceptions of mainland China. Her expertise extends to Taiwan's domestic politics and the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations.

Video Clips

  • China's Rise in the Region

    China's power is increasing worldwide, in its political influence, economy, and military. And the country’s rapid growth has complicated things for Taiwan.

  • U.S. Interest in Taiwan

    The U.S. has to decide whether we want to invest our own resources in helping the Taiwanese people decide for themselves where they want to be economically and politically in their relationship with China.

  • China-Taiwan Politics

    Should China and Taiwan share the same government? Rigger discusses this controversial question, looking at the economic and political relationships between the countries over the last several decades.

  • Taiwan as a Microcosm

    Taiwan is a small country with a trade-dependent economy, and as such, it acts as a microcosm of the economic and political challenges facing developed countries in the world.

  • China-Taiwan Integration?

    While China and Taiwan have seen an increase in economic interaction, closing the political gap is not a natural evolution, and such unification is not necessarily appealing to Taiwan.

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Books & Publications

Rigger is the author of Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011) as well as 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). Her monograph, "Taiwan's Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics, and 'Taiwan Nationalism,'" was published by the East West Center in Washington.

In the Media

Wall Street Journal: Taiwan Vote Shows Doubt About China
Wall Street Journal: Wealth Gap Could Sway Taiwan Vote
Wall Street Journal: A ‘Normal' Election Shows Taiwan's Progress
Dissent Magazine: Taiwan's Sunflower Protests: A Q&A with Shelley Rigger
Carnegie Tsinghua Center for Global Policy: Taiwan Elections and Cross-Strait Relations (podcast)
New York Times: Tsai Ing-wen Elected President of Taiwan
Carnegie Endowment: 2016 Taiwan Elections and Cross-strait Relations
Bloomberg News: Rigger Comments on Vietnamese Factory Protests