Skip to main content

Sociology: People


Chloe Ming-li Yao

Chloe Ming-li Yao
Chloe Ming-li Yao
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Nationalism and National Identity, Nation-state, state-society relations, State-making


Taiwan is an interesting case for discussions regarding national identity and national building themes. It could be considered a sovereign country with earmarked territory and citizens; however, this was not the case in reality. In the face of external challenges from the international society and China, its status is doubted, and even denied by the international society. This factor is tangibly and intangibly associated with Taiwan's complicated political history, in which its domestic society raised arguments on 'unification with' vs. 'independence from' China. In this context, Taiwan's national identity is complexly intertwined with its political, historical, and social effects, which affect its nation-building process.

My study intends to explore contemporary Taiwan's national identity formation and nation-building by investigating the invention and re-invention of 'Taiwanese' identity, i.e. national history, developed top-down by the government and bottom-up by the society.

The study's analysis links the  high-school textbooks analysis, which stresses on governmental involvement; it interviews secondary history teachers to reflect individuals' efforts in re-shaping official ideologies, and thus identifies how nationalism and identity will also be reconstructed from the below. These two steps connected together to explore how, why and by whom the Taiwanese state has been constructed, which revealing the implications of national identity, including both its dynamics and restrictions.


Prof. John MacInnes

Dr. James Kennedy


Publicaiton and Presentations

Yao, Ming-li (2013) " Taiwan's Nation-building:The Formation and Reformation of 'Taiwanese' Imagined Community", at 'Taiwan Scientific Symposium Edinburgh, Scotland': Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Edinburgh) & National Science Council (R.O.C.), 23rd March, 2013. (awarded the best presentation)

Yao, Ming-li (2012) "Recreating a Boundary between Taiwan and China", paper presentating at '22nd ASEN Annual Conference: Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Boundary', LSE, 27-29th, March, 2012.

Yao, Ming-li (2011) "Reconstruction of a Taiwanese National Community: The Narrative Transformation of the February 28th Incident in High School Textbooks", paper presentating at 'The Breaking Boundaries Conference', University of Durham, 25-26thNovember, 2011.

Yao, Ming-li (2010) "The Symbolic Transformation of the Term 'Taiwan'", poster presentation at the conference New Directions in Sociology, University of Edinburgh, April 2010.

Yao, Ming-li (2008) "The Ideological Transformation of the National Identity in Taiwan", unpublished master dissertation.


Educational Backgrounds

Msc, Sociological Research, University of Manchester.

BA, English Literature, Tamkang University (Taiwan).