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Carrying the torch: Student movements in consolidating democracies: The case of media freedom in Taiwan

Sponsored by the Organization of Asian Studies (OAS)

Thursday, February 28, 2013
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Room 505

Students and youth in the Middle East have captured the world's attention as they ushered in an Arab Spring over the past two years. Other regions, such as East Asia, also witnessed the critical impact of the young generation on pro-democracy movements during the late 1980s. Twenty years later, what are the challenges facing today's generation of youth in Asian democracies like Taiwan? How are young people advocating for a more democratic and just society, and what do they see as the most pressing issues facing their country? Lin Fei-fan, President of the Graduate Student Association at National Taiwan University, will share his views on the recent wave of student movements in Taiwan, especially the movement to safeguard press freedom and prevent the monopolization of the media. Louisa Chiang, Senior East Asia officer at the National Endowment for Democracy, will comment on Taiwan's experience with democratization as well as the current challenges facing activists in Hong Kong and China.

Lin Fei-fan is President of the Graduate Student Association of National Taiwan University, where he is currently a second-year graduate student in political science. He has been an active leader and participant in various student movements on political, economic and environmental issues in Taiwan, starting with the Wild Strawberries movement in 2008-2009 and now serving as the convener of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters. In college, Lin majored in political science at National Cheng Kung University.

Louisa Chiang is Senior East Asia officer at the National Endowment for Democracy. She grew up in Taiwan during KMT rule and moved to the US as a teenager in 1980. She has worked for NGOs focusing on health, women's empowerment, and economic justice in Taiwan, Texas and San Francisco, and as a foreign service officer for the Department of Commerce in the US Embassy in Beijing. A published Chinese writer and translator, Chiang graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and East Asian Languages, and a Master's degree in public policy from University of California at Berkeley.

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