Examining the Green Party Taiwan (GPT) since its establishment through the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020, this book focuses on Taiwan’s most important movement party over the last two and a half decades. Despite its limited electoral impact, its leaders have played a critical role in a range of social movements, including anti-nuclear and LGBT rights campaigns.

Plotting the party’s evolution in electoral politics as well as its engagement with the global green movement, this volume analyses key patterns of party change in electoral campaign appeals, organisation and its human face. The second half of the volume concentrates on explaining both the party’s electoral impact and why the party has adjusted ideologically and organisationally over time. Based on a wide range of material collected, including focus groups, interviews and political communication data, the research relies heavily on analysis of campaign material and the voices of party activists and also considers other Green Parties, such as the splinter Trees Party and GPT-Social Democratic Alliance.

Applying a wide range of theoretical frameworks to plot and explain small party development, this book will appeal both to students and scholars of Taiwan’s politics and civil society but also to readers with an interest in small parties and particularly environmental parties and movements.

part I|43 pages

Introduction, research questions and formation

chapter 1|7 pages

Taiwan’s Green Parties

Alternative politics in Taiwan

chapter 3|15 pages

Beautiful accidents

The formation of Taiwan’s Green Parties

part II|66 pages

The changing impact and human face of the Green Parties

chapter 4|33 pages

The impact of the Green Parties in Taiwan

Elections, media and the international

part III|36 pages

The first decade

chapter 6|11 pages

The GPT’s first election in 1996

Professor Kao catching missiles

chapter 7|12 pages

Almost breaking through in 1998

Is it OK to frequent sexual nightclubs?

chapter 8|11 pages

Understanding the GPT’s quiet period


part IV|39 pages

The Pan Han-sheng era

chapter 9|15 pages

Returning to elections between 2006 and 2009

The wish of the Ladybird, Red–Green Alliance and Treetop Protest

chapter 10|22 pages

The struggle to become a relevant party

The 2010 and 2012 campaigns

part V|48 pages

The Lee Ken-cheng era

chapter 11|18 pages

Reforms and the local breakthroughs and setbacks of 2014

Unfinished progress

chapter 12|28 pages

The 2016 GPT SDP Alliance’s failed national breakthrough

The lunchboxes and teenage idol election

part VI|39 pages

The Wang Hau-yu era

chapter 13|19 pages

A new model of local election campaigning in 2018

Winning or selling its soul?

part VII|15 pages


chapter 15|13 pages


The aftermath, rebranding, returning to research questions and practical lessons